In which WOOF’s editor in chief, Old Bugler, expresses his up-to-the-minute-if-frustratingly-excursive views on nothing but 100% guaranteed genuine news, mostly in the annoyingly-officious third-person, as befits his station!
OUTRAGE: It Isn’t What it Used to Be!
–Byline: “Old Bugler”
Old Bugler wishes to admit at the outset of this commentary that he is not outraged. He makes this asseveration after an intensive exercise in self scrutiny and feels confident that he is correct. He simultaneously confesses feelings of encroaching isolation, as he witnesses so many of his fellow citizens succumbing to this bleak emotion.
The Wonder Woman crisis…
Take armpit hair, for instance. Apparently, Wonder Woman doesn’t have any, or put more correctly: Gal Godot, the ephemerally significant superstar currently portraying Wonder Woman on the silver screen, doesn’t have any—a detail Old Bugler might have gone the rest of his life without noticing were it not for legions of keen-eyed feminists who deluged the usual media outlets with their declarations of outrage. Even the once-staid FORBES complained that “…Wonder Woman’s armpits… represent the entire struggle with which a modern woman must grapple daily: I am woman, hear me roar, but…let me take away everything I am so I can be everything you want me to be.” Really, FORBES? And this without a hint of sardonicism? Great Hera! (No pun intended.)
Old Bugler frankly and outspokenly doubts the sanity of anyone willing to assert that “the entire struggle with which a modern woman must grapple” is represented by Wonder Woman’s armpits, but he may be underestimating the matter. And besides, somewhat confusingly, an equal number of British Subjects appear to react angrily to hairy armpits, a pair of which were disported on a morning ITV1 show by one Emer O’Toole, a comely Irish “research student” whose appearance appears to have ramified solely from her decision to become “furry and proud of it,” the better to protest “pressure on women to conform to artificial gender norms.” But no sooner had Miss O’Toole displayed her profoundly piliferous pits (glimpsable here, for the stout of heart) than swarms of British viewers declared themselves outraged. Are these viewers not concerned with the tyranny of artificial gender norms?
Perhaps then, Emer O’Toole should play Wonder Woman, and Gal Godot should appear on British morning TV; but hardcore comic book fans would be outraged in either case because alterations made to their heroine’s outfit also seem to provoke outrage. Nowadays, of course, even using the word ‘heroine’ is likely to promote outrage, but Old Burglar doesn’t care. More to the present point, the blog NERVE reports that NBC revised its TV Wonder Woman costume to look “slightly less like a sex outfit…after fan outrage.” And outrage, again, reportedly led to Wonder Woman being stripped of her title as United Nations Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls back in 2016, only two months after her elevation to that status was announced. Old Bugler confesses some concern that the Amazon princess’s feelings were toyed with in so callous a fashion, but that’s the United Nations for you.
Modern outrage is not, of course, restricted to armpits and Wonder Woman. In fact, this reporter has noted that not a day passes without the confection of some new “outrage” by the mainstream media attributable to President Trump’s actions or pronouncements. Also notable is the fact that news readers who report these ostensible enormities seem to forget them by the time they convene to recite Mr. Trump’s newest outrage de jure. How else to account for the fact that such alert looking young ladies and gentlemen (all of whom display an amazing identicality of timing and phraseology no matter what their network affiliations) seem oblivious of how severely their latest allegations conflict with the details of Mr. Trump’s previously reported outrages? But the modern capacity for outrage is not, of course, limited to newscasters, TV viewers, or even feminists.
Language that sort of offends you…..
Readers may have noticed that university students are consistently outraged. So much so that they have begun to describe themselves as outraged when their faculties expect them to maintain acceptable GPAs despite having to devote a majority of their college careers to demonstrating how outraged they are. Old Bugler offers as one example the petition signed by 1,300 young learners at Oberlin College demanding their proctors “get rid of any grade below a C,”owing to the extraordinary amounts of time socially responsible students found necessary to devote to anti-Trump activism. But America’s colleges are not solely outraged by the Donald. No sooner had the University of Maryland declared itself a “sanctuary campus” (meaning it was willing to violate federal and state laws in order to burnish its social-justice image among leftists) than Hispanic students and social-justice devotees in general pronounced themselves “outraged” because when UM’s President Wallace Loh announced the university’s sanctuary status, he had the audacity to deliver part of his remarks in Spanish (which, incidentally, is his native tongue). Students fumed that Loh’s bilingual performance implied that all illegal refugees are Mexican. One outraged scholar explained, “As a student you want to know that your university stands by you and won’t use language that sort of offends you.”
Some days, you just can’t burn a flag!
Muslim students as well as numerous other non-Muslim but equally sensitive students at the University of Missouri were outraged when members of their campus’s Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), , joined together to form the “Missouri University Coalition for those Killed by ISIS” and burned the terrorist organization’s infamous black flag. Meanwhile, outraged students at UC Berkeley rioted upon discovering that Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos planned to address them. So outraged were they, in fact, that the students felt it necessary to set property fires, vandalize buildings, and threaten Mr. Yiannopoulos’s life.
Similarly outraged young scholars at NYU rioted to protest a speech by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes. The conservative McInnes was scheduled to address the campus Young Republicans but was forced off stage, in the event, by outraged social-justice protagonists shouting “Whose campus? Our campus!” which they further emphasized by pepper spraying the unfortunate Mr. McInnes. Seemingly, the Young Republicans at NYU are expected to find another campus, although the rioters were not clear in this regard.
