Friday, April 23, 2010

The Hidden Price Of Outrage

"I swear, sentry duty gets tiring. I think it's another one of their strategies to wear us down. Only thing is, they get paid for their attacks, but we don't, so for us, it's like having two jobs."

That's what I said in a comment to one reader in my last post where I was cussing more than usual. I don't usually get nearly as angry as I did this week, but reading and writing about the escalation of hate from some of our elected politicians had me seeing red. Instead of making hate crimes against the law, some are trying to make it the law.

Yeah, I'm talking to you, Arizona.

There's a downside to being reactive to the hostility we encounter in life, whether it's as a spectator to politics, race relations, or anything that pisses us off where we have little control.

Fear or anger are useful when we can quickly resolve it, but otherwise, these primitive emotions quash our creativity and divert our intellect from growing in productive ways.

The reason is we're too busy playing cop, detective or soldier to someone or some group that wants to harm us or rip us off.

This could be happening in your personal life right now. For example, while you're reading or skimming through this post, or being busy in your daily routine, in the back of your mind, you're wondering:

- if the man in your life is only showing up for sex, not because he really gives a damn about you,

- if the latest lady you've been chilling with for two weeks only wants to snag you into a committed relationship leading to marriage because you've got it going on economically;

- if your co-worker has been back stabbing you because you're more popular with the boss.

- if the boss has been sabotaging you because he or she is envious and insecure about your superior competence;

- if a friend or classmate has been trying to turn others against you because they think they look good by making you look bad;

- and you wonder, how the non-stop bigotry by those in the media and politics will directly hurt not only your group, but you and your family.

And so on.

When you are chronically placed on guard duty, on behalf of yourself or for others, where is there time or energy left to think about all the cool things in the world?

Or to try your hand at reading, writing about, or doing some of those things?

Nope, you've been siphoned off no differently than the way a thief drains your gas tank. You might even get in your proverbial car and use the remaining gas to catch him, her or them, and run 'em down.

Well, that's one less thief if you succeed. Bravo.

But most of the time, we're just left furious and with an empty tank. You may even refuel with your anger and continue the search, not noticing that the thief has stolen something even more precious - your time and energy, and with that, your creativity.

What would you be doing differently if the confusing OR hostile actions of XYZ, whom you know personally or only read about in the news, weren't consuming you?

What different road might you take if your tank was safe and full because your gas cap had a lock on it?


  1. Great way to put it, Kit. They're vampires (not to mix metaphors -- gas-drinking vampires?).

    As for me, I'd be spending more time with family and friends, appreciating them, appreciating the simple wonder that we're together and alive.

    Family, especially.

  2. Thanks you put what I was thinking in plain simple words.

  3. I try hard to stay away from those types of people who want to project fear, hate, and ignorance. But it's also annoying to see people fighting each other over minuscule things.

  4. When people usually talk about profiling, they're attempting to deny that it's utilized in policing. In Arizona, they're trying to legitimize it.

    I've been stopped for DWB and WWB by cops in a few states, in Arizona they see no problem in that.

  5. Kit you are so right, it does wear us down. We dwell on these things, and internalize them, and it's unhealthy as hell but we're not gonna just chuck it over the fence cause we're not that way.

    In case you're bored to tears and thinking how desperately you want to read just one more post about illegal aliens, I put up something at Mikes this morning:
    different species

  6. Other than the ipad/iphone, what else could possibly be cool about the world, lol?

    The casualties of two unsuccessful wars, tea party nonsense, Sarah Palin and now this. If there's not enough outrage about this Arizona legislation, the jailhouse will be overpopulated with hopeless, indignant and irrational citizens who made bad decisions.

    I'm afraid of the domino effect concerning this foolishness (starting with these crazy mofos here in SC chomping at the bit). What better way,as you put it, to "squash our creativity and divert our intellect from growing in productive ways" than to violate our civil rights? It takes our focus off of the big(ger) picture. All a part of the plan, right?

    I'd say your (our) level of pissivity IS warranted!

  7. I watched the governor of Arizona sign Bill 1070 live today. She looked grim, like those surrounding her, and because of this, I couldn't help thinking that all of them knew what they were doing was very, very wrong.

