A recent study has revealed despite all of the hemming and hawing, sturm and drang and wailing and gnashing of teeth over the last year's events, ranging from the Trump election to campus snowflakes doesn't amount to much. Which should surprise no one.
The "shrillest voice wins" climate in which we currently find ourselves, where individuals whose opinions normally would be relegated to "Crazy Uncle" status are given more weight than a Congressional Address, is much ado about nothing.
That, according to a recent column by Leonid Bershidsky writing for Bloomberg. Bershidsky cites research from Munich's Ludwig Maximilian University. In the article, researcher Ronny Patz is quoted saying "Research shows that the dynamic that leads to outrage is not the same as that which effects change." In other words, Trump and campus protesters who spent more effort on the picket line than at work or in class wasted their time. Unless they were wearing Fitbits, in which case they were getting totally in shape.
Patz says when such world events occur, it's helpful to have a process already in place to match the outrage. For lack of a better word, Government. And despite Trump haters sustaining their apoplexy for a Herculean year and counting, even their ire would get worn down once thrown into the Sausage Factory that is the Federal Government.
Add to that the avalanche of developments in 2017 that divided the ranks of the rankled. From the Election to hurricane devastation to mass shootings to snowflakes on parade to the current sexual harassment firestorm, there have just been too many things dividing the Permanently Indignant and preventing them from forming an effecting coalition.
Which is a shame. Because hiding among the idiocy that consumes social media nowadays are real problems affecting real people. Sexual harassment is too important an issue to be given the media's usual "Ride the Wave until the Next Big Thing Comes Along" treatment. Same for saving innocent citizen's lives by keeping guns out of the hands of lunatics. And by that, I mean enforce gun laws that are already on the books instead of advocating more toothless regulations that hamstring law abiding gun owners.
So, if the research pans out, what is the idle protester to do? Take up a hobby. What would you suggest for someone who gets bent out of sorts on a whim and wants to share it with the world?
Perhaps Crotchety Crochet, where you can create your favorite gripes (suitable for framing). Angst Artistry could be the next big thing – what color best represents vacuous pretension?
The entrepreneurial mind might develop the Bernie Sanders Global Warming “Feel the Bern” line of thermal underwear for those long, chilly Winter nights. See? The possibilities are endless.
If you can’t see the forest for the trees, it might be because you’re looking too hard. There are plenty of trees, and issues, that can be dealt with right here at home. Sure, it’s not as sexy as focusing on the national stage, but it will probably help a lot more people.
The title of Bershidsky's column says it all: "U.S. Outrage Campaigns Don't Create Change." But don’t be glum, Social Justice Warrior. Real change can come to pass. It just takes more than i