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Angry, Are We?

 
 
Khethil
 
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 05:42 am
Good Morning,

It occurred to me a while back that for so much of the anger and bitterness we see there seems to be a common thread; a 'feel'. We see it all the time, sometimes manifesting itself through racism, political mirth that seems disproportionate or just plain unbridled disatisfaction. You know these people, we see it all the time here; they're just pissed and want to rail. Blame and conspiracies drip off the screen from the words they've typed.

CONTENTION: While the sources of such behavior are no doubt vast, I believe that there is a common factor in many - from those coming from wealthy, industrialized nations. I also believe this to be widespread, and I don't think this is a coincidence.[INDENT]GENERATION-X, ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER, DON'T MAKE ME READ SO DAMNED MUCH-VERSION: While generally angry and bitter folks may have many reasons for being so, much of this stems from the disillusionment that comes from sources of entertainment and advertising. These skew our world; instilling expectations and standards that reality can never match - leading to a generalized demeanor of "something's missing".
[/INDENT][INDENT]LONG VERSION: Examine the apparent common themes in the generalized "angry people" we see and you'll find there's a 'hole' in their lives; almost as if something important's missing or they've been lied to and now just have to 'deal with it'. These personalities usually seem to be chipping at one or two issues but I believe that they issues they caustically gripe about - though perhaps quite legitimate concerns - are moreso that thing they've chosen to hang their hat on, but that the deeper source of such choler is moreso a non-specific disillusionment that comes from the expectations our entertainment sources and advertising have inculcated.

[/INDENT]DETAIL

You know the type - the angriest of angry. Whether chatting across the side yard fence, typing on an internet forum or having drinks with friends these people "know who's at fault", they "know" who's to blame. Please browse the following examples of the mindset I'm describing; these are stated very bluntly and don't necessarily reflect the views of this poster. They are the....

  • Big Brother Coalition: "They're comin! I'm tellin ya! Ever since they faked the moon landing they've been spying on us all! Get your guns ready cuz revolution's comin!"


  • Racists: "Those" people have caused their own problems! Why should I treat someone "special"?! No one treated me special!


  • Liberals: They spend all our money and erode our values, thrusting us into mindless relativeness. These 'huggies' are the death and downfall of us all!


  • "Tax"idermists: It's illegal! These people are stealing our money... I never agreed to this! It's time we put all those bastards under the gun. You ain't taking my money damnit!


  • My Planet Damet: It's all a big conspiracy to take away your rights! There's no 'global warming', air pollution or resource depletion going on! C'mon, let's get real! These liars are all just trying to repress your freedoms; and in the name of fuzzy-huggyness they'll take away ALL our rights!


  • Conservatives: These backwards people just want to toss us back into antiquity and barbarism with their dogma. "Cheney/Satan in '08!"

Some of these issues might very well have legitimate concerns; yet, do you see the hatred, the anger and utterly RAW disdain? Is it a coincidence that so many of these (and other) angry-types come from cultures saturated with titillating ads and utterly-absorbing media? My contention is: I don't think so

APPARENT PSYCHOLOGY

Nope, I hold no qualification as to the specific psychology of the human mind at work here; I can only speak proudly displaying my "School of Hard Knocks; Fan of Humanity" diploma. But - if even for some entertainment value - please follow this line of thinking: Is it coherent? Does it follow? Do you buy it?[INDENT]1. Media (television and movies in particular) are opportunities to 'get away' from reality. The more successful they are in absorbing and enthralling the viewer, the more we like them! Some of the most successful take us on flights of fancy few imaginations could conjure! We sit, dead lumps on a log, mentally consuming it all! Our minds become accustomed to the mantra, "this is happiness!"
[/INDENT][INDENT]2. Advertising is designed; not kind of, not sort of and not by accident, to (1) get your attention -and- (2) entice you to seek happiness through buying their product. The psychology that goes into advertising research is phenomenal! The viewer is purposefully put into a condition of dissatisfaction and this product holds the key!. Think you're aware of all the visual and auditory paths to persuasion? Do you think you're conscious of them all?
[/INDENT][CENTER]Through these avenues we are, from a young age, given expectations of thrills, success and 'happiness' that will NEVER match up to the reality in which we live; enter 'disillusionment' and through its mirth, nonspecific anger.
[/CENTER]

What we're left with is a culture of people looking for 'something more', raging for someone to blame and thirsty to be HAPPY. Yet I don't think it's so much that our existence needs blame, thrills or adjustments. I believe our "bar" has been set too high by the tools of entertainment and advertising. Is it any wonder that we feel dissatisfied? Is anyone surprised that so many of us aren't content with reading books, chatting with a neighbor or enjoying the peace of a simple 'walk'?

