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.
: 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".
: 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.
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
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
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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)