So, it's been a while since Our Man has pontificated about anything other than Quakebook, huh? Well, he'd like to state for the record that Our Man is not just about Quakebook, dammit. What is Our Man about then? A good question, thanks for asking.
His mission used to be to take the piss out of the pompous, haughty and absurdly comical higher-ups of this world. But the mission has changed.
As long as there are people suffering and Our Man is in a position to help, he can hardly turn his back, can he? And if some of those higher-ups can help Our Man help others, well, it would be childish of him to poke fun at them. Unless they start it first, obviously. Has Our Man gone through his difficult adolescent years to become the Man he always should have been? Too soon to say, but it does feel like a couple of things have dropped in to place, so to speak.
Anyway, Our Man will post less about Quakebook here, leaving such thoughts for the Quakebook blog, where they belong, but before he does, let him share with ya'll a few self-indulgent, but well received, comments that he worked out on the train to Shibuya the other day for the Quakebook Live! thing.
Five Learnings* from Quakebook
- Doesn't matter who you are or what your skills are, you can make a difference. Don't wait for someone else to act, do it yourself. Gaijin, regular jin, it matters not. If you are alive and you give a shit, you can do something worthwhile.
- There's no point in having all these toys if we don't use them when we need them for something important. You can use Twitter to laugh at Charlie Sheen, send links to animals doing funny things and promote your own T-shirt shop. And that's wonderful and fun and so on. But if you can use this same tool to connect people, to make money for victims of a disaster, to record an important moment in history, why the hell wouldn't you?
- People will respond if what you are doing is of value. Your job is to find something of value to do. Hint: there's nothing like an earthquake to focus the mind.
- Doing something, even flawed, is better than doing nothing. Allow St Ourmani Nabiko to relate the parable of the bananas to you heathen: A peon in Ishinomaki city government had a crate of bananas. Two hundred tsunami survivors queued for a banana. But there were only 180 bananas. So, in the interests of fairness, the peon decided no one would get a banana. And lo, the bananas did rot. And everyone went equally hungry.
- Surround yourself with good people and anything is possible. Most people are good, they just need a chance to shine - give them that chance. Give them their banana.
* This is not an Our Man in Abiko word. But Our Man rather sniffily said as much** when he went on stage at The Pink Cow in Shibuya, and he'd just like to apologise for being a supercilious prick about it to the MC.
**But it really isn't a word is it? I mean, I guess we could make it a word***, I don't want to be all French and preserving the sanctity and purity of the lingua franca, but I mean c'mon.
***We have a perfectly good word in la lingua anglais - "lessons". There. I've said it.