All comments, criticisms and other thoughts are welcome.

Thanks

````````````
Notes:

  1. Yes, if any of this holds true I too am subject to its sway. Hell, maybe this rant itself is part-and-parcel to my manifestation of the gulf such things have created.
  2. I once blogged this basic idea; unfortunately I started by busting on Santa - that didn't go too well but the idea is the same. In this example the disillusionment of which I speak was moreso attributed to fantasies given to children (link here)
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,008 • Replies: 31
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xris
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 05:54 am
@Khethil,
Hows the no smoking going..sorry to be flippant, you just reminded me.
thysin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 06:05 am
@Khethil,
Very interesting, makes a lot of sense to me. Living in a society that constantly tells you that what you have isn't enough or that we could have it so much better definitely makes it harder to enjoy the simple things...because really...you could have a 50 inch plasma with surround sound and be watching other people have so much damn fun, how can you replace that with a book?!?? Wink
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 06:06 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Hows the no smoking going..sorry to be flippant, you just reminded me.


Haha, no problem. A bit rough... two shots and twice fallen. But we're not giving up the progress we've made and are down to half of what we were smoking before. This is a nasty mean addiction and apparently the psychological factor is the one with BIG teeth.

Thanks for askin Smile

---------- Post added at 08:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:06 AM ----------

Still though, what do you think of the above?

Kids being babysat by DVD players, advertisements teaching our young from the earliest of ages, toys that think and bleep are slick and won't EVER represent anything from reality. Is it any wonder so many of us are angry, petulant and dissatisfied?

This stuff gets pumped into our heads young; VERY young, skewing our entire take on what 'life is'. I think this goes deep... VERY deep.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 12:56 pm
@Khethil,
OK this won't hold up to any real logical scrutiny but I have to say it because i have been thinking on the same subject recently.

Humanity in general has a need for the Sublime, and there has always been a void in our souls/psyches/whatever that we try to fill with the Sublimated object. The problem being that the sublime is subjective/subject, it is Us or at least already within or part of us.

In the past the sublimimated object has been institutionalized, Patronized Art/ High Culture/ Religion/ Etc... One of the problems with 'Equality' as is being practiced, is the stripping away of the institutionally sublimated object, as this object requires an 'elite' class to exist. One may say it is a true search for the sublime i.e. God/Spirit or one may say it is a natural tendency for upward mobility, who knows, it may be both.

In the modern quickly 'equalizing' world the lack of the institutionally sublime has created a vacuum where the void is no longer filled but we are desperatly trying to fill it with whatever we can. The western prosperity has made even the most mundane of things into simulacra of high art, higher education is offered to all, which brings traditionally 'uncultured' people into 'high cultured' circles etc... The whole time this sort of thing is being championed as "Equality' or "no one is inherantly better than me so we must level everything". This in itself is not a bad thing,although it does create its own set of problems, but it magnifies the feeling of the void making people feel more unwhole. That feeling trys to fill the void with the only thing left to them an ideology of 'equality' which only serves to broaden the void by eliminating or at least trivializing the sublimated object.

The ideology of equality however may be the first step to mass realization that the sublime is withing the subject. Maybe by forcing the void to be so large it cannot be ignored will force an internally sublime seeking culture, which would then create a truely equal outward culture. But I really don't believe it will, I'm too pessimistic lol.
0 Replies
 
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 08:46 pm
@Khethil,
Something more. Hopes and dreams maybe. Contentment. Hard to come by for some folks. Depends on their circumstance. I don't think there is anything wrong with hopes and dreams. If they do not come to pass, well, at least you had a fantasy.
0 Replies
 
Yogi DMT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 09:17 pm
@Khethil,
This is an interesting post. I'll have to take some time and think, and then i'll post my thoughts about the subject.
0 Replies
 
Bones-O
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 08:13 am
@Khethil,
Khethil, you know from past threads I'm with you on the anti-advertising, anti-television campaign trail, but here I'm not seeing the correlation. For a start, do you think racism, political tribe mentality and paranoia chronologically followed TV and advertising? Surely not! Perhaps the particular nature of what people get angry about is influenced by media, but people have been hating each other for a looooong time.

