EVERYONE IS ANGRY

Rage is sweeping the nation. Fury is in the wind. The fire of anger is fueled by an Internet full of lies and innuendo intentionally created to raise the temperature of our national dialogue until no dialogue is possible. By television news that isn’t news. And by rumors and misinformation spread person-to-person as if it were true.

Why?

A lot of folks who should (could) know better are (apparently) willing to believe anything — everything — they read, hear, or see. Regardless of the source or how ridiculous it sounds, they believe it. How, you ask, can anyone believe such a load of total bullshit?

frankenstein angry mob_10

I have heard a lot of explanations.

* Brainwashing. If you watch enough Fox News, you lose your grip on reality.

* Ignorance. People don’t know better.

* Stupidity. They are mentally deficient.

* Conspiracy. It’s something in the water.

I don’t believe it. Nothing accounts for the massive amount of mindless, parrot-like behavior except an enthusiastic willingness to participate. You’ve got to want to believe.

Fox News didn’t do it to them. Fox News is them. Fox and its ilk would not (could not) exist were it unprofitable. And it would not be profitable (and therefore would not exist) if its audience had not already been there when they came on the air. Millions of disaffected Americans were sitting in their recliners, waiting to have this crap fed to them. Delighted to have someone tell them exactly what they already believed.

It’s a willful act of thick-headedness. For whatever reason, the U.S.A. has a great many unhappy citizens. They expected the American dream, but didn’t get it. Maybe it isn’t a nightmare, but they sure didn’t get what they expected. Their lives aren’t even close to what they thought they’d be. The marriage is shitty. Job unsatisfying. Doctor doesn’t listen. The refinanced mortgage is unpaid and retirement looms. Who did this to me?

The guy or gal in the mirror could not possibly be responsible, but someone has to take the blame. So, they figure they’re being cheated. By the Democratic Party. Congress. President Obama. Welfare recipients. Illegal immigrants. Secret cabals of Muslim terrorists who are infiltrating our cities and towns. Liberal media. All media except fair and honest Fox. Whatever is wrong can’t be accidental. Can’t be the result of their own poor choices. It must be Those People.

Angry people with no joy in their lives marry their misery. They stop looking for solutions. All they want is fuel for their resentment. They could look for the truth, make an effort to repair their damaged lives. No, thanks. They don’t want things to get better. They want revenge on a world which has failed them. So, they spew vitriol, bigotry, hate, anger, rage, jealousy, envy.

Our world is full up with miserable people, convinced they’ve been betrayed. We are exploding with such people. Most appalling is they have become a power unto themselves. Maybe we should put something in the water?


Bone of Contention – I picked a contentious issue about which I care deeply.

48 thoughts on “EVERYONE IS ANGRY

  1. Pingback: The Stage | Up Where We Belong

  2. I think it’s human nature to blame “them” whoever they are for our own failings. I’ve seen it time and time again in history. The advent of the internet and 24 hour news stations has simply made it easier to fan the flames. But I’m an optimist when it comes to human nature because there are people like us that get tired of the angry mobs and want to restore balance and we’re not as small in numbers as we believe. Eventually, there will be enough of us to rise up and say, “That’s enough!” until they put away their pitchforks and go home.

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    • I’m sure it will turn around eventually. The problem is, MY generation is getting old and many of us are not willing or able to do much more than feel sad. But.. Everything goes around, comes around, then does it again. We are going through a bad patch and eventually we will emerge into a better place. I hope it happens sooner rather than later, but I’m sure it WILL happen because historically, it always has. I’d just like to be here to see it.

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      • I actually think there is at least one generation out there who doesn’t even realize it can take action. When I talk to my niece, who’s in a bad situation, she never hears me when I say, “Leave.” “Change your situation.” “Get a job.” She’d really RATHER be the victim of her boyfriend’s verbal abuse than stand up and change her life. Her attitude toward the world is the same. “I’m not registering to vote. They don’t care about us.” For those people it’s a LOT easier to lie there and complain about being kicked than it is to get up and walk away. I think (my personal opinion) it’s because they grew up (we raised them?) to be very dependent.

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        • That is certainly true of my granddaughter. I didn’t raise her (I wish I had). Her mother convinced and is still convincing her she is a helpless victim of … everything. I tried to intervene and got my head chewed off. Now I get to watch, heart in mouth, as all those chickens come flapping home. It’s ugly.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I know. I get a panic stricken phone call every month (always at night). “Can I come live with you?” “No.” “But X is mean to me!” “I know he’s mean to you. Why are you still there?” “I love him.” A little voice in me says, “So quit calling me,” but I don’t really want her to. If she did exactly what I tell her (get a job, make some money, save enough to get out, get out) she’d be free but that’s just too much for her. She may be demoralized by the situation she’s in, but at this point, anyone who rescues her is going to have to buy her a ticket back to that guy.

