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AdLib On January - 8 - 2013

angry

All this time scientists thought that the primary cause of climate change was the use of fossil fuels but thanks to a study from The Klounkar Group, we now know that the excessive use of outrage in our society has now taken over as the number one source of pollution that is harming our planet.

Emissions from outrage have been measured for some time and the big spike we’ve seen in the last ten years corresponds identically with the spike in the use of fossil fuels, CO2 emissions and climate change events. Just the emissions of Fox News alone were enough to cause several disasters including Hurricane Sandy and The Republican Presidential Drought.

24 hour cable news in general has been identified as one of the biggest industries for outrage pollution. The amount of CO2 expelled from the outraged shouting of Ed Schultz, Sean Hannity, Al Sharpton, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh has been measured to be greater than 10,000 cows burping out a rendition of, “Camptown Races” every minute for an entire year (and some claim not to be able to tell them apart). Yep, scientists have actually calculated that…aren’t they clever!

The cold and getting colder each year fact is that outrage is harming our planet and we need to get it under control before it’s too late. For example, here’s a recent out of control spill of outrage over gun control that poured out of the broken sewage pipe known to some as Alex Jones:

The media may feel that there is no substitute fuel they could use to power their businesses other than outrage but there are indeed alternative fuels out there such as “investigative reporting” and “focusing on more than three news stories per day”. Such choices have proven to be successful in many other places in the world and could work here in the US…but the problem is that even the suggestion of the media steering away from outrage…generates outrage. It’s a vicious cycle, or an outrage cycle, the news cycle that is.

And in our politics, the addiction to outrage pollutes not just directly but indirectly and causes destruction across a wide range of areas. Whether it’s reducing and reversing climate change, improving jobs and the economy, even keeping the government running and functioning, outrage pollution clouds the minds of far too many politicians.

Some people say that it’s too late, that there’s nothing we can do, it’s gone too far for our efforts to make a difference. Others say that we can work now to minimize the pollution that comes from outrage and limit the long term harm…which outrages those who say it’s too late so they attack those who want to try to reduce it who respond in outrage and things just get worse from there.

Until we develop a technology to allow us to burn outrage without it polluting everything, the responsibility is on us to find a way to run our country using less and less outrage and instead using a renewable alternative like “thoughtful conversations” and “coming together to solve problems” (approaches that may seem very futuristic but we do have the know-how to make them a reality). If we could succeed at this, we would reduce these harmful emissions and have a healthier planet and society. If we can’t, it would be an outrage.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

15 Responses so far.

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  1. escribacat says:

    Hi Adlib, Another great essay! Outrage is a drug and the media are the pushers. It’s an easy drug to manufacture too — just pick these facts, ignore those facts and throw in a few loaded adjectives. This is an issue near and dear to my heart. Over the years I’ve been guilty of using political outrage as a way of avoiding the crap in my own life. I’m not saying that political outrage is always a bad thing — it changes the world at the right place and right time. But it can also be damaging to those who are addicted. I’m talking about my own political extremism as a college kid. I cringe to remember how I actually celebrated when Reagan was shot, I hated the guy so much. Years later, I backed off from politics because I needed to do personal work and I discovered my political outrage had become a huge smokescreen or distraction. I had been funneling all my personal rage into political rage — where it was much more acceptable to express it. I think this experience is why I have since tried to moderate my politics and now admire those who hunt for compromise with all interested parties (the rational ones anyway) rather than those who stick to rigid ideologies on the left. Anyway, it’s a fascinating topic — and you’re still funny!

    • kesmarn says:

      e’cat, so good to see you here.

      That’s a very interesting concept — the idea of political outrage as a mask/channel for the expression of personal outrage (which would be viewed as less acceptable).

      Certainly makes you wonder what’s really going on with people like Limbaugh and Alex Jones.

      I have a good friend who raised the same issue many years ago. Whenever there’s a sort of “super-sized” reaction to anything — excessive fury, tears, whatever — the question to be asked is: “what am I really reacting to here? Besides the obvious?”

