Being Outraged Is All The Rage These Days

I grew up politically incorrect. We said what was on our minds and called each other names that you would lose your corporate sponsorship over in today’s world, as terms of endearment. It was all in good fun. We were kids, not mongers of hate. The only thing that has changed since then is the society we live in. My issue is it’s not that we live in a society of better people. It’s all of the same people. They just want to pretend they’re progressive now.

I honestly can’t tell you the last time I was genuinely offended let alone outraged. You see, outrage is different than being angered or bothered by something another said. Outrage is more whiny. It usually involves tweeting or calling for the job of someone you’ve never met and who had no affect on your actual life. It often hides behind a false sense of moral high ground.

We live in a world that looks for reasons to be outraged. One where the word injustice is overused. Entire groups and coalitions waiting in the woodwork for someone with a tall enough platform to say the wrong thing in public, even in a joking manner. These people are the deciders of what can and can’t be joked about for us as a whole. When did all the laughter become outrage?

One of the worst forms of this false sense of outrage are those who are offended by something an actual comedian said. Way to kill an art form and essentially limit other individuals right to free speech. Thanks for deciding what we should be upset about ahead of time, without our say so.

While I found it appallingly silly the white house podium was used twice in a few days span a few weeks ago to call for the firing of an ESPN commentator in Jemele Hill, I wasn’t outraged. While I didn’t necessarily agree with Jemele’s tweet that provoked the white house to do so, again — not outraged. In fact I feel safe saying you couldn’t possibly leave me outraged using only 140 characters. I also found it laughable that the man who has been responsible for more outrage than any politician to come before him, was so quick to be outraged.

While i’ll probably go on to disagree and shake my head at most things said and done by this administration, none of it will leave me outraged. For two main reasons, primarily. One being, it’s what I’ve come to expect. I consider the source, I read the headline and go “Yeah, sounds about right”. Outrage is suppose to involve a sense of shock or surprise and nothing the Trump administration does or will go on to do will surprise me at this point. Part of me feels like the man is fueled by the public’s outrage, it’s like he feeds off of it. Which leads me to my second reason of, I’d simply never give him the satisfaction.

Be disgusted and saddened by what Harvey Weinstein did, don’t be outraged. Are you really surprised a rich and powerful Hollywood executive abused his power? Do you honestly believe he’s the only one? Do you really think all of the stars who were so quick to claim outrage knew nothing about any of it? That’s the funny thing about outrage, nobody hops on board until it’s cool to. Until it’s too late and far too much irreversible damage has been done. Then we’re all outraged, as opposed to having done something about it thirty years prior.

The worst part about the outrage culture we’ve adopted and come to call our own is the public fake apology it leads up to. The one written by staff members and spokes people of the person that’s been publicly shamed into reading it in front of all the lights and cameras. Words you know they don’t mean — a dog and pony show conjured up to save a career that shouldn’t even be in jeopardy in the first place. Just to be clear, I’m not referring to Harvey, he deserves to never work again. Although he probably will, once all the outrage has simmered and the general public has found a new target.

We used to be and do better than this. We used to take action instead of demanding a charade of an apology, calling for a career that has nothing to do with us and claiming outrage. We weren’t so easily offended by words. We weren’t as soft and as quick to become pretentiously upset just for the sake of saving face and trying to seem like a decent person. We let our actions speak to who we were as people, not what we were or weren’t outraged by.

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Brian Brewington

Writing About the Human Condition, via My Thoughts, Observations, Experiences, and Opinions — Founder of Journal of Journeys and BRB INC ©