The past week has seen the cup of outrage overflow onto the carpet of hysteria. Incidents that occurred in the United States and other areas of the world seemed to boil down to see who could “out-outrage” the others in some macabre competition. To run them all down – and this isn’t even looking back to previous weeks, when the “Outrage-O-Meter” was pegging itself – would take hours, but here’s a few of the choice tidbits from the Happy Ending Machine over the past seven days.
Last week, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, attempting to catch up to the bloviating gasbag that is Donald Trump, commented that the deal negotiated with Iran regarding its nuclear ambitions – and this isn’t negotiated with just the current U. S. administration but also the leadership of the United Kingdom, France, Japan, China and Russia – was President Barack Obama “leading Israelis to the doors of the oven.” Through trying to out-insult The Donald, Huckabee instead offended people on both sides of the Atlantic, not only the U. S. but also Europe and Israel – the very people he’s looking to “protect.”
Then there was the false indignation that the Republican Party had regarding the release of illegally recorded videotapes of a high-ranking member of Planned Parenthood talking untastefully and rather loosely about the usage of organs and tissues from fetuses by the organization. Rather than actually sanely speak to the head of Planned Parenthood about the issue, several members of the GOP rallied around the “defund Planned Parenthood” bandwagon, despite the fact that less than 2% of their operations are abortions and much of their work benefits women who otherwise wouldn’t have a gynecologist to examine them.
If that was an easy one to get people to fire up the pitchforks over, then the news from Africa just sent everyone on a bizarro rampage. An African lion by the name of Cecil – who everyone claimed was world famous but I had never heard of before this brutal happening – was lured by a big-game (but small-dicked) hunter/dentist from the U. S. (in particular the state of Minnesota) and his filthy “guides” (called such because who accepts money for hunting animals…isn’t that the job of the “hunter”?) out of his sanctuary in Zimbabwe. Once out of the sanctuary, Mr. Little Dick decided to pump a shot from a crossbow into Cecil which, as anyone who knows weapons will tell you, you better be a damn good shot to kill them on the spot. Alas, Little Dick wasn’t and the chase was on.
For the next 40 hours, the Three Assholes decided to track Cecil before killing him off with a gunshot. It was only THEN that the group discovered that Cecil had a GPS tracking device, which they allegedly attempted to destroy, then hacked the head off the lion in a last act of deviance while leaving the carcass. All in the “glory of the hunt.”
Finally comes this gem. A woman who was the daughter of one of the survivors of the Sandy Hook shootings wrote an open letter to comedian Amy Schumer on Medium.com that implored Schumer to take up a stance for extending gun control laws. What was the basis of this? The shooting in Lafayette, LA, last week that saw two women killed at a theater that was showing Schumer’s hit film Trainwreck.
The young woman writes in the letter, “Amy Schumer, I and many other Millennials look up to you so much. You are our generation’s epitome of what it means to be a strong, powerful, self-aware champion for the experiences and truths of being a woman and an American today…And we need your voice in this movement. We need your help…Write an op-ed. Support an organization. Demand change. Be a voice for our generation and for women – two groups who make up most of the victims of the gun violence in our country.”
And this doesn’t even get into the situation between Palestinians and Israelis on the West Bank in Israel, the NFL’s Roger Goodell upholding the suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady or the latest in a long line of cop shootings, this one in Ohio, that are dominating the headlines.
Outrage, when used appropriately, can be a powerful catalyst for change in the world. In the early 1960s, the outrage people felt when seeing how peaceful marchers seeking equal rights were treated in the Deep South forced quick change after over 100 years of supposed “freedom.” Outrage can also take longer periods of time, such as with the Vietnam War, and sometimes can have no effect at all (Bill Clinton, anyone?). But when it’s rolled out virtually every waking moment for a person, it begins to lose its impact.
The abortion debate has raged for decades and one instance isn’t going to change any laws or funding. In fact, I quite honestly would rather have a strong organization to educate women regarding their reproductive rights and options rather than some Puritan saying “don’t do it” and then getting knocked up for the second time. Politics is the same way, although this year with the addition of The Blowhard to the Presidential mix, the others are ramping up their similes and metaphors to a disgusting measure.
I personally have never understood the allure of “trophy hunting.” Why would I want to go into a restricted area and chase an animal (who can’t leave the restricted area) in a lame-ass attempt at “hunting?” So I can stick a head on my wall and say to the boys, “Yep, gunned him down all on my own (except for the guides, the drivers, the cooks for the camp, the hikers who stalked the beast, etc.).” The problem with the outrage here is that virtually NO ONE had heard of Cecil the Lion prior to this; where was the outrage (and honestly, there’s been plenty) regarding the theft of elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns that has been ongoing for decades?
Having said this, I do have a respect for those that enjoy hunting. For those that get their food from the activity (a deer can provide a winter’s worth of food for a family), use the skin for making clothing or the remainder of the beast for tools, more power to you. These aren’t the people that need to be shut down; I believe, in fact, they’re the ones who are bemoaning that this idiot dentist from Minnesota even had a gun, airplane ticket and guides lined up for his “hunt.”
Finally, Schumer owes no one a statement, let alone becoming an advocate, for any cause that she doesn’t believe in wholeheartedly. If Schumer feels passionately that gun laws should be stronger, they by all means, Amy, fire away (no pun intended). She shouldn’t have to face any shaming from gun control advocates to step up in any way simply because her movie was on the sheet playing when a nutbag opened fire.
The outrage card is being overplayed and by a wide swath of our culture. It’s time to take a moment to pause and see if a situation can be calmly discussed – and potentially a solution reached – rather than rattle the sabers of outrage with nothing to come of it.