      Unfortunately the RW engages in so little self-examination, it’s a question they seldom ask.

  2. SallyT says:

    Alex Jones is a nut but he is walking, talking, and yelling proof why there should be gun control! HE HAS GUNS!!!! That is scary!

    • AdLib says:

      So true Sally and I think that he is the best advertisement for gun control, he does indeed make the case for gun control better than any advocate could, “America, we are paranoid lunatics who obsess about using our guns in a takeover of America! Why shouldn’t you want us to have more guns?!”

      • SallyT says:

        AdLib, I have a great cartoon for Sunday that covers this nut. You are going to enjoy it!

        He is one guy that should have his guns taken away! If we try, according to him, 1776 Revolution will rise again. Dah, stupid, you won’t be fighting a government across an ocean from you that only has ships with sails to get to you! And, I don’t think the French are going to fund your revolution, lend their navy and troops to aid you. Let alone the weapons our troops have available to them. Do these dorks even know the Revolutionary War?

  3. Kalima says:

    I suppose this is where the term “old farts” came from.

    Great and fun post AdLib, I had seen the Jones video and left it on MB this morning, the man is a menace. I was expecting him to start stabbing his finger in Morgan’s chest, he needs to be medicated. Yes, faux outrage is a pain in the rear, it has become so tiring. I don’t turn on my TV to watch some hothead screaming like a banshee and usually will turn it off, but Alex Jones had to be seen to be believed, and this was like watching a volcano exploding just a few feet away. The man is certifiably insane.

    ‘Armed Mafia Are Stalking Us’—Conspiracy Peddler Alex Jones Melts Down

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/08/armed-mafia-are-stalking-us-conspiracy-peddler-alex-jones-melts-down.html

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Kalima, I don’t know if he is insane as much as sociopathically greedy. I think he performs this maniacal act for ratings and money but pretending to be someone who is advocating the destruction of society and America and being that person doesn’t make much of a difference.

      In the end, as the GOP learned, putting lunatics in the spotlight doesn’t convince more people to join your cause, it alienates and activates them to oppose it.

      I think the public is only pushed more to gun control after seeing Jones frothing.

      • Kalima says:

        Hi AdLib, you could be right about the fact that he could be pretending, but he seems far too dumb to keep up his act to me. Not that is matters to the majority of people who would probably just turn him off on their tv or radio. This right wing nuttiness is rampant in the U. K. too since the Tories got in, and because of it and Cameron’s incompetence, polling results are way down for the party of greed and nastiness. The idiom “What goes around comes around” seems perfect for what is happening as a consequence of extreme right wing views in many countries now, as the ranting and raving fringe groups only succeed in putting even more people off. More and more politicians realize that they have to speak out against these extremists if they want to be re-elected, it’s about time the Republicans did too. Sticking to previous policies they just continue to look very insidious.

  4. kesmarn says:

    It’s outrageous, isn’t it AdLib? :wink:

    I actually hadn’t seen the Piers Morgan interview until I read your article and after I did, I was — for once — speechless.

    Alex Jones is a complete lunatic.

    There’s no other way to put it.

    The only hopeful spin I can put on the whole situation is to say that I’m sensing (well, maybe praying is the more accurate word) that the American public is starting to wake up and get tired of this stuff.

    Shouting out “You lie!” certainly didn’t impress too many Americans (outside of Joe Wilson’s own redneck district) as evidence of Wilson’s class and intelligence.

    Calling Sandra Fluke a slut lost Rush Limbaugh some ad revenue at least.

    And filibustering himself right there in front of everybody hardly enhanced Mitch McConnell’s aura of gravitas.

    The Tea Party’s numbers are way down. I think only something like 8% of the population identify as T-Partiers.

    I’m hoping that the era of simply shouting non-stop — while both inhaling and exhaling — to get your way is on the way out. It shouldn’t work for 2 year olds and it really shouldn’t work with the big boys and girls in Congress and in the media.

