That guy, from like, before.
what my future blogging won't be...
Published on October 9, 2010 By bakerstreet In The Media

People vote against, not for, and making you “against” things is big business.  Politicians, bloggers, cable news celebrities, talk radio egotists, all fit together to create a huge machine whose specific purpose is to make you unhappy, angry, and dissatisfied.  It’s a business model that is as successful as it is backward.

Almost too silly to give a damn about, frankly.  Why do we?  Do you particularly enjoy being unhappy, angry, and dissatisfied?  These are our neighbors, not sword-wielding Visigoths scaling our walls to carry off our daughters, burn our crops, and impale us on large, pointy sticks.  Why do we want see them that way, and why would anyone who loves America want us to?

Because anger is motivation, and passionate motivation en masse is money for people situated to make bank on it.  Americans more and more just want government to function quietly so they can enjoy their lives, and this is bad for people who want support for their agenda.  The agenda in question normally being, well, getting paid to have an agenda.  Not lukewarm support either, they want foaming at the mouth, world-is-going-to-end-tomorrow support, and more importantly lots of cash flowing in from the concerned.

So, Obama can’t just be wrong.  Bush’s ideologies can’t have been just unfortunate.  They each have to be dangerous.  Obama has to be an Islamist/Communist/Radical/Black-power Supporter of Everything Horrifying to Whitebread America.  Bush had to be a War Monger Feasting on Cluster-Bombed Orphans seared Medium-Rare by Coal-Stoked Global Warming.  They’re coming for you, and they won’t be happy until your world looks a like Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”.  You should blog on it.   Now.

This is the way of things in the Middle East.  Oh beloved downtrodden, don’t look at the Arab behind the curtain, keep your mind focused on the evil Zionists and the Great Satan who are really the ones to blame your whole region being stuck in the middle ages.  Arafat died with millions and a house in Paris, all the while begging donations for his starving, angry Palestine.   Hamas and Hezbollah fight as hard as they can to keep those same people starving and angry still.

They at least have the good sense to direct the ire of the ignorant toward another country.  Ask the man on the street in Gaza who the problem is and he’s not going to point at anyone nearby.  Your politicians and cable pundits don’t want you starving, but they certainly want you angry and afraid that you might eventually be, and not because of foreign powers, but because of the guy across the street with the opposing party’s sign in his yard.  We stand bitterly, self-destructively divided because as a two party system we have to focus our angst inward at each other.  Sadly, enemies and competitors around the world sit back happily and let us write their propaganda for them.

For cable “news”, motivation converts to cash even more directly.  They want you to tune in every single night so you won’t miss the newest threat, or to re-arm yourself for tomorrow’s water cooler debate.  Better yet, go straight and blog on them, hard.  Your ire is their advertising.  Odds are your bobblehead of choice picked their politics like Disney picks their prospective poptarts.  Is blonde and bubbly good this year?  Who do you think is angrier, the unwashed D’s or R’s?  Let’s go with R’s and we’ll sell time to Gold Bond Powder and ED drugs.

I used to be angry, but I noticed after a while that anger was the point, the actual winning and losing was unimportant.  The profit is in the struggle, the eternal, mind-numbing struggle.  Your fear and stress and loathing will be televised, and perpetual.  If you waver, if you start feeling better, they’ll find something new to scare and anger you.

I didn’t get enlightened, I got tired.  No one I debated ever changed their minds.  I see the same people from years ago, making the same arguments with different politicians’ names, like an eternal form-letter writing business.  Blogging is the most futile of anger machines, because the effort gets you what, comments?  Pageviews?  At least the real anger machine gets a paycheck.  

It’s just not my thing anymore.  I want to be motivated by what is real, not word-of-mouth supposition of what might befall us if a misrepresented ideal becomes, eventually, reality.  Is Obama a Muslim secretly funding ground zero mosques?  Frankly, I don’t care.  I want my mail on time and the potholes fixed and my daughter’s school to have textbooks.   For that I am looking at the guy behind the curtain, usually the one proposing impotent resolutions  about ground zero mosques.