            Add to that the atmosfear that’s been nurtured since 9/11/2001 and the shit these young people actually BELIEVE, nope. It’s a great way for them to be controlled, but we’ve talked about that. 🙂

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            • I have understood for a while that there’s nothing constructive I can do at this point. Maybe, at some point, a bit of stray light will enter her world and something that one of us — me, Garry, her father, her teachers said — will get past all the crap her mother has been stuffing into her for all these years and she will stop. Think. Wonder if maybe there’s another way to live her life. Until then, though, she is not hearing anyone. And worse, she isn’t thinking for herself at all. It’s been such a horrible downward spiral it literally causes me pain to even think about it.

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              • I understand. In my last conversation with my niece I had to remind her that she had an education! Two years of college, an Associate’s degree, but with honors. She had forgotten. I love her very much but she’s a con which means she’s also a victim of herself. It’s just really disappointing for me. Though I had no expectations, I had hopes.

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                  • Me too. My niece is 35. She did go back to school and got her HS diploma then went back in 2009 and got an AA planning to become a teacher… OH WELL. As I so angrily said to someone else who commented on my comment, we don’t control what other people do and often the hardest thing in the world is to just leave someone alone to make their mistakes.

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        • It’s very easy when you’re not in that situation to say, “Leave” or “get a job” because you’re not in,/i> that situation. But I’ve been in that situation (though I had a job) and I know so many other people who’ve been in that situation. Things aren’t as easy as they look from the outside. It’s not as simple as leaving and starting over. There’s a big, bad world out there, and it’s a truly scary place. Your niece doesn’t want to be a victim of her boyfriend’s abuse, but she probably finds the world a much more frightening place than her home, even if her boyfriend is abusing her. Better the devil you know and all of that. Especially if she has people who are judging her for being with a boyfriend who abuses her.

          How can she face the world when she can’t even come out of her home without being judged for being so dependent on someone? Independence isn’t something we’re born with, it needs to be nurtured. She can’t go out and buy it at the supermarket and walk out the door with it. She can’t be told to just grow a backbone. It doesn’t work that way. Would you take an abused dog and throw it out in the street and expect it to survive? I hope not. Why would you expect the same of an abused person?

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          • Wow. Thanks so much for straightening me out. My life has been a complete bed of roses and I’ve NEVER had to deal with ANYTHING or help anyone else deal with anything.

            The world may be scary, but it’s scarier still if we do not participate in our own lives. Beyond that, it’s debatable whether the world is scary. It’s what it is. It’s what we have. We don’t have another one and unless we participate in THIS one, we’re victims.

            Then, no one BUT the abused person can get out of that situation. No one but my niece can change her life, regardless of whether or not independence has been “nurtured” or not. Sooner or later each person is confronted with an existential decision; choose freedom or choose bondage. No one can make that decision but the individual.

            An abused dog probably WOULD survive on the street; that’s an absolute CRAP analogy unless you believe dogs and people are the same.

            This is not to say that I would not help my niece. As soon as she takes that important step, I’ll be right there. Oh, and all my dogs are rescues.

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              • One thing I’ve learned is that we never know (online) with whom we’re speaking or what they’ve been through. I’ve been in two physically abusive relationships — and a couple (including that with my mom) that were verbally and psychologically abusive. It wasn’t easy to get out since I (naturally, to avoid being hurt) bought into their assessment of me, but finally, I did. I got back into them — that was another problem — but over time I learned what was “wrong” with me that made me choose to be hurt. No, escape is not instantaneous. One of the good things to come from that was having had the ability to recognize when one of my students was being hurt (bruises in particular places on the body, etc.). I have been able, a few times, to reach in there and offer a helping hand. But I knew from my experience that a hand was all I could offer. The rest was up to them.

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  3. Wow, there is a lot of power there and a lot of truth. Just keep chipping away at it Marilyn. Eventually they will wake up and smell the coffee.
    Leslie

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    • I get the “something is wrong” thing a lot. I want to ask them “What do you think is wrong? Why do you think it’s wrong? What do you think would make it better?” But I never get that far because they are off and ranting before I ever get there. That’s the problem. You can’t get coherent answer because they are so angry, all they really seem to want is to blow off steam. Which may make them feel better, but it doesn’t really help.

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      • Cooler heads must prevail. What we really need are some good old, honest to goodness, statesmen/stateswomen. Someone who has the interests of the people at the forefront.
        Leslie

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  4. There is a reason Fox News is the highest rate channel, and CNN has its lowest ratings in its history. They tell a ton of people what they want to hear.

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    • Right. If people didn’t want to hear it, they wouldn’t be doing it. You can’t (well you can, but it’s pointless) blame the dealer for giving you your drug of choice. You can, on the other hand, not buy it.

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  5. Brilliant post! The phrase “married to their misery” really captured it. Great writing and great insights!

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    • I lost my temper. In a writerly sort of way. Thus I got inspired. But this is why I don’t usually “go topical.” People get all worked up. You should see the comments I sent to spam. They were perfect examples of what I’m talking about. Very unpleasant.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Nothing accounts for the massive amount of mindless, parrot-like behavior except an enthusiastic willingness to participate. You’ve got to want to believe.” — Sums it up well.

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      • Eliminating the Marine Corps? Unless this rumor started from someone (deliberately or otherwise) misunderstanding what they’d heard about how the US military is working toward streamlining and -merging- the various branches, I have no idea how anyone could come up with stuff like this. Then again, I don’t know how they come up with most of the rumors that get passed around the Internet.

