Angry Young Fools

For all of my complaints about Salon.com‘s leftist propaganda, it really is a great website. It’s updated daily with interesting and original content, and I thoroughly enjoy Cary Tennis’ advice column. For example, today I took perverse pleasure in reading this letter from an individual full of politically-based rage.

For all of my complaints about Salon.com‘s leftist propaganda, it really is a great website. It’s updated daily with interesting and original content, and I thoroughly enjoy Cary Tennis’ advice column. For example, today I took perverse pleasure in reading this letter from an individual full of politically-based rage.

I hate to take pleasure in another’s discomfort, but it amuses me that people get so passionate about such things. It’s impossible for most of these people to know the real truth and thus earn the right to such passion. I know how it feels, because I’m one of them. I get in heated debates over political issues, only to see them evolve into philosophical arguments with no solid foundation in real-life events. That’s why I’m struggling to ignore world affairs; if I’m going to get passionate about something, I’d rather it be about a belief and not corrupted by some vague awareness of “facts”.

The news is not a reliable source of truth. You’re not “staying informed” by following the news. Well, that’s not entirely true–you are staying informed of what the news organizations want you to hear. They are businesses, and will run stories that draw the biggest audience. If they were focused on reporting events of worldly and historical significance, we wouldn’t get persistent coverage of some chick’s disappearance. There are some exceptions, like the BBC to some extent, but even they are guilty of sensationalism.

I just feel that such passion and anger needs to be earned in order to be taken seriously. An example would be if you were personally affected by particular world events. Otherwise it’s just so much bluster that serves only to further your own self-actualization.

-Matt

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Angry Young Fools

2 thoughts on “Angry Young Fools

  1. Couldn’t agree more with the idea that it’s silly to become so passionate about certain things, since we, the public, are not aware of all the facts.

    However, I take issue with the wording of “earning the _right_”… I see it as more like “the privelege of me having any respect for your anger”. Everyone has the “right” to feel any emotion at any time, in my opinion.

    It’s interesting to consider the perspective of an agonized leftist in today’s political climate: the writer of that letter has fantasies of (I’m deducing) violence against politicians because they aren’t doing what he thinks is correct. But the majority of our population elected Bush and a Republican congress, true to our democratic form of government. So, if p (democracy) implies q (Republican gov’t), then not-q (Democratic party gov’t) implies not-p (not democracy), like some kind of dictatorship or monarchy. Would that really be better? And is that really what he would prefer?

    — Voidious

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  2. Yeah, “earning the right” to be angry probably isn’t the best way to put it. I guess I’m thinking of it as a philosophical or moral right.

    That’s an interesting point about the democracy issue. I’ve noticed that both sides of the political debate seem to respect public opinion only when it suits them. When Bush got reelected, a common liberal response was “well, Americans are stupid”, but now that his approval rating has fallen, all of a sudden public opinion is respected again.

    -Matt

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