Most of your examples are of some level of us-and-them-ism. If you separate a group of people arbitrarily into two different groups with different names, hatred will follow. This much can be seen in the Rwanda genocides and the experiment that was the inspiration for that film... uh... The Experiment (or Das Experiment), not to mention Catholic vs Protestant thuggery in Northern Ireland, gang culture, political partisanship and, the extreme cases, road rage (where people can be separated into 'those in your car' and 'f***ing b***rds!!!') and its pedestrian form: budgkinson's disease (you know, when you're in a rush to get from one shop to another and every git on the street is determined to ensure YOU have to dodge around THEM).

All of this was illustrated and nicely parodied in Monty Python's Life of Brian ("If there's one thing we hate more than the Romans, it's the Judean People's Front"). Simply to belong to an identifiable group is enough to be angry. I believe a certain element of this is a hangover from tribal days. Another has to do with identity. People are very quick to adopt positions that will identify them, and very upset by anything that confronts or undermines that identity.

But, yes, people are also angered when reality falls short of their ideals. This arises from caring too much about unimportant things. Long-tempered people are those who appraise things that go wrong as mostly unimportant in the scheme of things. Short-tempered people act like everything is of crucial importance. Again, media can influence what people find important, but this state would hold in a media-free environment.
Yogi DMT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 01:58 pm
@Khethil,
I think this post is accurate, and living in this generation myself, i really can see this. The thing is, generation after generation people change, societies change, lifestyles change and sometimes for the better sometime for the worse. In our society today is induces much anger due to the causes listed in the thread no doubt but whose to say that this was true for generations past only to have the circumstances and anger-triggering ideas accustomed to that period in time. Is this just human nature and up until now we have't analyzed it or maybe now we seems to exhibit the anger is a more open fashion i'm not sure. I'm just trying to figure where did it all go wrong?
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 03:15 pm
@Bones-O,
Hey Bones,

Bones-O! wrote:
... For a start, do you think racism, political tribe mentality and paranoia chronologically followed TV and advertising? Surely not! Perhaps the particular nature of what people get angry about is influenced by media, but people have been hating each other for a looooong time.


No, this isn't what I'm saying at all. Yes, all the negative issues I spoke of have their own genesis; their own specific manifestations, causes and the like. What I'm suggesting is this: Much of the non-descript hatred we experience on a regular basis is made so much the worse, so much the more vitriolic because of a perpetual feeling of dissatisfaction with life in general a lot of us have. [INDENT]I'm suggesting that a primary source of this "always looking for something", "never really happy" and "never really fulfilled" feeling so many angry people have is because they've had inculcated expectations for life that are unrealistic (form the general media) or have been intentionally placed there as a result of advertising efforts.
[/INDENT]Think about it. There's no TV show, no fantastic adventure, no science fiction utopia, no portrayal of the mystical that doesn't show you a life, a feeling or an adventure that you'll never, ever feel! Advertising is even worse; its effectiveness lies in (1) Creating a need within the consumer -and- (2) Showing the consumer that <this> product will fulfill that need. We're *MADE* needy.

Now translate that to the overall psyche: How might this perpetual dissatisfaction be manifest? Bitter people? Angry people? People who rail in disproportionate ways on issues that are hot-beds? This connection is what I'm suggesting - not that these create these problems (as you pointed out, they exist elsewhere with their own causes and their own exaggeration). But for my culture, I think that much of the caustic divisiveness that's created is a product of perpetually disatisfied, disillusioned people.

Hope that helps clarify.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 03:24 pm
@Khethil,
I understand.Driving a little oldish car i have a constant battle with my desire not to have anything bigger and newer and having to look up at what appears smug and dominating drivers of large shiny newer than new armoured vehicles.
It appears that vehicles have become a sign of credibility rather than a form of transport and our whole society seem to be encouraged to desire not require.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 03:32 pm
@xris,
You are just noticing this? I mean really how much more status phallic can you get than a vehicle named The Hummer.
0 Replies
 
