Picking up on a point from yesterday’s post, that being the need to monitor the media, an additional thought on the subject needs to be made.
Far too often, when examining liberal media — or any media for that matter — conservatives fail to see the forest for the trees. We become so enamored with waiting for that moment over which we can cry havoc and let slip the dogs of “see I told you they’re biased” yapping we don’t bother actually listening. And that is a pity.
We should monitor the media not to achieve the next triple O of outrageously outrageous outrage, but rather for the overall tone and tenor. Study what they say. Discern from where their talking points arise. Then, respond accordingly, disproving their theorems with knowledge and perseverance. Neither of which, by the way, are byproducts of becoming outraged.
There is an unfortunate obsession with offensiveness on the right. Far too many live for it. More than a few among us make a nice living out of being offended, be it by media failures or personal attacks. How many times have we seen hackles raised, troops gathered and colors flown over poor little so-and-so being called a bad name by some nameless, faceless, meaningless troll? These folk must be living inside Groundhog Day, as their knee-jerk reaction to jerks proclaims that, for them, every day is their first one online and they are utterly innocent as to the Web’s wicked, wicked ways.
The alleged big boys and girls play the aforementioned game. Bit players have their own version, consisting of howling about the unfairness of the big kids retweeting a hundred insults aimed their way while not spending one second on so much as acknowledging the low ones on the totem pole. Not fair not fair not fair.
In both cases, be it from the high rollers or the serfs, the core message is the same: pay attention to me. If you don’t I am going to raise hell; never mind that the resulting flames will burn me far more than they scorch you as I make myself look like either a weakling or a whiner.
Taking offense is as pointless, vapid and meaningless an action as expecting respect for your anger. Everyone with a sliver of common sense knows better than to believe everyone else will kowtow to their whims for the simple reason that they are blowing their top. Why, then, should we expect others to respect our being offended?
Again, this ties in to what I wrote yesterday. To my fellow underlings as judged by the self-appointed Smart Set I say this. Build your community one person at a time; expand your community one person at a time by treating every person in your community properly as an individual worthy of respect and attention. Never become what your profess to oppose. Expect nothing from those whose entire method of operation is shining a spotlight on themselves. Right now they are the equivalent of the point guard on a basketball team that just lost by forty points turning to the starting power forward as they walk off the court and saying, “It’s your fault we lost because you didn’t play hard enough!” Uh, you got your ass beat too, buddy.
A personal illustration. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to get press credentials to cover a NASCAR race in Southern California. After it was over, I realized I could approach my experience in one of two ways. I could either be upset that I didn’t score some terrific exclusive interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr., or Tony Stewart or Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson or any of the sport’s other superstars. Or, I could be satisfied with being the only reporter I knew of who spoke to Robby Gordon about whether he had any plans for running in that year’s Indianapolis 500, this coming at the prompting of a friend who is a huge IndyCar fan who had heard rumors about this and wanted them checked out. As big or as splashy a story? No. But it meant a lot to the Robby Gordon fans out there.
And to the self-appointed powers that be, given the totally awesome job you did over the past four years winning over hearts and minds to the conservative cause, so successful in this regard that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan got fewer votes than John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008, two words: grow up. You want to be the big shots, you accept the potshots aimed in your direction by big mouths with little brains on Twitter and elsewhere. Don’t like it? I’m sure there’s a Walmart somewhere that’s hiring. I, and I suspect many others, are tired of you attempting to manipulate us into feeling sorry for you because you’re getting the very thing you live for and many of you live on: attention. Try making yourself the center of attention by actually accomplishing something other than preaching to the choir and seeking the spotlight 24/7.
Assuming you have the ability to do so, that is.
Let’s lose the obsession with offensiveness. Now.
ADDENDUM: Thanks to The Pirates Cove for the link.