Outrage Culture is Out of Control (LA Times)

The LA Times, a paper I contributed to from 1995 - 2005, kindly asked me to write an op-ed about the current conflagration we call outrage culture.

A clip:

Maybe the fractiousness in which we are currently living, people sectioning themselves into smaller and smaller tribes, is a side effect of the addiction. It needs an unlimited supply of people to hate, and the smaller the in-group, the larger the potential enemy pool. That this creates rancor and instability for everyone is a price addicts are willing to pay; indeed, it may taste like victory.

While those engaging in these fights may be a tiny but vocal minority, they are nevertheless a contagion. They value feelings over facts. They reject direct confrontation, preferring to scrap it out online or letting the media do their work for them. Those of us who can still stomach cable news watch as opponents chew each other’s faces off in prime time. Pundits and politicians who should wait for the truth to be revealed instead turn today’s story into a cudgel and, when proven wrong, refuse to walk it back, and who cares anyway? There will be a new epidemic of hate-shredding in the morning, in an hour, and as soon as it’s there, we engage. Or we don’t, and are spattered with the blood regardless.

Read the whole thing here