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 03:49 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
I understand.Driving a little oldish car i have a constant battle with my desire not to have anything bigger and newer and having to look up at what appears smug and dominating drivers of large shiny newer than new armoured vehicles.
It appears that vehicles have become a sign of credibility rather than a form of transport and our whole society seem to be encouraged to desire not require.
Nothin wrong with drivin an old beater Xris. At least you can work on them. I like my old truck. At a full service station, I have to tell the attendent to fill er up with oil and check the gas.
0 Replies
 
Bones-O
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 05:08 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
Hey Bones,

No, this isn't what I'm saying at all. Yes, all the negative issues I spoke of have their own genesis; their own specific manifestations, causes and the like. What I'm suggesting is this: Much of the non-descript hatred we experience on a regular basis is made so much the worse, so much the more vitriolic because of a perpetual feeling of dissatisfaction with life in general a lot of us have.
[INDENT]I'm suggesting that a primary source of this "always looking for something", "never really happy" and "never really fulfilled" feeling so many angry people have is because they've had inculcated expectations for life that are unrealistic (form the general media) or have been intentionally placed there as a result of advertising efforts.
[/INDENT]Think about it. There's no TV show, no fantastic adventure, no science fiction utopia, no portrayal of the mystical that doesn't show you a life, a feeling or an adventure that you'll never, ever feel! Advertising is even worse; its effectiveness lies in (1) Creating a need within the consumer -and- (2) Showing the consumer that <this> product will fulfill that need. We're *MADE* needy.

Now translate that to the overall psyche: How might this perpetual dissatisfaction be manifest? Bitter people? Angry people? People who rail in disproportionate ways on issues that are hot-beds? This connection is what I'm suggesting - not that these create these problems (as you pointed out, they exist elsewhere with their own causes and their own exaggeration). But for my culture, I think that much of the caustic divisiveness that's created is a product of perpetually disatisfied, disillusioned people.

Hope that helps clarify.


Sure, thanks. Yes, it does exacerbate the problem. I think the examples you cited weren't perhaps the most illustrative because they're so tied to other things. I get what you mean, though. People do react angrily when reality falls short of their expectations, but in my experience this is often sourced from a more fundamental and very immature petulence rather than actual misinformation. Disappointment due to, say, advertising may well be a manifestation of this, but if it's not one thing it's another. Anger is a violent response. We are, on the whole, a less violent people than we were. And you have to look at the net effect of media in this respect: people learn a lot of tolerance through knowledge, and most people's knowledge of such things comes from TV and cinema, sad to say.

If I were to pick a medium that I think really does incite hatred, I would point the finger at the tabloid press, which seems to exist solely to encite rage.
0 Replies
 
salima
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 08:37 pm
@Khethil,
hi-
living in a society as i do where there are still people who have never seen television or advertising, as far as rage and envy are concerned, i think we are dealing with a part of human nature, limbic though it may be.

i see the demise of television in the future, and radios and newspapers. these days the internet is fast becoming the new common denominator. it will sooner or later permeate every society on this planet, which i see as a good thing. what does anyone think will be the influence on these issues and situations?

as a start, i know there are also groups who get together with common interests, and a lot of them are anger. i dont go there and i may not be aware of how widespread and menacing it really is. i tend to focus on the idea that knowledge is now available, all you have to do is identify and consider the source and that there is very little that can be hidden any more. to me that is a good thing. i also realize that the tabloid sort of drivel is available on the internet.

anger comes out of fear, doesnt it? people who feel insecure are always afraid. it is a basic psychological problem to human nature, though i am oversimplifying. could we possibly become less afraid in the future due to the influence of the internet, making all things known and available to all people?
0 Replies
 
Ultracrepidarian
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 09:40 pm
@Khethil,
Television. I'm about to turn on the TV. What can I expect to find? News, sports, situation comedies, crime dramas, a few movie channels, the history channel, animal planet... what else? The sci fi channel. I almost never watch it because the programming is what I would call bad. When I think of what is on TV, most of it is boring. My mind drifts away during commercials, if it hasn't already. There are ads with extremely happy people trying on new pants or what-have-you. Car commercials are boring, there is usually something telling you about what is going to be on TV next week, and a surprizing percentage of the time I can't figure out what it is the advertisements are advertising for.

