Having observed that there seems to be a new “outrage” every day, Slate magazine kept track for all of 2014 and produced a year-end piece on the cumulative effect of perpetual outrage. “Over the past decade or so,” write the authors, “outrage has become the default mode for politicians, pundits, critics and, with the rise of social media, the rest of us. When something outrageous happens—when a posh London block installs anti-homeless spikes, or when Khloé Kardashian wears a Native American headdress, or, for that matter, when we read the horrifying details in the Senate’s torture report—it’s easy to anticipate the cycle that follows: anger, sarcasm, recrimination, piling on; defenses and counterattacks; anger at the anger, disdain for the outraged; sometimes, an apology … and on to the next. Twitter and Facebook make it easier than ever to participate from home. And the same cycle occurs regardless of the gravity of the offense, which can make each outrage feel forgettable, replaceable. The bottomlessness of our rage has a numbing effect.”
“The Year of Outrage,” by Allison Benedikt, Chris Kirk, and Dan Kois. Slate, December 17, 2014.