Convenient outrage

You know what I’m sick of? Our society’s fake outrage, our willingness to take to social media to decry one act or another( we are getting really good at this), as long as it doesn’t affect our needs and our lives. This last Saturday’s boxing match showed me that we are not as outraged by domestic violence as we would like to think.

When the video of Ray Rice dragging his girlfriend out of an elevator hit the Internet, social media went crazy and for good reason. Rice knocked his girlfriend out, then dragged her unconscious body out of the elevator, as if it was perfectly normal. The NFL responded, months later, by terminating his contract, but only after a firestorm of outcry.

Adrian Peterson, a very large man even by football’s standards, beat his child with a tree switch so violently that a doctor who examined him, called the authorities after seeing the bruises to the child’s legs and butt. Peterson was later convicted of child abuse. Peterson still plays football, but for how long remains to be seen.

In 2014, 12 professional football players were charged with domestic abuse. In the last 14 years, there have been 87 arrests. It is true the public is starting to take notice and voicing their disgust to the violence, but you know what? It is easy to be outraged and call for a player’s head when it really doesn’t affect our lives. It is easy to be outraged and offended by one player knowing we can still cheer for the team. But we are awfully quiet when it comes to a sport that involves just two opponents.

Case in point. A boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao took place Saturday night. It was hyped as the fight of the century! HBO practically begged its subscribers to purchase access to this live event; between daily e-mails and robo calls, it was hard to ignore their shameless plugging of the fight. Bars and restaurants used the event to lure customers into their establishments. People talked about it for weeks. The news media couldn’t talk about it enough, as if these two modern gladiators were exactly what we needed to get our minds off of Baltimore. And, yes I think it was sadly ironic that this was used to get our minds off of culturally unacceptable violence by hyping culturally sanctioned violence.

And here’s the thing. These two modern gladiators have horrible track records when it comes to women. Mayweather has been charged 5 times with domestic abuse, one leading to jail time. Pacquiao is a congressman from the Philippines who is against the use of contraceptives. He has been quoted as saying, “God said go forth and multiply, and he didn’t mean have one or two children”. That’s right ladies, Pacquiao thinks it’s your job to over-populate the earth because God said so. The poverty rate in the Philippines is nightmarishly high, with many of its citizens earning a dollar a day. Yet, Pacquiao, a man who made his fortune by not turning the other cheek, thinks it’s best to have children, even if you can’t afford to feed them because God said so. What a great guy!

Yet, when it was announced these two would fight on national TV for millions of dollars, no one cried out. No one called for the boycotting of HBO (are you kidding, and miss Games of Thrones?), and no one called for the boycotting of any bar that hosted the event. Mayweather is a convicted wife beater, yet where was the outrage?

To be fair, the media did mention his less than stellar view on women, but no one in the media questioned the idea of letting this man in the ring. And social media, the front lines in the battle of social outrage? Crickets. Oh sure there was some mention here and there about Mayweather, but it was largely in joke form or an excuse to cheer for Pacquiao. So what’s the difference? Why the calling for the football players heads, but not Mayweather’s? Here’s what I think (and yes, it’s only my opinin).

I think outrage is proportional to how much it affects those who are outraged. With football it is easy to pick out one player and demand justice. After all, even if he is terminated or evicted, the game goes on. We can sleep well knowing we collectively called for the end of company-sanctioned (or covered –up) domestic abuse while still enjoying the game. But with boxing we can’t do that. If we were to call for Mayweather and Tyson before him, to be banned the show wouldn’t go on. We would lose out on watching the fight of the century. It doesn’t matter that Mayweather has a long history of domestic abuse; we still want to see him fight. We paid out so much money to see him fight, Mayweather will end up earning up to $200 million dollars. In my opinion, all of this is outrageous.

My 2014 Wish List

Back when Blogspot hosted The View From Sari’s World I wrote a weekly Sunday Rant post. Some of my posts were better received than others yet I always felt better after I got off my chest whatever issue was gnawing at my brain that week. Being home all week made me think it may be time to bring the weekly post back. Too much time on my hand and way too much TV have had a lot to do with this thought.

