This episode is sponsored by the host of Carradine's Cockney Singalong,
Pianist and singer Tom Carradine
Don’t be offended!
In the last episode, I looked at AFFIRMATIONS and how they can be used to change your life. They aren’t some hippy-dippy placebo for making you feel better, they really can be brought to bear and make a difference to your life and work. If you haven’t yet checked it out yet then please get on it!
This has been a long season for me and I’ve been reworking it a lot as I go and today’s topic is one of several that I nearly had to drop to make other things fit in. It is something that’s been increasingly on my mind but as with many of my shows, it’s not something I hear being discussed all that often.
It did actually migrate into series 4 for a while, but it’s been reinstated as the episode I’d planned to put in here - which was about DELEGATING - is one which I’m going to run a few tests on before tackling. For example I’ll try using a virtual assistant for a time and see how it goes – I just need to get it very clear in my head what I’ll actually be asking for help with!
I’ll be able to report back on whether that’s a good or bad experience and talk about it in a later episode and if you have any experience of successful, or I suppose unsuccessful DELEGATING then I’d genuinely love to hear from you.
Today’s show began simply as a HEADS UP about something which I have come to believe sapping away our limited supply of mental energy in these strange times. I decided to raise it here as a sort of PUBLIC WARNING as it COULD BE wearing away at your ability to be productive without you knowing it. During my research I’ve become more and more certain that it’s something we should be very wary of and learn to shut out AND IF we can intelligently acknowledge it we will be able to protect ourselves from it.
According to wicktionary.com the term OUTRAGE PORN was Coined by New York Times writer TIM KREIDER to emphasize the way THE MEDIA deliberately provoke feelings of righteous indignation in us by pandering to people's self-indulgent desire to feel OUTRAGED. It occurs in almost every form of media but is perhaps most often seen in 24-hour news programmes, newspapers (remember them) and on the internet.
We are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind. Edward Bernays UNQUOTE
OUTRAGE PORN is when the Media ensures that a statement or report is released which is deliberately skewed in a way to make the reader or viewer or listener etc. so furious about a topic that there will be a public outcry. That same media then reports on the outcry which it has carefully set up and so creates a perpetual news cycle of OUTRAGE over NOTHING AT ALL.
In episode one of this show I talk about finding and honing a higher level of thinking. It’s described elsewhere in productivity circles as intelligent thought or achievement. Napoleon Hill describes it in the Law Of Success as Accurate thought. It’s there that Hill urges us to question the “facts” that we hear and separate those PROVEN FACTS from MERE INFORMATION.
He asks us to separate facts into two classes; the IMPORTANT and the UNIMPORTANT, or, the RELEVANT and the IRRELEVANT. All facts which will aid us to any extent whatsoever in the attainment of your definite chief aim are important and relevant; All that you cannot use are unimportant and irrelevant. If you haven’t yet listened to episodes 40 through 45 which cover Hill’s amazing and powerful book, THE LAW OF SUCCESS in 16 lessons then you are doing yourself a disservice btw. Hill also says If someone presents a fact to you, you would do well to ask them HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS before accepting it as truth. We don’t get this opportunity though when bombarded by Outrageous stories in the press.
It’s a world of ever-increasing falsity that we are living in. Beware. Carter Ferguson UNQUOTE
haha only joking – try this for size.
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who MANIPULATE this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. Edward Bernays UNQUOTE
As an aside here btw, do you know what you find when you look up quotes on manipulation of the masses? Quotes from Hitler – I kid you not. He talked a lot about manipulating the masses – “the greater the lie, the greater the chance that it will be believed.” is one of his and “If you wish the sympathy of the broad masses, you must tell them the crudest and most stupid things.” And “Tell a lie loud enough and long enough and people will believe it.” – You want a good reason for why we should be worried about Outrage Porn, look to Adolf Hitler.
We are bombarded with news stories designed to manipulate in us, this all-too-familiar emotion: OUTRAGE. And the mainstream and lesser-known media outlets are taking full advantage of it.
