The other day on Facebook, a friend of mine pointed out that these days 'outrage' seems to be the default setting for mad in the news. No one is just angry, irritated, annoyed, miffed, or pissed off anymore. They're outraged.
Personally, I've been feeling a little miffed lately. And yeah, it's come through in my blogs. I'd apologize for it, but hey, it's a real emotion and since I'm not really miffed at any of you, I figure you know it's not directed your way and aren't waiting for an apology. It's probably hormonal. I'm a 45 year old woman on birth control. I'm basically a hormone stew only slightly less volatile than a pregnant woman or a teenage girl. It's like having low-grade PMS rumbling in the background for a couple weeks around the time my shot is due. (The Kid would laugh her buns off at the 'low-grade' designation, but since she isn't here to call me on it, I'm going with it.)
Of course, watching the news doesn't help. Hell, sometimes reading FB or Twitter doesn't help either. Or as I like to say from time to time "The stupid... it burns." Ya know, there are times when I just want to reach through the monitor and slap people in the back of the head. (No doubt there are times when people would love to slap me in the back of the head, too.)
Still as ticked as I've felt, I haven't reached 'outrage' levels.
Google tells me OUTRAGE is defined as: "an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation."
Makes sense. In this world we've created where everything from chicken wings to skateboarding to quilting has become X-treme, why not supersize our anger, too? You no longer have to be just disgusted. You, too, can be OUTRAGED!
Seems like a lot of work. Maybe I'm too lazy to be outraged. Maybe I just realize how little 'outrage' actually accomplishes. It can destroy a lot of things, but what does it actually build?
The other day I was mad. I took that emotion, went outside, and pulled weeds. The anger went away and I ended up with my shade garden looking all lovely again. (Especially since my astilbes are blooming - light pink, fuschia and white. So pretty.) Sometimes I take my pissed-off-ness and pour it into my writing. Sometimes I use it to clean.
I could never accomplish anything with outrage. I'd end up pulling all the weeds AND all the flowers, and then kicking over the garden wall and freaking out all the squirrels. What's the point of that?
I don't know. Maybe that's what they want. If we're all whipped into a furor, we're not thinking clearly, and the less people think the easier they are to control. But that's my inner conspiracy theorist at work.
What do you think? Do you ever find yourself feeling actual outrage or could it better be described as ticked? What's something you've seen them make 'Extreme' that you thought was particularly silly?