Without wishing to risk boresome elaboration, Old Bugler offers for consideration the outrage expressed by Michiganian environauts following news that Orvana Resources – a subsidiary of Highland Copper – had undertaken to advance that state’s foundering economy through exploratory drilling in the upper peninsula’s Porcupine Mountains; the outrage expressed by the habitually outraged Congressional Black Caucus when Donald Trump waxed so craven as to heap praise upon abolitionist Frederick Douglass (who died in 1895) as someone “who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more,” thereby, apparently, discounting all subsequent achievements by Black people; and the outrage widely expressed by liberals everywhere upon discovering that vice president Pence will not dine alone with women other than his wife—this last outrage being widely cited as disempowering women—although Old Bugler has yet to grasp how.
Why, one might ask oneself, is everyone nowadays outraged? Has the world become qualitatively more outrageous? Your humble editor thinks otherwise. Decades ago, Malcolm Muggeridge warned that advances in media would cause us to perceive these times as unprecedentedly horrific whereas, in fact, our newfound capacity to learn of all calamities everywhere simultaneously merely creates that impression. Viewed in that context, pandemic outrage seems understandable, but also unwarranted. Even psychologists seem slowly to be approaching the realization that outrage is a false flag operation. A peer-reviewed study in the recent edition of Motivation and Emotion finds that “moral outrage at third-party transgressions is sometimes a means of reducing guilt over one’s own moral failings and restoring a moral identity.” Like many of psychology’s most lauded discoveries, it is tempting to file this one under “duh,” except that Old Bugler believes the authors may be letting their subjects off too easily.
In the age of Twitter, the sound bite, and the instantly inferrable microaggression, outrage has become more than what Reason editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown sensibly dismissed as “a function of self-interest, wielded to assuage feelings of personal culpability for societal harms [and] to reinforce…one’s own status as a Very Good Person.” True, outrage often fulfills such functions, nowadays called “virtue signaling,” but its rapidly advancing artificiality as displayed by so many unthinking practitioners of “social justice” reveals still-shallower motives. University students, for instance, are signaling not only virtue, but an unprecedented appetence for being led by the nose by professors and media pundits whose alacritous patsies they become without offering so much as token resistance. True, a leftist establishment whose policy and philosophical failures are indefensible must needs resign itself to the evocation of mass sanctimony as its only viable recourse– but is everyone suddenly so riven with feelings of “personal culpability” as to take the bait? As usual, the mechanisms of liberal ire are less than meet the eye.
A bunch of maroons….
College students pronouncing themselves outraged are merely the less creative, less well-educated descendents of those who scarfed down goldfish during the Roaring Twenties (which today would strike many as outrageous) or stuffed themselves into phone booths during the 1950s, which struck everyone as stupid, even then. Nobody would care that youth’s misguided enthusiasms are nowadays more self important, except that today’s social-justice faddists wreck stuff, burn stuff, hurt people, and demand “safe spaces” when anybody objects. Their knack for demanding things is arguably an inheritance from the radical students of the ‘60s who are now their professors, parents, or grandparents,whereas the critical faculties necessary to challenge the sociological guff their professors trowel out has been denied them by our neutered educational system, allowing radical teachers to cunningly redirect their rebellious impulses toward cutout social constructs that either don’t exist (as in global warming) or that will cringingly absorb even the most insensate criticisms without retaliating (as in corporations) or that only the most conspicuous sort of blockhead would bother himself to give a tinker’s damn about–as, say, the well being of the imperilled East Usambara speckled grasshopper. As Bugs Bunny would say, “What a bunch of maroons.”
Old Bugler exhorts WOOF readers to avoid outrage. It may once have enjoyed a substantive currency, but no longer. The lexical deflation of outrage as a concept is almost entirely ascribable to nounal abuse from the Left, which has left the usage a vapid, debased conceit best met with calm, or, when possible, indifference. For the Right, contemporary outrage is nearly always better met with ridicule than replication. Take the creation of the wonderfully infectious term “snowflakes” to describe these collegial mutton heads, who, as Dr. Domenick J. Maglio forecast in his perspicacious tome Invasion Within, bully us only so long as they are not confronted, and metamorphose into wimps as soon as authentic confrontation is offered. In each instance of media or collegial outrage, let us resolve to respond with laughter, perhaps even jeers, but always with forceful, constructive action into the bargain.
Speak truth to snowflakes…
The worst thing about contemporary outrage, after all, is that it suffices as a sort of action onto itself, relieving the “virtue signaler” of the responsibility of actually doing something useful about whatever he purports to deem outrageous. Waging the fight to re-establish conservative values, views, and governance in the land is therefore both an effective response, and an exploitation of the Left’s most conspicuous weakness: its lack of strategies appealing to anyone outside of the balkanized honeycomb of special interests, brainwashed university children, and manufactured minorities that constitute its post-Obaman base.
Our young American snowflakes and the addlepate generations of deracinated potheads who raised and educated them deserve exposure to alternatives from the Right, not reflections of their own emotionalism and pseudo-moralistic pomposity. Let us offer them truth, criticism, and humor, rather than a mirror image of faux indignation. Cast off the malignant histrionics of the Left, gentle readers. Let us offer a choice, not an echo. Or is that phrase still considered outrageous?