I’m so mad, I’m shaking…
Offended, worked up, ready to explode with outrage!
My question is, ok, you’re mad as hell, so now what? Outrage for the sake of outrage sounds like a good way to get that embolism to pop all the blood boiling in your head. We’re outraged by so many things dependent on our point of view, reference, personality that it just becomes exhausting noise after a while. Abortion, guns, religion, elites, LGBTQ, Trump, racism, privilege, we got it all and no doubt I’m leaving any number of topics out.
It’s all too much!
So where to start? The basics.
The normative problem, the one we conspicuously avoid discussing, is our part in this overheated emotional mess. Democracy is a lot of work and a lot of us aren’t up to it beyond bitching about the other guys and their narrow-minded bigotry. It’s tough. The founding fathers were aware of this and, whether you agree or not, initially gave the vote to Land owning males, who were predominately white and protestant. The great non-land owning masses were thought to be uneducated and easy prey to emotional manipulation, whereas the land-owning educated were not. How times change (or not). And irrespectively of who all can now participate in our democratic process, the parameters for participation have not been altered; informed choice requires being informed in such a manner as to not be the easily manipulated masses of generations past. At least that’s what we like to think.
But we know such is not the case, and perhaps even more so manipulated due to our ever increasing reliance on our own narrow spheres of influence to which we slavishly refer. Thus it is ever to be outraged because our sources of info seeks to continue that rage till we are apoplectic to the point of stupor. This benefits those who find profit in our manipulation. That life is one phantasmagorical show from beginning to end, to which we are willing or unwilling participants feeds the machine of capitalism which feeds those who own it.
This is not a new thought.
That we subliminally suspect that this is a fallacious arrangement; that were are forever manipulated into false narratives that provide no actual resolution only heightens our sense of aggrievement and outrage. Yet we continue to either participate in farce or yield to apathy and wither into self-pity and recrimination neither of which we find satisfactory.
Does your head hurt yet?
The answer, in the obvious sense, is to rethink our expectations of representation and demand universal solutions, those that benefit all versus a few, but this also requires our understanding and acceptance of difference to which we cannot forcibly alter or be altered to. That means work on our part, hard work, work to which many may not be predisposed, which inevitably leads to replacing the ineffective with the ineffective, only of another stripe.
Thus we exhaust ourselves as those able to manipulation the system carry on. We also become open to ideas antithetical to mass participation and subject to manipulation that what we need is a strong individual to lead us to that land where all is forgiven and we can return to an ease of life that predates all this ugliness, at least for us, assuming we are not the target and subject of responsibility for the predicaments ailing society, which is required for propagandist agitation.
Again, exhausting, and if history is any guide, self-defeating.
Personally, I’m all in for deep cleansing breaths.