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One of Smart Peoples’ favorite parlor games is to invent, and then bravely take the good side of, a controversy. “I can’t believe people are outraged about that”, you intone, shaking your head sadly. “I thought we have progressed beyond all that. GUESS NOT. Well I for one am proud to stand up against this backward and retrograde outrage.”
Wow. Even that, just there, felt pretty good. Nice little adrenaline boost. And I wasn’t even talking about anything!
The latest example of this game is the ‘outrage’ over a ‘controversial’ TV ad that has sparked ‘anger’ among ‘conservatives’. Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t see this commercial, it didn’t make me (a conservative) angry, I have seen no actual outrage about it anywhere (amongst conservatives or otherwise) unrelated to reporting about the ‘outrage’, and I see no evidence that it’s materially controversial other than the fact that Smart People tell me so, but trust me. Or rather, trust Josh “Joshua Micah” Marshall.
As Marshall informs us, ‘conservatives’ are ‘angered’ about a Coca-Cola advertisement (which I still haven’t seen, but I guess I read a description of). Which is good to know! I just had no idea how angry and outraged about this advertisement I was until Josh
ua Micah Marshall explained it to me. How embarrassing. I should really be more up on the things I’m outraged about. But it’s only fitting because – well after all, isn’t he who we turn to in order to find out what conservatives think and are outraged about? I know it’s the first place I look.
Now in fairness, I suppose Marshall does cite some actual examples of ‘conservatives’ ‘outraged’ by the advertisment. (1) ‘Former tea party congressman Allen West’**. (2) ‘Michael Patrick Leahy over at Breitbart’**. (3) ‘Fox News commentator Todd Starnes’. (3) ‘some rank-and-file conservatives [on Twitter] [as energetically researched by someplace called Mediaite]**.
**ed. note: At press time, the author has no freaking clue who any of these people are.
See? So there you go. ‘Conservatives are outraged’. The person on Twitter using the handle @DiscJockeyChaZ was outraged so ‘conservatives are outraged’. @Cmbtmedic2001 was outraged ergo ‘conservatives are outraged’. That’s all you need. That’s a valid story now.
Twitter, as you can see, has made this parlor game vastly easier. You don’t need to establish in any way that the ‘outrage’ you’re Bravely Standing Against is a widespread phenomenon. All you have to do is find a few tweeters. And you can always find a few tweeters, to say anything you want. (Let’s call this Crimsonic’s Conjecture, although I’m pretty sure it will be proven mathematically one day.)
So all I can say is, I’m vicariously happy for folks like Josh nee Joshua Micah Marshall that he has this game at his disposal, to generate what I can only presume will be an endlessly continuing stream of regular ‘conservatives are outraged’ masturbatory pieces in the 30? 50? years to come. That’s a great career.
UPDATE: In the interest of balance, I’m noticing what may be a similar parlor game today regarding Jerry Seinfeld’s comments on the lack of ‘diversity’ on his cars/coffee web-show. I guess maybe I see random web-people (and of course tweeters! always tweeters!) ticked at him over it, but I see no evidence that there is any meaningful widespread ‘controversy’ or ‘firestorm’ about those comments, other than from anti-PC righties who are eager to point to & laugh at such a ‘controversy’. I could be wrong though, as I’m still looking.
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