Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Crack-pipe of Moral Indignation

Josh writes:

So I'm perusing a conversation on a friend's journal where people are mulling over the self-stratification and victimisation some people choose for themselves, when I see an erudite individual of my acquaintance has made an interesting point:

what i dont understand is why these stupid twats come & create a heirarchy in their heads AND THEN PLACE THEMSELVES AT THE BOTTOM OF IT. if i were creating a heirarchy in my head, i'd be placing myself at the TOP.

Now, as it happens, John Rogers of Kung Fu Monkey addressed this exact point a couple of days earlier:
...because one of the great secrets of human nature is that the one thing people want more than love, security, sex, chocolate or big-screen TV's is to feel hard done by.

Why? Because being hard done by is the shit. Feeling hard done by is the sweetest of drugs. If you're being persecuted -- it must mean you're doing the right thing, right? You get the mellow buzz of the moral high ground, but without arrogantly claiming it as your own. You get an instant, supportive community in a big dark scary world of such scope it may well literally be beyond rational human processing. When you are hard done by, you get purpose in a life where otherwise, you'd have to find your own. And when you ride that high, then no amount of logic, no pointing out that in actuality you and your beliefs are at a high point of popularity and influence for the last hundred years -- is going to pry that sweet crack-pipe of moral indignation from your hands.

And he's not wrong. Forget P, forget dope, forget your party pills and herbal ecstasy -- it's the sickly allure of underdog status that's the biggest threat to today's society. How many letters to the editor have there been on the theme of:

"Waah! How come Christians are the only group it's OK to pick on?"

You mean apart from immigrants, criminals and (depending on the current national mood) Maori? Well, being the major religion in this country, we figure you can take it, ya big baby. See also: why it's OK for you to pick on your little brother, but no-one else can.

"Waah! How come the media has such a liberal/conservative bias?" It doesn't -- it has a populist bias. I can't understand why so many people have yet to work out that the media isn't Labour or National -- it's Winston Fucking Peters.

"Waah! How come there isn't a Ministry of Men's Affairs or a Menspace at Auckland Uni?" Get a grip, numbnuts -- we RUN THE FUCKING PLANET! Own most of it, too.

"Waah! How come rich people have to pay so much tax!" See above.

I could go on, but it's only a matter of time before I get into "Waah! How come there's so many stupid people making life aggravating for intelligent, perceptive petals such as my delicate self?" and collapse under the weight of my own hypocrisy. I don't think anyone wants that.


RSJS said...

The problem with craving underpuppy status is some vile bastards end up cramming others to he top of the heaps so they can cower under them like monkeys keeping out of the rain. I find it most disconcerting there are clinically insane baby-bats sheltering beneath my perceived benevolence and muttering darkly about elitism. I feel oppressed by their belief in my oppressive nature, making them the oppressors and as such I am beneath those beneath me in some eternal struggle for who gets to go underneath. Soon we will deisappear up each other's arses, which is how so many gothic flaps end.

...ah, who am I kidding, I love the worship and envy of the little people. It's baffling but ego-warming.

Mary said...

I unabashedly claim the moral highground!
I stand upon it's mighty cliff tops and laugh at the cowering mortals in the ravines of baby-batdom below me!

mary said...

(you can tell the moral highground belongs to me because I stuck a flag in it)

Josh said...

A black flag, no doubt. Black like your soul.

No hang on, that's pirates.

RSJS said...

I saw the moral high ground on a postcard once. I'll stick with my squirming stygian pillar of self-loathing goth children. Or is that "stick TO my pillar..."?