    As much as I'd like to detach a bit from all the crazy shit that's been going on in the news, I haven't succeeded. With fear comes two responses: fight or flight. Blogging about these issues is my form of fight, although from time to time it's good to take flight and get into my thing that has nothing to do with the rest of the world's madness.

  8. Hi Kit
    thanks for reading my post.You are entirely right,what you wrote about "continent". One of my friends, referring to the Arizona law said it's like they think we're a different species. My frustration with Euro immigrants looking down on Mexicans combined and "voila" a post to express my anger and not internalize it. The Minuteman anti-immigrant group has brought out a lot of native pride among young people here, but nowhere near being a movement.

    But like you wrote at Mikes, specific parts of a continent-Indian tribes often fought each other. Your analogy to the UK with English and Scottish is very apt.

    Although there are certain indigenous groups who gather and meet there is little commonality among most native people from far-flung tribes. Maybe a junior version of Pan-Africanism is the best I could say.

    I will find you some good links, but here is a brief "stay tuned for the news at ten" version:

    At the time of the Spanish conquest, the dominant tribe was the Mexica (Aztec).Their ancestral home, known as Aztlan was in Northern Mexico, they migrated into the Valley of Mexico where Mexico City is today.

    Spain conquered (divide and rule like the British)Mexico and their empire spread to much of the Western US. Colorado/California/Texas/Utah/New Mexico.Loosely administered,probably because they didn't find gold there like in Mexico. Small amounts of Spanish/Mexican settlers but not densely populated.

    Mexico became independent from Spain around 1820.As such they then controlled the Spanish Empire north of the Rio Grande, but the war for independence weakened Mexico badly. They didn't have the military power to keep out the Americans.Also,Mexico had banned slavery thus would not allow it to spread from the US into their northern territory,Tejas (Texas).The South wanted to expand slave states and the north wanted to prevent it, plus they pretty much just wanted the territory.

    Anyway Texas declared its independence, then the Mexican-American War followed with Mexico losing and ceding half their territory to the US.

    I take hella time to answer a question huh?

    So at one time much of the Western US belonged to first Spain, then Mexico-although IMO it always belonged to the tribes but that's the NDN talking.It really was part of Mexico till the US conquered, but in reality the majority of the Mexicans here are relatively recent (20th century) immigrants. There are some who conflate Aztlan with the Spanish/Mexican presence in the US, mostly cause it's to the north but historically that's inaccurate.

    So bottom line, while the tribes in Mexico are historically related to tribes in the US other than tribes like the Pima or Papago along the border there is no real identity between them.

    There was a Mexican presence here, but the vast majority of the Mexican people here now cannot trace their direct ancestry to them.

  9. Oso, Thank you, and I hope you copy and paste this answer or something like it at your current post at Mad Mikes. It's a good discussion going on over there, and I don't think your answer was too long. It ties in well with the topic here as well as there.

  10. I think many people become identified with their fear (hatred).
    Without this fear, they would would have no way to distinguish themselves from others.

  11. I know one can get 'psychically damaged' by the constant deluge of crap we hear on the news. But it can be cathartic. I try not to get mad and post without trying to be funny in some way. I guess that's why the Daily Show is so popular: you get mad but the harmful side-effects of anger are neutralized by being able to laugh at what makes us mad.

  12. John, I'll add that people are connecting far too much with whom and what they fear, rather than fun or productive things they have in common.

    Redneck Liberal, Hey, you're new here. Welcome. "Psychically damaged", that's a nice way of putting it indeed. And yes, it can be cathartic too, when one can keep the slime from overwhelming them.

  13. - If all your hard work will pay off with a job after graduation and, if minority, how to navigate low pay and poor prostects for advancement.

    This is always in the back of my mind....

    Anonymous Asada

  14. Anon/ Asada, Well education and hard work paid off for me and most people I know, although it's harder now in this so called Recession, and I really feel for new college grads. But for those who love learning, and the loans aren't too high (like community college for the first two years if necessary), then I'm all for it.


Hi, this is Kit.

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