Every time I think George Will has reached a new level of lacking self-awareness, I have to check myself and remember, no, he's always been this big of an obtuse fathead. But truly, this quote during his indignant, pouty-pants defense of his column where he tried to shame rape victims into silence was a thing of wonder: "Today, for some reason, indignation is the default position of certain people. I think it has something to do with the internet." Yes, and probably that new-fangled rock-and-roll music he hears so much about.
The reason this is obtuse fatheadery should be immediately apparent, but lest it's not, I'll spell it out for you: George Will only has two modes, as far as I can tell, and that's "indignation" and "sleep". I bet Will has been indignant about more things before he finished his coffee this morning that most of us will be indignant about all summer long.
Clearly, Will believes some kinds of indignation are more justifiable than others. Your indignation about piddly crap like injustice or sexual violence is unworthy of being felt, much less expressed. His indignation that kids these days continue to be young, however, is not only justified, but clarifying. It elevates the indignant person to new heights of moral purity.
But while Will may simply know what kind of indignation is intolerable nonsense and what kind of indignation is a wondrous thing of glory, you plebes probably can't tell the difference. And so here is helpful list so you, too, can aim your indignation at the proper targets with the inerrancy of George Will, and avoid being indignant about things that don't really matter.
Things You Should Never Be Indignant About, Unless You're Some Kind Of Internet Person Political Correctness Irritant
- Most sexual assaults, particularly those where the victim knew her rapist
- Cranky old men trying to shame sexual assault victims into silence
- Men who ignore the word "no" because they really, really want to get their dick wet tonight
- Publications who demand rigid argumentation and high levels of evidence from their liberal writers while letting conservatives spout off some random opinion they didn't bother to research, because they fear that holding conservatives to basic standards of journalism will mean they have no conservative op-ed writers left anymore
- Conservative mendacity in general
- Economic and social injustice in general
- Anything that harms women or people of color disproportionately
Things That You Should Spend Every Waking Moment Being Indignant About
- Girls these days thinking they exist to be anything more than silent decorations and future housework providers for young men
- Blue jeans
- Voting that's so easy that they'll let anyone do it these days
- The minimum wage
- That people seem more interested in the World Cup than baseball this summer
- That people voted for Obama even though Will helpfully tried to warn them that he is black
- People complaining about stuff like being unemployed and other such noise
- The 60s
- Scientists, with all their tedious yapping about climate change
- That horrible moment when a conservative has shamed someone for being gay/female/non-white, and the person they tried to shame refuses to be ashamed
This is not a comprehensive list by any stretch, but just a start to give you an idea about when indignation is or isn't appropriate. However, I understand if you may still be feeling confusion. So here's another test to see if your indignation is soul-enriching or if it's just stupid crap no one cares about that you should shut up.
Test To See If Your Indignation Matters
Step #1: Go to the mirror. Are you a middle-aged white man?
- If yes, proceed to step two.
- If no, shut the fuck up. No one cares what you think.
Step #2: Try to remember who you voted for in the last election. Were they Republican?
- If yes, then congratulations! Everything that makes you indignant, even the mildest seeming irritation or random thing you don't quite understand, is a force of moral certainty. Gripe away, secure in the knowledge that the world needs your priceless indignation.
- If no, STFU. Also, who asked you?
I hope that clarifies things!