A quick search on google for the word outraged in just the last week throws up the following offerings. Russia outraged at Latvia ban on Soviet symbols, Neighbours outraged at Lakeview police (I assume not the tv programme), Educators outraged at visa price hikes, Villagers outraged at sign thefts, Italy outraged at football star Fabrizio Miccoli’s mob links, GCHQ staff outraged at criticism of listening techniques, Mammooty fans outraged at solar case allegations (free book to anyone who knows what any of that sentence means), Mother outraged at Hidalgo County deputies, Defence force outraged at sex scandal, Slain Tulsa man’s family outraged at killer’s release, Deen fans outraged at food network for dumping celebrity cook (I don’t know what Deen is but I’d go out of my way to avoid a fan), Newberg parents outraged at Facebook cyberbullying page, Outrage at Harriet Harman’s anti-ginger slander, Robert Breeze outraged at referring to himself in the third person.
Ok so I made the last one up but the penultimate one i’m qualified to feel outraged about having hair of the rouge variety. Being relatively sane i’m obviously not outraged by whatever the anti-ginger slander was, but am actually now outraged at my instinctive use of the word rouge. But these days it does appear that people can’t wait to be outraged by something. The dictionary definition is to ‘arouse fierce anger, shock or indignation’. So where do these angry shocked people come from? Well, there are a lot of people in this world and someone will always be outraged. It also needs to be noted that the media again love nothing more than ignoring the views of the majority in the middle in order to instead highlight the views of the outraged minority. A balanced opinion does not create headlines, so many media outlets choose to ignore the real response.
What genuinely outraged people don’t seem to grasp is that if they choose to be offended, nothing happens, it doesn’t change a thing, all that happens is that they are offended. That said there must be a powerful source spawning these outraged folk. Maybe the answer lies with the scourge that is political correctness, the oppression of our intellectual movement that sees that fewer and fewer people are saying anything of note anymore just in case anyone else get’s offended. It’s given every complainer and whiner the “right” to be offended by anything they choose, and the worrying impact of that is that society has reacted to this scourge by creating legislation about offending people. It seems ludicrous that it’s become an offense to offend people. Being offended is subjective and has everything to do with you as an individual or a collective, or a group or a society or a community. Your moral conditioning, your religious beliefs. What offends me may not offend you. And we’ve actually made laws about this. A few months ago a man was jailed for 8 months for wearing a t-shirt bearing an offensive slogan.The law the man was charged with is over 25 years old and comes from the Public Order Act 1986, stating that ‘a person is guilty of an offence if he/she displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress’. The wording of this particular law means that someone just needs to be offended enough to report you and then the police are obliged to investigate and pursue a disposal .i.e. a caution or court charge/prison. So all it takes is for one or more people to be sufficiently offended enough to report you and the police are involved. Just watch points of view to see what people choose to get offended by nowadays and you’ll realise what a frightening thought that is.
For the minority that do choose to feel offended or outraged on a regular basis there are options available to make your life a more enjoyable one. One way is to desensitise. When things are genuinely offensive to me such as harming children or animals I do everything in my power to desensitise myself from the situation rather than feel outraged, aware that it’s not a positive emotion to experience. You can also try to embrace the unique British sense of humour and try to find comedy in such nonsense, or try and force some perspective into such situations. When you’re feeling offended or outraged about something consider how lucky you are to be alive and living in a developed country, when a lot of the world’s population sleep without a roof over their head or with sufficient food to fuel them. Remember also that words are just that, words. As much as the defenders of political correctness would like you to believe, words do not and cannot harm anyone. Words can only hurt your feelings if and only if that person allows them to hurt his/hers feelings, though it should also be noted that in some cases there is a fine line between feeling offended and actually being bullied, which is obviously abhorrent and unacceptable.
I can’t fashion a link to the book smoothly into this blog so I’ll just say a big thank you to anyone who has come on board and bought the first book in The Chronicles of Hope series, ‘2082’. I’m aware it’s not a literary masterpiece but please stick with it, the second book ‘2083’ is out in October and is far sharper with the story progressing greatly. My intention is merely to spread the positive humanitarian word as far as possible so please continue to help spread the word. Thanks