Charlotte’s Law

dawsonWhen it comes to social change, there’s nothing more galvanising than an online petition. Change.Org is a citizen-sponsored, online platform for petitions, recently lauded as an effective agent for change. From shark culling to refugee rights, Change.Org has rallied thousands of supporters to causes they might otherwise have neglected to spend 8-12 seconds tabbing through an auto-filled form on.

So deep and abiding is my concern for the most vexing social, political and environmental issues of the day that I am on their mailing list. Change.Org has democratised public support for important causes.

For instance, today’s petition titled ‘Charlotte’s Law’ asks for restrictions on social media following the death of Sydneysider Charlotte Dawson. For those of you babbling away in a bobble-headed, gleeful existence bereft of death-grip social media, Charlotte Dawson was a vapid two bit show pony, who exuded the kind of grasping inadequacy that attracts the attention of wall-eyed mouth breathers who buy cosmetics off the television. Perhaps the most anodyne yet astute assessment of Dawson comes, quite rightly, from her loving fan base, a group of women just as sparky as Dawson herself. The introduction to the petition describes the deceased as a skillful socialite, someone “that could light up an empty room”. And yet despite this clear social advantage, Dawson struggled to break into the upper echelons of high society.

According to the petition, Dawson “campaigned so hard for something so simple – a better world.” Yes, it does seem rather simple doesn’t it? The cruel irony is that Dawson had only just started a clothing line with Aung San Suu Kyi, a collaboration that was to include a reality television show highlighting the tensions surrounding structural adjustment in the developing world, and women who are just a little too boxy (but with SUCH lovely spirits).

The reality is that Dawson represented the worst excesses of bargain bin celebrity, finding minor fame with her dull Anglo prettiness and nice teeth and the cheap attention that comes from blundering unreflexively through an endless stream of knocks like a blond sea anemone.

And of course, she was depressed, a condition whose first victim is perspective. I’m thinking of starting a petition on Change.Org to remove spurious, ill-considered knee jerk petitions whose first draft invariably begins with “So, it’s just like, really mean when….”.

Join me!

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