This post is probably going to fly right in the face of this other one, which is what outrage does, I guess–flies into faces. I feel, though, as if there’s some connexion between what I’m about to describe and what I described already, even though they’re going to sound like opposites; I’m just not quite sure yet what that connexion is. But I guess I probably need to tell you what I’m talking about.
Yesterday I was on Twitter and someone I follow for reasons I have not yet discerned was tweeting about donating to some fund to get that ridiculous “legitimate rape” guy out of the senatorial race, and suddenly my brain just sighed and I said, “When are we all going to get tired of feeling outraged?”
Hey. I don’t endorse abortion either, but I do think you have to know what you’re talking about when you’re going to take a public stand on an issue, and I think his comments were completely idiotic. Not to mention insensitive and just plain wrong. But I don’t think we need to raise funds to keep him out of office. He basically just shot his career to Somewhere Accepting Handbaskets I think, and as far as I’m concerned, he can campaign as much as he wants; nobody’s going to vote for him. (If they do, please, my Paul–can we leave the country? For a desert island?) So . . . do we really need a new fund?
The thing is, this “all-caps” kind of self-expression (even though the tweep in question would never think of using all caps) is pretty par for the course these days. Three weeks ago it was Chick-Fil-A (which I wanted to write about, too, and still might, even though it is, as I say, so three weeks ago), and a few months ago it was crazy homophobic pastor who wanted to fence in all the non-heterosexuals on the West Coast or something. And yesterday it was a flying turtle.
I’m not saying these issues don’t matter. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be consequences to evil, stupidity or cruelty to animals. I just feel like Society has turned into a screaming match, so that if there ever were nuance, there isn’t anymore and nobody can evaluate anymore what actually warrants outrage, and what doesn’t. I include myself here. Can’t you feel the outrage with which I am describing outrage? I find this ironic in a world where Tolerance is broadcast with such fervour–that we’ve all become so intolerant of practically everything. And it’s not just of the ideas. It’s of people. It’s not bad to hold definite values–I think it’s good. But it seems to me that if we want people to hear or share them, yelling them at each other is the least effective way. Sometimes I think we all just need to calm down. Do I need to use all caps?