I, odd as it may seem, don’t want to be unhappy, angry, and dissatisfied any more than I already am.  More than anything I never want to think of anyone else as “them” anymore.  I am getting too old to value rhetoric more than people.  To me, that is the seed of true defeat, like Lincoln said, and shame on people who profit from devising our division.


Comments (Page 1)
on Oct 09, 2010

For the good or the bad of it, emotion is what gets things done.  Apathy gets in the way of getting things done.  Do people who don't care bother voting?  Not until somone gives them a reason to care.  When someone quits caring, they quit voting.

But there is a lot of good in what you have to say here.  Emotion is what gets things done, but only each of us can decide what to feel, and how to respond to it.

Yes, when Prs. Bush said that he knew the McCain Feingold Act was unconstitutional, but passed the buck on to The Supreme Court, I got angry.  Yes, when Prs. Obama tells us that we'll be able to keep our insurance plans and doctors (knowing full well that isnt' part of the plan), I get angry.  Yes, when Pelosi and Reid buy and sell Representatives and Senators with unconstitutional promises and out-and-out bribery, I get angry.

I get angry because I should!  However, it isn't the anger that is the problem, it's what happens next.  Yes, I get angry, and I want to see justice done, but no I don't wish violence or false rumors on them.  They are still human beings and (I believe at least) my brothers and sisters under Our Heavenly Father.  While their actions may deserve our ire, they don't deserve hate.

What's worse, friends quit being friends, neighbors won't talk to each other.  Property is vandalized or stolen; people are attacked.  These are all very innapropriate and destructive uses for the anger.

Righteous indignation motivates people to take good, positive steps.  Hostility just puts people on the defensive, so they wouldn't even admit it if they did agree.

Not sure when you came back Bakerstreet, but welcome!  I don't remember much about the time back when JU was JU... but I do remember enjoying your articles.

on Oct 09, 2010

No matter how up in arms we get by day, political opposities should be able to get together later to enjoy time together. 

on Oct 09, 2010

Welcome back Bakerstreet.

People vote against, not for.

Making you “against” things is big business.

That's true at least in the case of getting Obama elected. It was a vote against the GOP.

I see a lot of anger, as in irritable or mad, out there in the world around us. Even the kids are angry.   

Yes, when Prs. Bush said that he knew the McCain Feingold Act was unconstitutional, but passed the buck on to The Supreme Court, I got angry. Yes, when Prs. Obama tells us that we'll be able to keep our insurance plans and doctors (knowing full well that isnt' part of the plan), I get angry. Yes, when Pelosi and Reid buy and sell Representatives and Senators with unconstitutional promises and out-and-out bribery, I get angry.

Me too.

Anger, in and of itself, is a natural emotion. 

I think Scripture helps us understand something about anger. It tells us "Be angry and sin not. Let not the sun go down on your anger." Our Lord showed holy anger which derives from an upright intention and from pain caused by the infringement of moral precepts when He drove the money changers out from the Temple.

However, it isn't the anger that is the problem, it's what happens next.

Yes, good way of putting it. It's how we handle the anger in subsequent thoughts, words and actions that counts for good or bad.

I, odd as it may seem, don’t want to be unhappy, angry, and dissatisfied any more than I already am. More than anything I never want to think of anyone else as “them” anymore. I am getting too old to value rhetoric more than people.

I'm in the same camp.

So when get an upsurge of anger within us even when we have good reason to be angry, it's best to practice prudence and self control and discretionary silence for a while for it's these moments when we say or do more than we wish.

 

 

on Oct 09, 2010

That you, Baker?  If someone hasn't stolen your nick, great to have you back.

A blog about the futility of blogging.  Kewl.

on Oct 10, 2010

ParaTed2k:  I came back today, actually.  yesterday now, I guess.  I figure there's a way to do this without wading into the ill-tempered fray, and I'll try to find it, again.

re: anger

I dunno, I've never swayed someone to my ideology with anger, and the more angry the less chance, really.  I argued hard, and as far as I know I never changed one person's mind. Anger is more apt to turn someone away from my argument most of the time, I think.  If i can't sway Joe User to my side, I'm not going to woo a fat Senator paid to vote the other way.