    One thing that I have wondered about is whether this outrage is real or is it theater? Alex Jones certainly gives a tremendous, highly accurate impression of a paranoid schizophrenic. But is he only a good actor? Is Rush Limbaugh really psychotic? Or is he merely playing one for ratings?

    Either way, they all need to go away.

    And they need to give the hot air production industry back to its rightful owners. The cows.


    • AdLib says:

      Kes, that’s a very good question, is Jones in the outrage business and just pedaling his wares instead of honestly expressing himself?

      My feeling is that he is like Beck, a con artist towards his fans, reflecting back their lunacy in a magnified way while buying into his own self-righteousness because it feels so good. Whether it’s genuine or not, he does reflect genuine nut jobs on the far right.

      The outrage industry is so destructive but very lucrative…and for some reason, most attractive to those who at least come off with lesser intelligence…though maybe that’s part of the act since the fans of outrage love to see others in the media as frothing at the mouth and thick as mud as they are.

      BTW, my daughter loved, “I Am Cow” as I did!

      • kesmarn says:

        AdLib, I’m glad you and your daughter enjoyed “I Am Cow.” I thought it might appeal especially to the elementary school viewer — which puts it many years above and beyond Alex Jones’ audience.

        Like you, I think there’s a strong element of con artistry in Jones and Beck (probably Limbaugh, too). My son’s theory is that they privately despise their audiences — hold them in total contempt. Which may well be true.

        But that doesn’t stop them from craving the attention of that audience and having a strong willingness to lighten their wallets for them.

        The other day I was in the grocery store and — granted it’s just after the stressful holiday period — but I could hardly believe the level of free-floating hostility in the air. Parents were snapping at kids. Spouses were bickering with each other. Clerks were surly.

        I don’t think people want to feel this way. But they seem to be par-boiled in this simmering stew of outrage much of the time. It’s so ubiquitous that they seem barely aware of it on a conscious level.

        But you sure have to wonder what it’s doing to them subconsciously, don’t you?

    • Hey kes! Last night I watched a documentary that Rachel Maddow did a few years ago, about Timothy McVeigh. He too was a 2nd amendment schitzo.

      Part of the doc included gun shows, and just about every gun show they filmed had books and books on survivalist training, the extremely anti-government “Turner Diaries,” which was almost a bible to McVeigh and many of those like him. These shows had flags of the coiled snake with “Don’t Tread On Me,” and a slew of anti government pamphlets and literature.

      Unfortunately, guys like Alex Jones are for real. They really believe all that paranoid crap that they spew. They are fully indoctrinated in this madness, and I truly believe that people like Jones are truly suffering from some sort of mental illness.

      These people are dangerous. They’re a danger to our society and a danger to our rule of law. They act just like Jones did on Morgan’s show and try to silence or shout down anybody who disagrees with them. They’ll rant and rave for hours about their constitutional rights (2nd amendment) all the while trying to deny the constitutional rights (1st amendment) of others. There is something seriously wrong with these gun nuts.

      • kesmarn says:

        KT, I agree. There ought to be an official diagnosis of whatever drives these gun nuts to behave the way they do. It’s really a disorder of some kind.

        Also — and I know we’ve talked about this on the Planet before — they seem to be very much in the neo-Confederate head. If not consciously, then surely subconsciously.

        They seem to crave a divided nation. They’re chronically in the “us vs. them” mode. They’re driven by what looks like a painful level of fear and rage.

        It amazes me that people like Jones claim to be Christians (and he does). Because they don’t seem to believe in a God who has promised to care for them like the lilies of the field or the birds of the air.

        They put all their faith in guns.

  5. Ha, another keeper Ad. The line about cows burping out the tune Camp Town Races had me laughing out loud.

    I had just finished watching the Piers Morgan video on Yahoo, and it was everything I expected. It really brought the Looney Tunes out of the woodwork. WOO WOO!

    Conspiracy theories of all shapes and colors.



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