I’ve just about had it with the internet. I used to think, wow it’s so great that there are so many young strong voices protesting things that matter. I used to think that the youth’s collective outrage over things like sexual assault and racism was a good thing. But what it has turned into, what it is in danger of becoming is about as helpful to the collective well being of people overall that driving a hybrid SUV does for the economy. You see, this outrage at Stephen Colbert, for instance, or the worst of these – Lena Dunham – or now, Game of Thrones reminds me of the tragedy that online discourse has become. You see, none of it means anything. None of it changes anything. None of it helps anyone anywhere. These are examples of people who really have too much time on their hands because no one has yet tuned them into the real problems — the devastating station of many real life issues here on the planet earth. Every time one of these controversies, so-called, bubbles up I want to put my head through a plate glass window.
Is it really just another form of entertainment? Is it really just yet one more way to distract a democracy – a government for the people, by the people that we’ve absolutely lost control of? Are the 1% laughing at us as we angrily tap away on our computer screens about whether or not that scene was sexual assault or rape? Are they laughing at the long think pieces in online magazines that draw 1000 comments? Probably. If they can pull themselves away from counting their billions, sure.
The sad part is, the comments on one of those faux outrage articles can sometimes equal comments on whether Justin Beiber should be deported, whether Beyonce and JayZ “crossed the line” when they sexy-danced at the Grammys, whether Tori Spelling’s husband cheated on her, or whether Kate Upton should get a breast reduction. Yes, this is how much We the People give a shit about our shrinking democracy, our polluted world, worldwide poverty, slavery, exploitation of children, actual assault everywhere in every country in the world. Do we give a shit about anything anymore? No, we don’t have to because we have these outlets for our imaginary outrage at an imaginary work of art that once we condemn publicly we can walk away feeling as though we’ve done something good for society. Oh yeah? And what good was that exactly? Huffing and puffing about right and wrong where art is concerned?
Imagine a scene where Jaime had climbed off of Cersei because she said “it’s not right.” How would that have soothed the tortured souls of the many who claim that the show is advocating sexual assault? Oh, what’s that? It would make you feel good about what exactly? That the directors and producers of a television show align with your idea of political correctness? This, because presumably you are unable to actually use that giant brain you were born with that enables you to think for yourself?
I would posit the following to anyone who spent more than five minutes huffing and puffing about Game of Thrones (you do realize, of course, that controversy on television only equals publicity? You get that, right?) to put your energies somewhere that matters. For every angry tweet and think piece about the wrongness of that scene write an equally angry tweet about an issue that could actually, you know, inform people about something terrible that’s happening in our world right now. Here are a few ideas for you:
1. Those floating masses of plastic in the oceans of the world. What are they? Why does no one care that they are there? What could they possibly be doing to the ecosystems?
2. The fallout of the BP oil spill – just because CNN has its head up the ass of the missing plane (it’s gone, they’re dead, sorry but there is no story) to write about it but it is still killing dolphins as we speak. Fuckers at BP still refuse to pay for research. Does anyone care?
3. The ferry disaster in Korea. Any outrage tweets about that? Yeah? Didn’t think so.
4. Man charged in sexual assault of 12 year old girl in Claremont. Not sexy enough for you?
5. Chemical attacks in Syria, new charges – but hey, that’s not on HBO!
6. And finally, rich douchebag spared prison after raping his own daughter.
Things are bad in our country. Really bad. They are getting worse for our civilization and they sure as shit aren’t going to get any better if the internet decides Stephen Colbert is a racist or that Game of Thrones advocates rape. Do yourself a favor – every time you feel an outrage tweet bubbling up about something that doesn’t matter do a google search for an example of something really awful in the world. You don’t have to do much. It will take you thirty seconds. In the meantime, stop wasting YOUR time.
But if you must pin me down to actually discussing something that really doesn’t matter in the least bit – I will tell you this about that scene. It could be rape and still be allowed on that show. It makes a comment ON RAPE without condoning it. I did not see it that way. I saw it as a struggle between two people who have a very wrong but very irresistible sexual connection. It was no worse than much of what is depicted on Game of Thrones. It is not meant to be politically correct or depict an ideal world. It is meant to depict a mostly lawless world where women only have power if they can take it for themselves and a few of them actually are. But don’t let me stop you from condemning the one show on TV that actually hands that power over to the females on the show because that would stop from you getting on your soapbox and making broad proclamations that ultimately do no more than make you feel as though you’ve done good work for the way by standing up for what’s right. Here’s a tip: you really didn’t. It is imaginary outrage aimed at an imaginary world. That’s all.
Yes, I know, the books – yes, it was shocking – yes, people love Jaime – I get it. Doesn’t change a thing. Tomorrow there will be something equally outrageous to take its place, probably involving Justin Beiber.