I will, however, make a lot of people happy that I am being their viral marketeer at the cost of my peace of mind.  It's a big propaganda game between spoiled children in Washington who probably aren't nearly as concerned with representing us as we are venting their agenda on a blog.   I don't like being used that way, especially when it makes me an unhappy person.

*

Heya Diawa!  And yes, it's me, thanks!

I don't think blogging is futile so much, I'm gonna start blogging again.  I just think feeling unhappy, angry, and dissatisfied defeats any purpose for being here.  Politicians don't care if I am angry, and they aren't going to send a cookie to whoever is arguing against me.

F- them, frankly.  Friendship and a sound stomach are more important to me.

*

Hi Lula!  Nice to see you.

I agree, anger is natural and understandable, but fostering it when it serves no purpose just drives the goodness out of us.  It's far worse when our righteous wrath keeps us distracted from the fact that he ones we DID vote for ignore us just as much as the other side.  I sat and watched Republicans half-heartedly pretend to represent moral ideals for years and years when they had the majority.  What was their excuse?

on Oct 10, 2010

Good news.  JU's the better for your return.

Reason, not anger, is the name of the game... unless there's a reason one's angry... or anger is the reason...

Well, anyway.

on Oct 10, 2010

Sensible discussion is can also be rather boring, which makes the more immediately impacting TV/news story - the foaming at the mouth rabble rouser (of any persuasion) or a nuanced dicussion of all the factors behind a certain issue?

No doubt that the second is the 'better' one but people don't turn on in droves to listen to it. 

This is just an example that I know - I realise that both sides use it.

Clinton was attacked for funding an UN thingy that did family planning that included abortion, that was the headline but the nuanced issue was the it was fund the programme that included it or pull out of the UN.  No matter what your view on the UN is the first makes the better headline and angry comment and a better tag line for a comment section or news exposure

on Oct 10, 2010

I don't believe anger persuades many folks either. Nor does happiness for that matter. These are byproducts of what we feel after accumulating enough snippets to form an opinion on a given issue. IMO it a misconception to thing anger is driving an issue. It may appear that way. People may attribute a cause to anger. There has to be cause to have effect. Anger is an effect.

Example: Two people are in a heated argument as you walk by. Do you get angry? Probably not because it doesn't affect you. OK same two people are arguing. As you walk up you notice that one of those people hit your car and the other noticed he was going to leave the area and confronted him. First thing your brain has to process the issue, what's going on, who did what. The cause. That might lead to your anger, an effect, but it wasn't what occurred first.

Now mob mentality does exist. I've never experienced it myself, because I've never been inclined to do something (riot, protest, etc.) just because someone else is doing it. Apparently some do, but I believe again while it might be attributed to anger, nothing could be farther from the truth. Some will be there for thrills, to loot, a chance to set a car on fire. Sure this is an extreme example, but if one were to ask someone engaged and got an honest answer back, anger probably would be the trigger for their actions. I'm sure a few people in the group were angry (maybe for good reason, but something had to drive them to that point) the other were just "opportunistic" for what ever reason. That's what really persuaded them. 

Politicians feign anger a lot. If an issue has impacted someone personally, they will be angry and most politicians will try to channel that (I feel your pain). IMO even on such an issue most people in turn feign anger when really they are just showing support for or against a policy they like or dislike anyway. It's really a desire to be a part of the support or opposition in some way. IMO desire is the big persuader as it appeals to everyone differently and over a much broader spectrum. 

on Oct 11, 2010

re: anger

I dunno, I've never swayed someone to my ideology with anger, and the more angry the less chance, really. I argued hard, and as far as I know I never changed one person's mind. Anger is more apt to turn someone away from my argument most of the time, I think. If i can't sway Joe User to my side, I'm not going to woo a fat Senator paid to vote the other way.

First, it is good to see you back!

