"Hatred fatigue"

In the 90’s, there was a phenomenon called compassion fatigue. What happened was that many Americans were tired of stories about the poor, the homeless, the sick, and other unfortunates, and didn’t want to hear about it any more. (Most of them didn’t have a lot of compassion to begin with, but never mind.) I’m experiencing something similar right now, which I call hatred fatigue.

Simply put: Our nation is absolutely wallowing in a sea of depravity…and I don’t mind. This is the most hellish, nightmarish time in our country’s history…and I’m not even mildly concerned.

Take the XFL. As everyone knows, this is a pathetic upstart league with high school…no, junior high school…no, PEEWEE LEAGUE-caliber players, and the cheerleaders are whores, and the camera work is horrible, and the sideline interviews are moronic, and one of the commentators is a politician, for crying out loud. All of which is absolutely horrible and should be completely loathed by everyone (especially the cheerleaders, because strict monogamy and not doing anything suggestive are extremely important for cheerleaders). But I don’t! In fact, I’m going so far as to give it a chance! I also think that unless the cheerleaders actually trade sex for cash, no one has any business calling them whores. And get this, I don’t care if they’re real. Is that whacked or what?

Or the recent spate of teen sensations, the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Brittney Spears, and Christina Augilera (I think there’s something named after a temperature in there too…). The overwhelming consensus is that they’re horrible and utterly talentless and undeserving and even gay (except for Spears, who is another “whore”, IIRC). However, my attitude is that it’s a free country, they got every right to perform, there have been some good songs, and if you don’t like it, no one’s forcing you to buy the CD. Is that pathetic or what?

Or reality programming. Yes, I know they’re the very essence of depravity and evidence of how the nation’s going to hell in a picnic basket (fruit basket, whatever). And they’re full of losers with no life. Not to mention incredibly boring. Yep, you guessed it…my position is to judge each show individually, because they’re all different shows, then decide which ones I like and don’t like. Even worse, I think Survivor’s way cool and Temptation Island is silly but still watchable. I also think there’s no point complaining when you can turn the TV off…just like you can not buy certain CDs!

And how 'bout them Ralph Nader voters? Yep, just handed the election to Mr. Evil Incarnate himself, which is especially ridiculous because he had no chance of winning, and who stands the best chance of winning the election is the only issue a voter is supposed to consider (everyone knows that “It’s not a horse race” line is bull). Yet very time I try to muster up my moral outrage, I keep telling myself that there were so many factors in the recent election that to focus obsessively on just one is folly, plus there were a lot of votes which were not counted at all, plus Bush’s inauguration came down to a Supreme Court decision (which rendered a lot of votes meaningless), plus Gore won my home state so handily that I could have voted for Pat Buchanan and Kodos and it wouldn’t have made a difference, plus it’s not like Gore did a helluva lot to appeal to what’s presumably the core Democratic constituency. I try to hate and can do nothing but sympathize.

I’m even worse on Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. I know that this is one of the worst movies ever created. I know that George Lucas completely screwed it up from start to finish. I read an entire article stating each and every thing that was wrong with it. By rights anyone who’s sane should find this movie a blight upon humanity. But not only did I enjoy it the first time I saw it, I also liked it the second time I saw it, on home video, after I read the article! Know what else? I don’t even see the problem with the Ewoks? They evoked no feelings of muderous wrath from me whatsoever! And to this day, I think this movie is just as good as the other Star Wars movies…INCLUDING THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!! Man, keep the kids away from me, huh?

And don’t get me started on Napster. Here we have a case of millions of Americans flagrantly BREAKING THE LAW. Never mind that music sales have actually gone up. Never mind that it’s allowed lesser-known artists to gain publicity and get their foot in the door. Never mind that there are almost certainly ways for the music industry to benefit from it. The LAW is the LAW, and copyrights, like speed limits, must NEVER, EVER be broken! Just because millions of people use Napster and they love the free exchange of music a lot of the fears appear to be unwarranted and ths service has benefitted society as a whole does not make it right!! The mere thought of such a thing should give me a fatal heart attack right then and there. But not only does this never happen…I use Napster! I have more than 450 songs on the hard drive right now.

Wait a minute…my dad’s the one who originally installed the Napster program. And he’s downloaded almost as many songs as I have, and I don’t remember him feeling even slightly annoyed over it! Good lord, you don’t suppose it runs in the family, do you? :slight_smile:

Hey DKW, you sound like a normal guy. What are you doing on the SDMB? Leave us to our self-rightous, misguided intellectual elitism! We don’t need logical thinking like yours here!

Yeah, well, I’ve actually been here a long time. And I have run into my share of trouble with the misguided elitists. Nearly all of it is was on the Great Debates board, though, and I’ve long since learned to be extremely careful over there.

Here, it’s like…who’s your daddy. Or something.

C’mon, there’s gotta be someone who’s gone through at least part of what I have, right?

I am not ezactly sure if i really fit in this thread, but I know what you are feeling DKW, I know it perfectly.

Living in a country like Turkey makes you pretty much immune to so many things that are supposed to drive you practically crazy that in the end you start wondering if you actually are human after all.

Lets see:

Economy: We have had over 50% yearly inflation for over 25 years, and as a nation we tend to believe this is a normal thing

Democracy: The military has to intervene once every ten years either in the shape of a threatening memorandum or a coup d’etat, to correct the democratic shortcomings of us poor civilians, and we always applaud and tell them we deserve this!

