Note: The following originally appeared as a series of Tweets, regarding me trying to dial back on oversharing-while-infuriated.
Apparently, I’ve lost some follows by being politically angry on social media. If that’s news to you, congratulations – you don’t follow (or haven’t drawn the attention) of self-righteous trolls who collect angry-sounding sentences and spread them around out of context to rile others up against users whom they object to in some way.
My instinct on that is to be “whatever” about it, because A.) In the broader context of what I do, I honestly don’t consider my particular “angry” brand to be all that poisonous, and B.) I’m not sure how one is NOT supposed to be angry when the people you’re railing against are, increasingly, literal Nazis.
I’m also not inclined to “apologize” for the broad strokes of my outlook: I believe in intelligence and the morality of reason. I believe that demonizing this country’s (or any country, really) geographic centers of art, culture, science, education, knowledge, invention and – not unrelated – demographic diversity as “elitist” while at the same time propping up prideful mediocrity as some kind of idealized “Real America!” is a shortcut to cultural suicide.
More specifically, I believe that the so-called “urbanization” of U.S. economic and cultural power (i.e. the increased concentration of cultural and economic power in the “coastal liberal” so-called “Blue States”) is an overwhelmingly positive long-term evolution – and that violent resistance to this by outdated movements/cultures/ideas that cant “survive” in that evolved climate is what’s driving “Trumpism” (e.g. nativism, nationalism, isolationism, etc.) Moreover, I don’t think it’s particularly “bad” to take pride in being culturally, professionally or philosophically part of the “evolution” side of that dynamic.
That having been said… it’s possible to see that this is the world, and to be angry (and/or just “worried”) about it and to reject false compromise with the other side without also being a gigantic asshole who doesn’t recognize the various complexities and nuances within movements and communities they condemn. And while I happen to believe, perhaps immodestly, that the breadth of my output proves handily that that isn’t me. But, this is an era where you’re expected to be “on brand” at 140 characters at a time, and you can’t (fairly) blame people for not seeking out the background when they see something that otherwise “looks the part.”
You can’t be Mr. My Anger Is My Authenticity and then blame people who say “If that’s authentic, I want no part of it.” If anything, a “catchy” strident statement should invite people to your greater context; not make it a requirement for understanding that you’re not “really” an asshole.
Of late, I’ve not been great at that. And catharsis that doesn’t actually expel anger isn’t really cathartic. I’ve verbalized complex thoughts in simple/angry terms, and can’t blame (most) people for reaching “wrong” conclusions therefrom (excluding dishonest concern-trolls who only “pretend” to have reached bad conclusions, obviously). That’s some shit I’ve got to curb, in no small part because the world has never been a place where being right is a silver bullet that annihilates being checked or criticized (if only…)
In any case, I’m working to be a less “grim” social-media presence. If you’d been concerned by that, it’s being addressed. If you’d “quit” my feed/output because of it, I get it and I hope some can be “won back.” That’s the long and short of it: Not an asshole, recognizing I’ve occasionally come off as one, trying to do better. Whether I pull it off or not? I imagine you’ll be the judge of that.
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