Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Disincentive for Restraint"

I actually saw this link on The Daily Dish yesterday. I wanted to incorporate it into a longer post about American society and culture, but it should stand on its own.

Matt Taibbi of the Rolling Stone looks at our political mania, and his part in it. It is a long read, but worthwhile.

The important quote to me (also nearly the same as from the Daily Dish yesterday):

But while I tell myself all these things, I also know that I would never talk to my wife or my mother the way I talk to Lloyd Blankfein. Is it ever right to just wind up and let someone have it with all you've got? That's a question that I think has to be asked. It's certainly possible that we've all become too used to unrestrained rhetoric as a form of entertainment, and people like me live right in the middle of the guilt parabola there. Most all of us are grownups and can handle extreme argument, but clearly some people are not, and obviously I'm not just talking about Jared Loughner.

To see that, all you have to do is attend almost any family gathering, where once-loving relationships have been completely lost because of the overheated right-left culture war. If real family relationships are being lost to this kind of political debate, if someone on TV can reach into your living room and break up your family without knowing anything about you or even knowing that you exist, that tells us that this mechanized mass-media rhetoric has been almost unimaginably successful at dehumanizing whole classes of people.


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