If we aren’t careful, we may allow Outrage Culture to change our society so drastically that we embrace tribalism and choose to interact only with people who are exactly like ourselves. Jeff Charles UNQUOTE
The Urban Dictionary describes OUTRAGE CULTURE as follows.
“When people play the victim card and bend over backwards to be as offended as possible when they really aren’t. Using hissy fits, political correctness, character assassination, and a false sense of moral authority, the OUTRAGER hopes to gain power and public recognition for their brave act of justice as well as a sense of control over their meaningless existence.”
Now I had recorded a section in here that gave a specific example of this behaviour in an individual – but I’ve cut it as frankly - I am frightened of a deliberate misinterpretation of my words. And that’s the aim of course of some people who use outrage culture to manipulate us; to use fear of public retaliation to silence perceived opponents. I really tried to script neutral comment on the matter, but no matter what way I came at it, I saw trouble.
What I have realised is that some people, who have perhaps become activists for social issues due to their profile as actors or influencers or whatever are building careers out of all of this. They deliberately using outrage to raise their profile and sometimes just to get attention. I’m really trying NOT to make this episode become what it is trying to warn against but on this particular point though, let me say that:
There are some individuals who deliberate misuse OUTRAGE to serve their own personal and promotional agendas - Their actions though, as their behaviours are questioned more and more, weaken the true causes that they are supposedly fighting for.
On that note too - Let’s not forget here that MANY WHO PUSH BIZARRE SOCIAL AGENDAS ARE ACTUALLY TROLLS who don’t really believe the stuff they are putting out. – and an example I saw recently was someone tweeting about, and getting a lot of angry replies too, about how they will be taking to their vet about how their dog is TRANS – It was clearly a wind up but it certainly worked. A lot of the stories that appear are just wind ups and attention seeking, but they have a damaging effect in that they can belittle and misrepresent the real voices and the real problems of the world.
Journalist Jeff Charles writes that Outrage culture is marked by a tendency for people to become overly offended at the slightest occurrence. It could be an offhand remark about race that someone assumes to be a microaggression. Perhaps a talk show host made critical comments about the president. In some instances, it could be a politician failing to comment on a particular situation in the way you believe they should.
He goes on to state, when talking of the USA, that -
unfortunately, as a nation, we have become addicted to outrage porn.
The article I took that from was published in June 2018 and it references three major stories that resulted in a tremendous level of internet outrage.
First, actress and comedian Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet about Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Then, talk show host Samantha Bee gave a profanity-laced rant against Ivanka Trump, implying that she has incestuous relations with her father.
Not to be outdone, more offensive blog posts written by MSNBC host Joy Reid surfaced.
Once you start to become aware of this stuff, as I’m sure many of you out there already are, you start to see them everywhere. One that I saw causing chaos and offence everywhere this year was the seemingly racist tweet by British comedian and radio host Danny Baker who posted an old black and white picture of a man and woman with a chimpanzee, with the caption "Royal baby leaves hospital." Next thing Meghan Markle and him got dragged into a completely manipulated racism row.
The thing is… I didn’t know anything about Meghan Markle's heritage either. I just don’t follow the whole ROYAL thing. When I saw what he’d tweeted, after the fact, I saw a vaguely amusing joke about CLASS, but - because it’s not on my wavelength to think in racist terms. I just wasn’t brought up that way. The perceived racism in it just would never have occurred to me.
What worries me there is that I could easily have fallen into the same trap and so I became somewhat fascinated as the thing unfolded. What I realised right away was that the media were deliberately pushing forward and quoting from the negative tweets that were appearing and stirring a proverbial hornet’s nest of trouble that resulted in him ham-fistedly apologising, which was just weird - and then getting fired from his job.
