Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Let's hear it for divisive vitriol!

No it doesn't work. You think
it does, but you are wrong.
Did you know that there's a fifty percent chance that we hate each other? Statistically, I mean. I'm not saying I have anything against you personally, I'm just saying that we, as in Americans, are hopelessly and irretrievably polarized along philosophical grounds with half of us being a gigantic drum circle full of socialist vegan hippies with far too much faith in the odor-fighting power of Tom's of Maine, and the other half a gigantic NRA meeting full of Confederate flag-waving, homophobic white supremacists.

"Boooo diversity! Boooo!"
Apparently our divisive political atmosphere is one of the reasons we're all so angry, at least according to this article from BBC News entitled "Why are Americans so angry?" In it the author, Vanessa Barford, cites a series of polls that suggest that along with out political disunity, the economy, our place on the world stage and straight-up racism are all reasons we've become an embittered rage-fest of a nation more interested in picking sides and rabidly defending our worldviews than just getting along and being decent to one another.

J.J. Abrams on the set of Star Wars
Episode VII at Pinewood Studios
near London, Engla-god damnit...
I'm not saying there aren't plenty of things to be angry about. Violence, income inequality and did you hear that someone is remaking Rocky Horror Picture Show? Holy shit, right? But there are good things about America too. Things we can all get behind, like the internet. We invented that. And uh...Star Wars? That was pretty good, right? And hey, we landed on the moon, remember? Yeah, ok, it was almost fifty years ago and we're still living off the accomplishment like some ex-high school quarterback who scored that game-winning touchdown, but still, the moon...

Jazz and hate-filled vitriol:
America's only original art forms.
Look, there's some pretty heinous and politically-motivated crazy being hurled around right now, and it's only going to get worse as the election cycle wears on. But every time some misogynistic, racist, anti-gay, anti-Muslim comment that flies out of someones mouth-ok, usually out of a Republican's mouth-there's someone else with an opposing view there to argue with them. We didn't all just nod and agree with Donald Trump said he was Batman or when that asshole in Missouri compared gay marriage to 9/11, we called them out.

Disagreement isn't necessarily a bad thing. We don't let bullshit go unchallenged and that's part of what makes us awesome. Of course said bullshit is coming from our fellow Americans, and while we don't all have to agree all the time we do have to live together, so maybe we could all stand to tone it down a bit? I mean, a lot of us are armed...
Incidentally, could everybody maybe stop walking around
with so many guns all the time? Like, it really freaks people out.

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