Movies. I think a lot of movies set the bar too high and teach kids that they have a "right" to expect a wonderful world of excitement and amazing events. Disney movies are good examples of this. And Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts. There is an unrealistic Cinderella story.
William
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 09:46 pm
@Khethil,
Good post, my friend,

That boob tube that has invaded our inner-sanctum we call our home has but one purpose-brainwashing. In that we can't find that satisfaction which will bring us happiness in the "real world" we are content to live our lives vicariously through what those who choreograph those images deem will satisfy our discontent. It's all an illusion allowing us to live in a dream world. Here are a couple of interesting tidbits.

How Television Controls And Programs Minds

BRAINWASHING

Nuff said,
William
0 Replies
 
Yogi DMT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 09:48 pm
@Khethil,
"Eye on the TV
'cause tragedy thrills me
Whatever flavor it happens to be "

People like violence, violence sells, news buys into that mentaility, everyone becomes desensitized and cold in thened that is unless you decided to be unafflicted by all the non-sense that is aired on the amjor TV channels. I think our country has gotten to such a sad and pathetic state that most of our informatives only cover, death, kidnapping, crimes, disgusting stories, and so on instead of the actual worldly matter that are far more important that knowing a family dies today and burning fire. Not that i'm ok with that it's just that many people die each, most of them we are not even remotely close to, if we supposed to care about every single death, our life would be consumed and plagued with the focus on issues that we can not benefit from, we must move on and focus on subjects that will matter in our lives.
Ultracrepidarian
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 10:29 pm
@Yogi DMT,
I totally agree. We breathe the stories about the train collisions, and the missing children. Hours upon hours of images leak from the TV set and give us something to cope with - something which externally parallels the horror we are paralyzed by internally - the result of our daily, random, violent urban routines. When we are satisfied that the world is as terrible place as we feel it to be, we turn to the Game Show Network, where Vanna White is still placidly turning over letters, and overly enthusiastic, deeply frustrated people entertain us by spinning a glittering wheel marked with fabulous dream vacations. Of course, even all this is too unbelievable and so we have the black bankrupt on the wheel, and if you happen to land there - tough luck - here's a pat on the back and better luck next time. "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" That show takes itself so seriously, the dark studio, the funny sounds, as if wanting a million bucks was enough. Even the always chipper Reggis makes himself tiresome with the eternally repetitive query, "Is that your final answer?". Reality Shows, what mockery! I hardly have the stomach for discussing those. They are like Soap Operas, only the acting and dialogue are much worse and the story is never believable. Figure in the Jerry Springer-esque quality of so many of them which feature school yard fist fights between beings that physically appear to be adults, but display the maturity of the likes of Beavis and -shudder-.

Anyway, TV, ain't it great?

---------- Post added at 11:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:29 PM ----------

A few shows I'm enjoying these days - Life, Dollhouse, Lie to Me, Better Off Ted, um, and Gary Unmarried. How about everyone else?
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 04:05 am
@Ultracrepidarian,
---------- Post added at 05:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:05 AM ----------

Ultracrepidarian wrote:

Movies. I think a lot of movies set the bar too high and teach kids that they have a "right" to expect a wonderful world of excitement and amazing events. Disney movies are good examples of this. And Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts. There is an unrealistic Cinderella story.

Hollywood changed the ending of Pretty Woman, in the original story/script the character Gere plays does not turn up on her doorstep at the end of the film and whisk her away to happy ever after and the character Julia Roberts plays goes back to being a working girl and the story ends there, which is a bit closer to reallty then what hollywood did with it. At the time that movie was relaesed i was doing youth work and i was really angry with that film because all the young girls had watched it and they actually wanted to be working girls when they grew up because i suppose they thought they would get a happy ending just like the movie, i tell you that made me angry.
 

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