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?