April 16, 2004

Outrage Fatigue

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been enjoying Air America Radio. And a couple of people have thanked me for letting them know about it, and a number of other people have told me they are listening to it, too. But I fear that I have experienced an overload of jaw-dropping lately, and my jaw has become so bruised that I’m talking a lot less.

Is there such a thing as outrage fatigue? I think so. I’ve reached my limit with the Bush administration and I barely even want to talk about it anymore. That’s why I say “November can’t come soon enough.” I’m impatient for the election. And, of course I want the election to take away Bush’s job, but it’s not just that. I want the election to be over with.

I usually enjoy politics, but now I feel like I’m watching everything with an incredulous stare. It can’t be healthy.

I avoided reading one of Chuck’s recent posts for a day or two because of this fatigue. Overload. By the by, his post very eloquently puts how he feels about the Iraq bait-and-switch we’re currently mired in. He points out that we protested the war in Iraq, but I’m really not sure we feel any better because of it. I don’t feel like I did enough.

And I wonder what that means regarding the upcoming election. Am I not doing enough to put an end to this presidency? We have an opportunity to make a change every four years. In mid-November, will I feel like I hadn’t done enough?

Posted by James at April 16, 2004 11:09 AM
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And I wonder what that means regarding the upcoming election. Am I not doing enough to put an end to this presidency? We have an opportunity to make a change every four years. In mid-November, will I feel like I hadnít done enough?

Perhaps this is a question you should ask yourself when you feel like you are about to succumb to 'outrage fatigue'. As the Phil Collins song goes: Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't give up.

Share that outrage. Write about it, get it out in front of others. A *lot* of people read your blog. I see links to Aces Full everywhere. What you say is important to people. It has an impact. You clearly have garnered a lot of respect on EAForums and other places around the net.

So basically, this blog is an effective way for you to fight the good fight. There are a lot of us out here James that are as outraged as you are, and we're going to be at the polls on election day in force. Count on it, baby.

As they say, illegitimi te carborundum -- don't let the bastards get you down.

Posted by: Chuck S. at April 16, 2004 11:50 AM

Yes, I too am fagigued. I'm right there with you, James. The election cycle goes on far too long, which bores and irritates the populace. Who knows, maybe this even deters sone people from voting because they're so sick of hearing/seeing/reading about it.

I wish we could shorten the race--does it _need_ to go on for a year? What's the point? So we can hear people gas on?

I suggest 6 months. Get your head together, do your homework, and make a choice. If you can't figure it out, then you're an idiot.

James, you've got to balance your intake with non-political stuff. Some suggestions:

Terry Pratchett
P.D. James
Minette Walters

Compilations of Calvin & Hobbes
Compilations of The Boondocks (warning: politics)

Funny and/or clever TV:
Queer Eye
Wonderfalls (if it hasn't been killed yet)
CSI (not the Miami version, though)

Posted by: Patti M. at April 16, 2004 12:16 PM

I understand about your jaw. I sprained my eyes from rolling them too much.

Posted by: julie at April 16, 2004 12:52 PM


CSI is where I have been relaxing lately. Not the Miami one, which is annoying as hell.

I've been renting the DVDs from Netflix. I'm 1 DVD into the second season. The Season 2 DVD 2 arrives on Saturday, with some luck.

Julie: so, let's catalogue our politics-related injuries:

Jaw (bruised from dropping)
Eyes (sprained from rolling)
Incredulity (stretched beyond recognition)
Trust (ruptured)

Posted by: James at April 16, 2004 1:22 PM

Hope (on life support)

Posted by: julie at April 16, 2004 2:15 PM

Well, for people who'd like to do more, there's a "Bake Back the White House" bake sale tomorrow that movedOn PAC is organizing to raise money. There are five or so in a 30-mile radius from me. One is a Brown University sale associated with a 10K! I don't think you're supposed to run the 10K if you're volunteering at that bake sale, though. :-(

The idea of the bake sale is to raise money, disseminate information, and register voters. You're not s'posed to argue with anyone. :-)

Here's the URL:

I stood on Route 6 with a sign for several hours the Saturday before Bush started the war with Iraq. A lot of the people I was with were Society of Friends (Quaker) people from Westport. All very intelligent and well-informed. It was a nice group to spend a cold three hours with. I also wrote a letter to a local Catholic Church about fear and Christian values, encouraging the priest to give his parishoners the courage to be Christian. (No, I'm not Christian, but I think Christians should have some clue about Christ's teachings if they're going to call themselves that. One Republican Christian of my acquaintance told me that you don't make the decision to murder someone "as a Christian." I've learned so much since Bush was elected, about so many things. All bad.)

I'll be honest, I never felt I could do more (to stop the war). I don't think Saddam Hussein could have done more (except turn himself in). Bush was going to start that war no matter what. Every time he would say "Iraq must zig," Iraq would zig, and then he'd say "Iraq must zag," and I felt it was pretty clear that what he said had nothing to do with the final outcome.

I had this horrible fatalistic feeling the whole time, and similar to my feelings post-9/11, I realized that my feelings were trivial compared to the feelings of the people in Iraq. The most powerful war machine on the planet is going to attack our country no matter what we do. Of course, that can only be because the war was channeled through our president by God. (Oop, forgot my <sarc> tag.)

Okay, I've rambled enough. My point was to post about the Bake Back the White House sale, for those of you with sore body parts who want to do something more. You're all articulate and intelligent, and most important, your values are in alignment with mine. ;-) Go buy a cookie mix. :-)


Posted by: Maggie at April 16, 2004 2:20 PM

No Bush, No Dick: http://cafeshops.com/irregulargoods.10502632

Posted by: Patti M. at April 16, 2004 4:21 PM

nodding right along with your entry, and thinking, if my reaction to the most outrageous thing Shrub says (say, for example, reversing our policies on the Israeli/Palestinian issue) is 'why would you expect anything else?', there is something terribly wrong. with me, him, the media, or politics, i'm not sure, but there is something terribly wrong.

Posted by: beth at April 20, 2004 12:29 PM

I think there's a huge problem not only with outrage fatigue, but with people thinking that holding the right opinions is the same as doing something about the things going wrong. This is especially true among liberals.

So *yes*, talk about this stuff on your blog. But also get involved in local stuff. It's not enough to wear the right t-shirt or have the right bumper sticker on your car. We need to be registering voters and getting folks to the polls on election day. That's done with a lot of door-to-door canvassing, phone calls, ride organizing, etc.

Not that this is something you go out and do yourself. Theoretically your local Democratic Party should be able to put you to work if you call them up and say, "I really, really want to get rid of Bush in November. What can I do to help?"

Unfortunately, they'll probably just try to sell you some Kerry t-shirts or something.

Posted by: David Grenier at April 20, 2004 1:30 PM

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