As I mulled this idea over, trying to come up with a clever way to not sound like an old curmudgeon, I found a post by author Jack Flacco that may have solved my problem. I wish I had thought of this first! Instead of writing a list of New Year’s resolutions Flacco has given us a fun 2014 wish list/bucket list. I have no intention of writing a bucket list just yet, (give me time I’m turn 50 this year so maybe I should start at least thinking about one) but I do find the idea of a list a lot more fun than a rant. So for my faithful followers I offer you:

My 2014 wish list

I wish people would stop acting shocked whenever a hillbilly redneck opens his or her mouth. No, you weren’t surprised by what Phil from Duck Dynasty said. You should have been surprised it took him so long to say it! We all know there are those who still walk among us who hold these views. No matter how much it repulses us, we will never be completely free from idiots like Phil. Ever hear the expression “give a man a long enough rope and he will hang himself”? I say let Phil speak, and then let the world decide if he belongs in the public spotlight. If what he said really, really bothers you contact the show’s sponsors to tell them you will not be buying their products while he is on TV and then follow through on the threat. Far too many people bitch about things yet never do a damn thing about them.

I wish somebody would tell Phil that inventing a tool that when used properly alerts ducks to the promise of sex is a hell of a lot closer to bestiality than anything two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home. I also wish I could see the look on his face when being told this harsh truth.

I wish I did not have a pile of unfinished books on my shelves. I have so many I could probably make the first grownup book fort. Seriously, I don’t know what happened in 2013 but I struggled to finish the books I read. Maybe I’m developing adult ADD (which reminds me, I forgot to start the laundry) or my reading choices in 2013 were not so hot. Either way I hope 2014 is kinder to me in this regard. Oh sure, I did manage to read Stephen King’s The Gunslinger Friday afternoon, but find myself putting aside The Drawing of the three. I’ve been promised the series gets better but so far I have not found this to be true. And speaking of books…

I wish someone could explain to me this new genre of “Dino Porn”. I was made aware of this type of book by Ben and Aaron of Mysterious Universe. I’m still not quite over the shock of being subjected to Ben’s reading from one of these books. Apparently this is not some underground secret cult churning out these books, nor is it some crazy creationist’s novel approach to showing the world dinosaurs and humans did in fact live together. No, it is quickly becoming a growing cottage industry. So much so that online book retailers are starting to not only take notice, they are cracking down on it. Amazon is pulling the e-books down just as quickly as authors write them, citing the no bestiality clause. Maybe someone should send one to Phil? Could 2014 be the era of monster erotica? If so, let this be a sign of the end times.

Honest Abe
Honest Abe

I wish people would stop believing everything they hear or read on TV and the internet. This is a wish I have had every year since the internet was made available for public use yet I continue to believe someday people will take the time to look things up for themselves. This point was driven home last night while having dinner with my parents; two people who are retired and have the time to look into issues they fell are important but do not. We talked about Phil, Paula Dean and incandescent light bulbs. They tried to defend both Phil and Paula until I told them what words they were defending. I asked my mother if she knew the difference between incandescent and halogen. No she didn’t. She just knew Fox News reported that the old fashion light bulbs were disappearing at the stroke of midnight Dec 31 so she went out and bought a case of them. I pointed to the two bulbs overhead and said “you mean the ones that look like this?  Yeah, these are halogen mom. You will still be able to buy old fashion looking light bulbs”. I wish my parents would stop watching Fox News.

I wish more of my readers would leave comments. For a blog that garners a lot of visitors and hundreds of followers I don’t get a lot of feedback. Do you come here to laugh (at me, not with me, I know I’m not that funny). Do you visit to feel better about your own writing? Or do you simply visit because you like my posts? One of my goals of 2014 is to become a better writer and to do this I need your honest feedback. Help me make this one 2014 wish come true.  If nothing else, leave a comment and share one 2014 wish.