Second, I think you misunderstood Parated's response.  Anger is not going to necessarily change anyone's viewpoint.  it is going to motivate them to action.  Whereas (by conventional wisdom, I have no hard numbers to support this view) part of the Obama victory in 08 was due to lack of enthusiasm for the republican, that is not the case today.  Obama won 52% of the vote, and even today most polls show his support in the mid 40s, so only a 7% decline in 2 years.  However most polls also indicate a massive republican victory.  And the reason is motivation. 

And the motivation may be anger (in keeping with your blog post) or frustration, or fear, or (pick one). But Obama has been very successful in getting his way and the left's agenda in the last 2 years, so they are "fat, dumb and happy" while the conservative side is energized.

The left of 2 years ago are still left. And the right of today was still right 2 years ago.  But now one has a passion to vote and the other does not.

on Oct 11, 2010

I'm so glad to see you Baker!! 

I've wondered about you often...and am glad to see you are still around and kickin.

I think labeling the other side "evil" is the American way, and to some degree human nature.  I think the problem is, in this country children aren't taught it's ok to disagree with someone without making the other person "evil."  Isn't that why we tend to socialize with people who think like we do?

You're blog is about people making money off anger.

What are the odds you surround yourself with such people?  People who make money off anger-mongering are essentially your "them."

But I do agree with you.  It is tiring.  I can't even listen to it anymore. 

Journalism is dead.

on Oct 11, 2010

Bakerstreet!  Great to see you around! 

on Oct 11, 2010

BS writes:

Do you particularly enjoy being unhappy, angry, and dissatisfied?

No, and I'm not 2 out of 3 of these! I'm dissatisfied with government abuse of power.

But you know what I've noticed and Rush Limbaugh makes this point often....LIBERALS go around looking angry and unhappy all the time.  Ever notice that? I have, I really have. And it makes sense becasue what's good about Liberalism? NOTHING.

Americans more and more just want government to function quietly so they can enjoy their lives

What? Obama and the current majority in Congress are governing quietly....very, very quietly...no vetting of his czars, no transparency of his policies, no knowledge of what's in the bill before they signed it into law, etc.

I am dissatisfied with government at all levels becasue law and policy makers all too often make law that doesn't follow the Constitution.

I want government to function constitutionally. The biggest error government made was in 1973, when they found a so called "right" to abortion. Oh man...it's been downhill for us since then.

 

 

 

 

on Oct 11, 2010

I sat and watched Republicans half-heartedly pretend to represent moral ideals for years and years when they had the majority. What was their excuse?

Well, the Republican platform has always been based upon moral ideals, so there is no excuse. I'll call these Republicans RINO's (Maine has two...Collins and Snowe) and the thing is they continue to be voted in term after term. That makes me angry!

 

I agree, anger is natural and understandable, but fostering it when it serves no purpose just drives the goodness out of us.

True. And that's why we must understand anger for what it is and apply it without sinning when we do. But this is within the person...something that comes from the heart. Life is a battle. Better to be a peacemaker than an anger-monger.

 

 

 

on Oct 11, 2010

If you believe anger is bad, check out the microwave brain scanning articles. Now that's scary!

on Oct 12, 2010

I sat and watched Republicans half-heartedly pretend to represent moral ideals for years and years when they had the majority. What was their excuse?

Thanks to Lula for picking up on this.  But to respond to your accurate statement, one has only to look at the political landscape, today, October 12, 2010.  There is a major movement afoot that most everyone has heard about - the Tea Party.  And to date, virtually the ONLY casualties have been republican.  That may change in 3 weeks.  But voters have dumped winning candidates (Castle, Murkowski, Bennet) for what they perceive as more honorable ones.

Perhaps you are not the only one who realizes the republicans of the 90s are not much different from the democrats of any year.  And they just want a choice.

So what is the excuse?  Ask Murkowski, Bennet and Castle.  The one recurring response I heard from the people that support Christine O'Donnell is that "a republican" majority with Castle being 51st is no better than a democrat one.  And that is why they kicked him out.