Ahhh!!!

The Myth of Shock Value

November 23, 2012

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When I first meet someone, I use harsh language and dangerous opinions to weed out the wimps who aren”€™t worth my time, but I”€™m still using my own words and opinions. When discussing a topic or writing about it, I”€™m not attracted to things that are going to shock you. I”€™m attracted to things that haven”€™t been done to death. Good writing isn”€™t about random alarmism. It’s about not being boring. 

Ultimately, the shock-value accusation says more about the shockee than the shocker. Once you can finally convince the shockee that the words you are putting in his head are: a) really there; b) not just there to scare him; and c) true, he”€™ll usually plug his ears and go, “€œBlah blah blah blah blah I can”€™t hear you.”€

I”€™m not exaggerating. I was having my weekly Ann Coulter argument where I subject myself to New Yorkers who assume she only says things to be offensive. This particular idiot’s claim was that she needs to say outrageous things because that gets people talking and gets her back on Fox News. I calmly explained to him that Fox News doesn”€™t pay her for her appearances and she’s only there to promote her book. Nobody in this entire city seems to get this, but she doesn”€™t get paid to offend people. She gets paid to write thoughtful books that are factually accurate.

When challenged to come up with one statement in her book that isn’t completely true, he responded: “€œHere’s the thing”€”I don’t care if she is factually correct with what she says or not….Her profits are entirely tied to increased division in politics and the population.” Along with this mind-melting statement, he promised to never, ever crack open a page of one of her books.

Oooooh, so THAT’s what’s going on. What we”€™re REALLY worried about is being “€œdivisive.”€ We all need to get along so we”€™re going to start with that end in mind and work backward from there. I”€™m starting to think that’s why they reelected an incompetent president. He’s half-black and-half white and he’s going to bring us all back together”€”end of story. In their minds, anyone who does anything that hinders Project Unity is part of the problem, no matter how valid their complaint.

When Welch Allyn, Exide Technologies, Dana Holding Corp., Energizer, Boston Scientific, Westinghouse, Abbott Labs, Research in Motion, Westgate Resorts, Husqvarna, Medtronic, PerkinElmer, Smith & Nephew, Boeing, Center for Hospice New York, Pratt & Whitney, Rocketdyne, Bristol-Meyers, Lightyear Network Solutions, Murray Energy Company, US Cellular, Applebee’s, The Providence Journal Company, Kroger, Hawker Beechcraft, Southeastern Container, Teco Coal Holdings,  New Energy Corporation and Mills Manufacturing, Denny’s, Papa John’s, Lowe’s, and Stryker Corporation say Obama’s reelection is forcing them to lay people off, we”€™re told we need to boycott them for racism. Their “€œprofits are tied to increased division.”€ Sorry, but I think it’s OK to be divisive if half the country is retarded. I don”€™t want to be unified with people who happily march toward the edge of a cliff.

Look, assholes, if I vigorously explain why I disagree with you, I”€™m not doing it to shock you. I”€™m not saying it because someone paid me to say it, and I don”€™t give a shit if it’s not conducive to your grand plan. I only care whether it’s true. Just as all politics should go back to the Constitution, every argument I have inevitably comes back to the same old Jefferson quote: “€œThere is not a truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world.”€

 

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