I looked at the twitter accounts that had been chosen by the press to represent the initial outrage and they came from virtually new accounts, with virtually no followers. Many of the initial posts were from, in effect, troll accounts or accounts with a political agenda, winding the whole thing up. Then came the backlash of genuine hatred for the guy from people and organisations who were, in the end, comparing him to Hitler. (Which is RICH given those quotes I have just given you)
My point is, whether you believe Danny Baker decided to deliberately after 40 years in the business suddenly reveal himself to be a closet racist via a random tweet on twitter (he isn’t btw) or not - that the media, and possibly something beyond the media if I were to get quite dark about all this, deliberately chose to lift only the tweets where people were most outraged and report on them. The press kept this FAKERY going for about 3 weeks in the end and constantly fanned the flames of a non-story, at the cost of a man’s livelihood and Meghan Markle’s privacy because the frenzy of outrage was so strong. The cost was greater than that though as many many people all over the world, expended energy on the matter, got riled up attacking OR defending him, and that in turn created a kind of mini race hate war for no good reason whatsoever. It was an expenditure of energy and effort that should have could have been spent on more positive and productive matters. That’s my point here today. If we allow ourselves to be drawn into this shit, we are allowing ourselves to be manipulated on a quite a major level.
Btw in each of the stories I mentioned before, the offender apologized for their actions, but people’s decisions on whether or not to forgive them following this seem to be based primarily on their political leanings. Right-leaning individuals are more likely to forgive Barr, who is an outspoken Trump supporter while people on the left accused her of being a racist. The same might be said about the Danny Baker story.
These types of occurrences are nothing new, and the media is all too happy to use these stories to divide us further.
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words. Philip K. Dick UNQUOTE
It is my belief that this is something which has probably always existed but has been magnified by the world wide web and the invention of 24-hour news. It may even be thanks to them that we, the masses which Hitler talks about, have started to notice the manipulation. I can go to twitter right now and pick out a manipulative story.
The one that’s popped out today was that a TV network has banned the use of the word UPPITY after a single complaint. Unsurprisingly this is a Meghan Markle related story as she is used as a pawn in these outrage stories at every opportunity by the UK press. It took me 10 seconds to find this example and if I look tomorrow, or later today, if all goes as planned for them I will find a bunch of stories about how half the people in the world are outraged by the banning of this word and how half the people are not as it was, and I’ll push the boat out here, RACIST.
Another tasty piece of outrage bait that I can see is this one about the studio exec that wanted to cast in 1994, yes we need to get HISTORICALLY OUTRAGED at peoples behaviour too, but he wanted to cast Julie Roberts to play Harriet Tubman. Thanks to the Wikipedia I can tell you that Harriet Tubman, was a black American abolitionist that died in 1913. I doubt, if this story as true at all, and they present zero proof that it is, that some probably white movie exec would have known this. I doubt many a black exec would know it then either for that matter. His suggestion is easy to get riled up about if YOU LOOK FOR WRONG IN THE WORLD, but in reality it was just a stupid thing said at a meeting. We’ve all done that in our time. Let he or she that his never made a mistake in life throw the first stone at that guy. But you better get a time machine to do it as he’s probably dead already and even if he isn’t does saying it make him a racist?
The word RACISM is slopped about like a wet fish in the world of OUTRAGE. Another story out today which was passed on to me by several people is that USA today reporter Tom Nichols was accused of being a racist as he said he didn’t like Indian food. Don’t worry for him though as he can report tomorrow on how he laughed at the outrageousness of it all, and continue the news cycle.
By the way, the word BAN has become an outrage inciting word in itself. Everything is banned these days if you believe the press, and we MUST BE OUTRAGED by it. I could probably come up with a list of 10 words right off the bat that would be used to invoke outrage, RACIST is a good place to start, but let’s try, SJW’s, TRUMP is a good bet, SAFE SPACE, PRIVILEGE, BREXIT is certainly a goldmine of outrage here in the UK, any number or RELIGIOUS or POLITICAL REFERENCES, VIRTUE SIGNALLING and I’ll end with STAR WARS as I had to sit through The Last Jedi and I was certainly offended by that. I’ll leave you to think of more but the internet will always provide if you draw a blank.
One thing worth mentioning , is that Outrage CULTURE prevents us from engaging in the exchange of ideas. Discussions seem to have become nothing more than contests to see which side has more of a reason to be offended.
I’m well aware that by merely tackling this topic I’m going to get it in the neck from somebody, too, as the offence reaction gene is soooo ingrained in some of us that they go out of their way to be outraged. I mentioned this in the bullying episode, as it has become for some a form of bullying and I kinda deliberately used the term snowflake there as I knew for those people who do virtue signal their way through life on a crusade fuelled by hate, that they wouldn’t like it. Yes, sometimes I’m bad that way.