        One rumor that has nothing to do with the whole country and thus ought to be easier to laugh about: Someone told me, in all seriousness, that the town of Portales, New Mexico “steals rain” from its neighbors via a secret machine kept in a basement somewhere on Eastern New Mexico University’s campus. (Since hearing that, my brother and I joke about it every time we’re in Clovis and it’s been raining: ‘Nope, never rains in Clovis or Melrose, because Portales steals it all.’ Or when we’re home and there’s rain here: ‘Look, there’s more of Melrose’s rain falling on our yard. Again.’ Because what -can- you do but laugh at such nonsense?) No mention was made, of course, of why Portales also suffers drought conditions like the rest of the area, because after all, those college people (students, professors, and college employees) can’t be trusted — OF COURSE they’re stealing everyone’s hard-earned rain for their own nefarious purposes.

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  7. LOL, I don’t watch Fox news and I’m pretty sure I haven’t been brainwashed. A whole lot of us however, are aware that there’s something very wrong in the country right now. Dismissing us as if we were all stupid, angry, and mean, gets tiresome. It also doesn’t change the fact, that something is really wrong with our country right now.

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    • That something is wrong is obvious. But how you respond to it … well. Do you blame everything on a cabal of liberal media and congress? The president (who is secretly a Muslim) … or possibly aliens — from another galaxy or Mexico? There are normal ways to respond to problems and there are crazy ways. There’s been an awful lot of crazy going on. Weird strange wacko.

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        • Actually, congress is at least partly to blame, but hey, you know? We elected them. So who is really to blame? in the end, WE are to blame. All of us. Looking for a fall guy while believing stuff that is ridiculous and obviously untrue is not going to fix anything. It just makes it worse. Setting everybody at everybody else’s throats is not healthy or sane. I don’t believe anything unless I check to make sure it’s actually true. I don’t believe whatever I read on ANY media. If it sounds too bad or too good to be true, I figure it ISN’T true. What do YOU think?

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        • I should add that living with a reporter does not make me LESS skeptical of media. I know exactly how little and how much I can trust of what I see and hear. Incompetent media is the way it is because news directors believe that’s what we want to hear, want to see. That’s what sells. That’s what I meant when I said Fox News couldn’t get away with actually making stuff up unless people want to believe it. If viewers demand a higher degree of responsibility from media, they will get it. If they want bullshit and lies? They’ll get that too. Want nothing but violence and sex? No problem. If you keep buying the product, they will keep dishing it out. In a big fat nutshell. We get exactly what we deserve.

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    • There -is- something wrong with our country. People who have ‘stopped looking for solutions and only want fuel for their resentment’ (to paraphrase Marilyn) are part what’s wrong — whichever side of whatever issue they happen to be on.

      I did not notice where this post that says people who believe something is wrong with the country are “all stupid, angry, and mean.” Perhaps I missed it? I totally agree that it would get tiresome to hear that all the time, though. (I wrote a long blog post earlier today in response to something -I- got tired of hearing all the time.) All I got from reading this post is that the “lies and innuendo intentionally created to raise the temperature of our national dialogue until no dialogue is possible” are getting in the way of finding solutions to our problems because so many angry people are choosing to believe “rumors and misinformation” instead.

      Liked by 1 person

      • But see, saying that one side is all about lies, innuendo, rumors, and misinformation is the same thing as implying that we are stupid, angry and mean. In fact, the very title of this post is “everyone is angry.”

        There is another possibility, too. It’s possible we are right. When one’s concerns are constantly dismissed as brainwashing and lies, people are bound to get angry.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Read it again. I didn’t say “one side” anywhere. I did specify Fox News and they DO lie. They make stuff up because people will believe anything, no matter how ridiculous and unsubstantiated it is. I’m married to a guy who covered the news and has three Emmys for excellence in reporting. Most of the people we know are or were in the news business. I really do know what I’m talking about.

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        • I’m Marilyn’s other half, the retired TV (and) radio news reporter with 40 years in “the biz”. I’ll be brief (What??). The world is a crazy place. It’s always been a crazy place. The internet and social media have more voices than ever reporting, commenting, analyzing, and offering opinion on all things great and small. Add that to mainstream media and the pot is boiling 24-7.
          There’s a lot of dissension in the U.S. There always has been. I’ll refrain from the “in my day” stuff because that always used to light my fire. I read, listen and watch. I try to stay informed.
          Now, I’m going back to sports and old movies.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Thomas, John Steinbeck is whispering in my head about intolerance and the growing wrath of people who feel disenfranchised.

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  8. Everyone seems to be looking for a scapegoat of some sort or another. It’s easier to point at others and say, “see what they are doing to me,” than it is to point to yourself and say, “see what I’m doing to myself.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • That has always been true, but we appear to be doing it on a national level. You and me, we’ve lived a little and I’ve never seen the country so involved in looking for scapegoats. If I were the USA, I’d be embarrassed when I get together with other nations.

      Liked by 2 people

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