Mass Shootings and Fake Outrage

One of most peculiar and predictable rituals after mass shootings, such the recent Aurora event, is a public outpouring of “grief” and “outrage” over the event. Such public displays of “grief” and “outrage” have become more widespread in the internet era, especially now that almost every person has a presence on multiple social media sites, blogs, bulletin boards and Reddit. I however find such spontaneous displays of “grief”, “outrage” to be disconcertingly similar to the 2-minute hate in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

I am certainly not the first person to notice that such public displays of “grief” and “outrage” have no proportion to the scale of a tragedy or the magnitude of a crime.

Why don’t we hear similar, let alone proportionate, levels of emotions about the victims of the so-called war on drugs? I have not seen many aging and impotent white suburbanites get all worked up about innocent people killed in raids to enforce drug prohibition. Ever heard those same hypocrites express any concern about the tens of thousands who have been tortured and killed since 2006 in the american-funded Mexican drug war? What about the casualties and impact of the ‘war against drugs’ in Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s? The best evidence of this failed ‘war’ is that the quality of coke has gone up and its cost has gone down. But “good” Americans still support a failed policy that causes far more suffering and death than some guy shooting up a theater in Colorado. Then there is the issue of increased militarization and lack of accountability of police in the USA. I did not read about such public outrage at the brutal police handling of nonviolent occupy wall street protests. If anything, I heard lots of talk by old decaying whites about neo-hippies, lazy youngsters and hipsters. People of the CONservative and LIEbertarian persuasion were almost cheering on cops in body armour beating up and pepper-spraying peaceful demonstrators and old women.

I have not heard much outrage about the hundreds of thousands of innocent people and children who were killed in Vietnam in the 1960s or Iraq in the early 2000s. Heck, most of the guys who did those things got medals and promotions for ‘doing their duty’ because it takes real courage and patriotism to go into some poor country which cannot threaten you and kill scores of people for an objective that nobody understands. The same can be said for those who fly drones over Afghanistan and accidentally kill those who just happen to be the wrong place at the wrong time. It takes real moral fiber and good old-fashioned american values to play video games which kill people while sipping on a 64 oz Slurpee after eating a cheese laden pizza in an air-conditioned room. But most people consider such people to be real patriots and heroes.

I could go on and talk about issues such as race based differential rates of arrest and sentencing. I could write many posts about the unnecessary suffering and death inflicted upon millions by money hungry and narcissistic physicians and for-profit healthcare. I could write books about how the lives of millions are destroyed by short-sighted corporate policies, stupid and greedy bosses and socioeconomic beliefs that have no relation to human needs and desires. But guess what.. very few people express disapproval let alone grief, anger and outrage at such egregious abuses which screw over and end the lives of millions of innocent people.

But then they get all angry, sad, lynch-mobby and outraged when some guy kills 12 people in a movie theater.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Rum
    August 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    “Commanders must make the sacrifice of overcoming their personal scruples.” Instructions to the German Army before the invasion of Russia,
    See, that is how its done. You, AD, are just unwilling to sacrifice your own selfishly hoarded personal scruples.

  2. P Ray
    August 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Maybe they are channeling Subotai from Conan The Barbarian:
    Subotai: He is Conan, Cimmerian, he won’t cry, so I cry for him.

    Or it may simply be … they cry to “fit in” with others. “Mirroring” an emotional state is a good way for people to gain all the benefits of knowing someone/others for a long time … without actually having previously acted in a way that deserves those benefits after.

  3. August 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm
    • P Ray
      August 2, 2012 at 12:36 am

      Why don’t those people live up to their name … and role-reboot where women die for men?
      Since men in the past practiced chivalry, and women now say they are standing up for all the women in the past,
      men of today can ask women of today to step up and die for the men of the future (since the men in the past took a bullet for them).

    • P Ray
      August 2, 2012 at 12:39 am

      Oh whoops, just read that the author is Hugo Schwyzer, a teacher who sleeps with his students and cuckolded another man through his wife.
      So that’s what a male feminist is like!

      • August 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

        don’t forget, Skeezer almost killed an ex-gf (and himself) in a drug fueled rage when he attempted suicide for two–and all those feminist talks about consent–I guess if you are a male feminist it is implied consent that someone wants to die with you even though they said no such thing-AS IN NOT….

        yup, listening to this guy is like listening to david futrele for advice on diet and excersize–insert flashing sarcasm button here….

  4. hans
    August 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    From time to time the sheep need to be led to a different pasture.

    Sometimes the shearing isn´t far off then. Or in our case the slaughtering.

  5. Captain Kirk
    August 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    The tabloid media (i.e. the media) and “Indignation Porn.” You’re right about the two minute hate (or grief) thing, it’s on my mind a lot when I see the news. My first major experience with this phenomenon was when Princess Diana died when I was about 18.

  6. P Ray
    September 14, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Speaking of outrage…
    I want to see some rioting from people not getting the chance to practice their “mad metzitzah b’peh skillz”

  7. April 14, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I am instantly reminded of when Columbine High School happened sometime in 1999. White kids kill eachother and go on rampages, people go on outrages, Oprah starts crying her eyes out, parents, teachers, politicians and Conservatives complain about teenagers playing violent video games and watching “Scarface” and people want to cry “Gun control!” However, shit like Columbine has happened in the black community since the 1980s. No public outcry, no demands for gun control or none of that shit.

    I guess it just depends on who’s getting shot and killed, that’s all.

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