I was angry. Righteously angry.
I hit the ‘retweet’ button again.
I allowed myself a chuckle as I searched for the next 140 character thought which would damn the EU to hell.
The news, in case you missed it, is that the European Union’s second highest court has ordered the removal of Hamas from a terrorist blacklist.
Netanyahu responded with a fiery “It seems that too many in Europe, on whose soil six million Jews were slaughtered, have learned nothing…” (Someone buy that man a copy of ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People.’ Please?)
As each day of 2014 went past, we all had something new to be outraged about. 15th December – People taking selfies near the Lindt cafe in Sydney. 16th December – Pro North Korea hackers interfering with The Interview movie. 17th December – EU/Hamas decision. Outrage, outrage, outrage.
The vast majority of this year’s outrage – at least amongst those with an interest in Israel – was probably well placed. Anyone who values freedom has every right to be outraged at the constant barrage of rockets which forced Israel into yet another Gaza war. There was also outrage thrown toward the media, the UN and Abbas of course (you’ll notice we were outraged about all of these things in 2013 too. Some things never change).
Slate.com has helpfully compiled a list of everything the Internet got outraged about in 2014. Click here to view the list. Their claim is simple: Outrage has taken over our lives
“Over the past decade or so, 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.”
As far as ‘reviews of the year’ go, I’d say that paragraph is right on the money.
It’s good to fight for what is right. Hamas should be on the top of everyone’s ‘terrorist black list’ (because we all have one, don’t we?) But lets not lose our sense of perspective.
Any emotion – even the good ones – can become tiresome. You can even be bored of being bored. So although outrage has its place, personally I’m getting tired of it. That’s not because outrage is wrong, but because a lot of the issues us tweeters, bloggers and even journalists get angry about, simply don’t matter as much as we think they do.
If you take the time to read the small print, you’ll see the EU aren’t saying ‘Hamas aren’t terrorists, they’re just misunderstood freedom fighters who got off to a bad start in life’. Not at all! In reality they’re saying ‘the evidence currently available to us isn’t strong enough to put them on our superior European-standard gold-plated terrorist list.’
The EU are hardly the only bureaucratic organisation that takes great delight in employing long winded methodologies that lack common sense. These are the kinds of people who, when asked to help move a table, reply ‘It’s not a table. It’s a carefully molded and stuck together cut down tree. The evidence doesn’t support the theory its a table. I can’t put the word ‘table’ in my dictionary yet. There’s not enough evidence.’
My prediction is after the required time needed for the EU’s research process (remember neither common sense nor 5 minutes worth of Googling count), they will be slapping Hamas back onto the top of their shiny terror list. I’m only making one prediction for 2015, and its this: The EU will put Hamas back on the list. This is of course good news…for most of us. For those who enjoy being angry at the EU, it’s actually bad news – they’ll have one less thing to be outraged about.