Media: There are more TV channels than people care to learn about, and the major 4 or 5 of them have identical programs that are better left unwatced, but they get great ratings because there is not much alternative, and the existing alternatives require a minimum level of cultural development on the watcher’s side which we are as a nation a bit lazy to work on.

Law and Order: Corruption in the Police organization and the customs organization, in fact any organization owned and operated by the state is no secret from anybody. THe feeble efforts to bring the corruption to daylight and punish the guilty sees some sporadic support from the people and the politicians in the “Bringing to Daylight” phase, and completely forgotten or covered up in the “Punishment” stage…And we as the people do not care!!

Arts: Some “extra sexy” fashion ar showbiz bimbo is always welcome to have the last word on any discussion regarding any kind of art form, because the whole country recognizes these poor jerks as the Supreme Artists of the Nation.

I can write longer and mention sports, social life, welfare, political parties, and a lot of things…

But DKW i hope you are not alone in your observations of the state of affairs&people! (people to be emphasized) in the USA, but i can assurre you, you are not alone in the world.

Your post touched me, DKW, as you have addressed a number of issues I’ve been wrestling with myself. I don’t know if I can help you feel any better, but I’ll try…

  1. The XFL: actually, the football itself has been pretty good, IMO; played with fire and passion. It’s allowed a group of people who couldn’t cut it in the NFL to realize their lifelong dreams of having their tibias broken in front of a national audience. In addition, there have been some true innovations in the presentation: the on-field cameras and mics on everyone, down to the guy who sweeps the corridor to the locker room, set new standards for media intrusion that may never be exceeded.

Too bad about the rest of the package, with the lunkheaded announcers, blowsy cheerleaders and relentless pandering to that ever-desirable demographic segment of flabby, beer-swilling oafs. But there is a solution. Look at the top left of your remote; see that button labeled “on-off”? If your TV is currently ON, press it once. If not, simply do nothing. There, problem solved.

  1. Teen sensations: this will pass, and quickly. Remember the Spice Girls? I didn’t think so. By this time next year, there will be a completely new set of freshly-scrubbed faces, backed by faceless corporations, to loathe.

And what was that “gay” crack supposed to mean, anyway?

  1. Reality programming: see (1) above.

  2. Ralph Nader: still stewing about this, are we? Ralph did not hand the election to GWB, the voters did, and unlike in some countries I could name, no one put guns to the heads of people to force them to vote for Ralph, Shrub or anyone else.

  3. Star Wars: there is no excuse for your attitude, and you can never be forgiven. May you, and all the generations of your offspring, suffer eternal torment under the blood-soaked teeth of rabid Ewoks.

  4. Napster: lighten up, already. People using Napster to pirate copyrighted music is just like folks helping themselves to a few cases when a beer truck overturns on the Thruway; just on a bigger scale, that’s all. And given your view that N’Sync, Britney, Christina, et al are the devils work, wouldn’t you support anything that has a chance to minimize their ill-gotten gains?

In summary, the world is full to overflowing with torment and woe; there is no way you or anyone else can stop all the terrible evils that occur each day. Stop trying to be Superman and work on the things you have some chance of affecting.

That’ll be one dollar, please.

DKW, welcome to my world, a phrase I would probably be sick of if it were worth the trouble. I’d refer you to AA’s Serenity Prayer, if I cared enough and thought you hadn’t heard it before and weren’t perfectly capable of looking it up yourself if you cared to.

A reasonable and fair-minded OP, and I generally agree with what I think the point was. But I do think there’s a time when objectionable material – of course, that one has seen personally, rather than just heard about – deserves to be, well, objected to.

I don’t think it’s at all out of line to point out when one finds art, entertainment or public behavior bigoted or otherwise reprehensible, or even just inappropriate. “Just turn it off” or “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to look at it” are often valid responses. But, imho, “I hate that this is happening, and I think I’ll write letters and complain to the sponsors” is equally valid.

You put your material out in public, and members of the public have a right to react to it as they see fit – short of calling for government controls (are you listening, Senator Lieberman?) If artists are going to produce what they proudly call “provocative” material, they shouldn’t get huffy about it if people are occasionally provoked.

Watermelon Man - Whoa. That’s deep. I won’t be so arrogant as to speculate as to why your fellow countrymen are so, er, “whipped”.

Rocket88 - I don’t think you understand…I don’t hate any of those things. Hatred fatigue, remember?

However, I do find it incredibly tiresome listening to the endless hatred of others on subjects like these. The XFL is doomed, the XFL has lousy production values, the XFL has horrendous announcers (okay, I agree on this one), yada yada yada. Fine. Then just let it die out. Burning my ear off isn’t going to change a thing. And if N’Sync is unbelievably bland or untalented or whatever, I’d like to see some kind of comparative basis. I just can’t fathom mindless hatred when it won’t do me any good, you know?

Cantrandom - Yes, there are lines which shouldn’t be crossed. The thing is, in the overwhelming number of cases, they’re not. Much of the “suggestive dialogue” on TV right now wouldn’t get a reaction from a ten-year-old. Hell, I didn’t even know what that little D meant until I read it in an article. Language? The best words invariably get bleeped out barring a bad network error (always a source of embarrassment, and rare). Nudity? I wish. I mean, if you’re going to get all riled up, shouldn’t you save it for the cases which really deserve it?