I need to wind this up some time but I believe that some of us, the AWARE of the world, those that listen to THIS PODCAST for example, can break our addiction to outrage culture by refusing to be influenced by outrage porn and CHOOSING not to be offended by every story the media forces upon us.
True unadulterated outrage does though have a place in this world. Without it OPPRESSION WOULD NEVER BE RESISTED and SLAVERY WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ABOLISHED. But this fake outrage, this adopted human need to get a fix of outrage, never to be let go of, must be put to death and to do that it must be ignored. Not silenced though - as if you push back it will just cause more outrage and continue the cycle. Ignoring it, for me is the solution.
You see we are never going to make a positive impact on our lives, on our careers or on HISTORY by getting mad at some fucking celebrity for making a comment we disagree with or that pricks our delicate opinions. Only by NOT responding, NOT retweeting, liking or sharing, NOT engaging in any way, NOT raging and NOT getting outraged by the outrage, are we going to neutralise this toxic fad known as outrage porn.
I didn’t realise all of this stuff when I started this episode - I just wanted to say that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get manipulated by the press and waste our time and energy on Outrage Porn. I never knew that my research would open up such an Alladin’s cave of TOXICITY that I think I could extend in a future episode in some way but which I will leave for now. We are clearly being manipulated, but WE CAN CHOOSE TO SAY NO AND IGNORE.
If you have been ever riled up in a pointless celebrity news story or by some outrageous suggestion within it or in an internet argument with someone who will say white when you say black just for the fun of winding you up, or in tit for tat chatter over a point of little or no practical value, meaning, or relevance ON SOCIAL MEDIA then you will have already experienced what we now know as OUTRAGE CULTURE. When we these exchange fiery back-and-forths to try and defend our points and even if we don’t respond at all, but walk away angry or frustrated or unhappy we have still find ourselves affected by it.
Next time you sense that you are getting riled by a troll, or an aggravating virtue signaller, they are a problem as they
“slippery slide between the lines trying to be your friend but subtly undermining your arguments and will never allow you to get the last word in on discussions” Janet Hill UNQUOTE
then just identify the source, and utilise the BLOCK function on whatever site you are on. Block and mute and just walking away are sure-fire solutions to silencing the problem of outrage culture.
Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right. Ricky Gervais UNQUOTE
Call To Action
Your call to action this week is to work on improving your outrage antenna. Instead of allowing yourself to get pulled in and wasting your time and energy getting riled up about whatever the latest outrage porn manipulation is, shut it out, block it out if you have to and work instead on improving your own life. Keep control of your emotions and live a happier healthier, less stressful life away from the manipulations of the press or trolls.
This is an extension of what I call the BULLSHIT ANTENNA which I must do an episode on. That’s needed these days to separate news stories from SPONSORED CONTENT sometimes known as LIES, to separate genuine product reviews, from PAID REVIEWS or as I like to call them LIES, and to separate the Ad’s from the news story, which possibly lies anyway, that you are trying to read beneath the WE VALUE YOUR PRIVACY pop up which I call DO THEY F7CK. I’ll post a recent screenshot I took from The Independent as an example of this.
So that’s the end of today’s episode. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If I have offended you at any point in all of this, then do a self-assessment to double-check if you really are offended or if you are just automatically responding in this way to get a dopamine kick.
I don’t want to give HITLER and more oxygen today but I did eventually find a quote of his that I agreed with earlier. He said THAT A POLITICIAN SHOULD NEVER ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED IN A BATHING SUIT which is a fair point.
It's time to quit being offended though folks so I’ll end with a quote from Dolly Parton who said
I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb... and I also know that I'm not blonde.
Next week will be, just before CHRISTMAS too, the 50th – YES YOU HEARD ME – THE 50TH EPISODE of this show and the topic will be IMPOSTER SYNDROME
For now though folks, take control of your own destiny, don’t believe everything you read on the internet or get worked up about it either, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY!
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