I’m Shocked! Absolutely Shocked!

Posted on March 28, 2012


I’m shocked! Absolutely shocked!

Yesterday, Fox News pundit Geraldo Rivera apologized after he was criticized for suggesting parents might want to prevent their teenagers from wearing hoodies if hoodies caused teens to be singled out as potential troublemakers as part of his commentary on the Trayvon Martin case. I was shocked! Absolutely shocked!

Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh recently apologized after receiving criticism for calling a Georgetown law school student a slut for suggesting her university’s insurance plan should cover birth control. I was shocked! Absolutely shocked! I was so worn out from my shock that I had to drink a bottle of Gatorade to refuel from the shock so I could get back to being shocked as quickly as possible.

Actor Robert De Niro apologized after receiving criticism for joking America wasn’t ready for another white first lady. I was so shocked! So very shocked! I might just give up eating altogether because my stomach is too volatile from all these constant shocks. I can’t keep food down because I’m so constantly shocked!

Former Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron was criticized for saying something about homosexuality. I didn’t get all the details but I’m shocked! Shocked! Shocked! Shocked! Oh how I wish the hurt he had caused me was merely growing pains.

I can think of at least five athletes in the last week who apologized for comments they’ve made. I’m not familiar with the athletes or the exact details of their shocking utterances, but I’m still so, so, so shocked that I might not ever exercise again.

Being so shocked isn’t easy. It requires a full-time commitment. I constantly check the news and Twitter all day, every day, just so I don’t miss an opportunity to be outraged. I sleep with my phone under my pillow and it vibrates to alert me each time a news story contains any comments from politicians or media figures expressing shock at someone’s comments and demanding an apology. My dreams are haunted by outrage.

I start every morning by typing the following keywords into the Google News search engine:

reasons to be offended

things that might hurt my feelings

people who said things I don’t like and should shut up

trending campaigns to demand someone apologize for something even though everyone knows the apology won’t be sincere but at least the apology will satisfy us with a feeling of victorious finality so we can move on to the next opportunity to be shocked

I’m exhausted from all my shock and outrage. At least I think I am. Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting the feeling for outrage confused with other feelings like car sickness or the anticipation of going to a waterpark. It’s hard to know if I’m actually feeling shock or just programmed to shout out how shocked I am as soon as I hear a couple keywords that I know are controversial. If I am getting the feelings confused and the world isn’t near as shocking as I somehow trained myself to believe, there must be somebody to blame–and that somebody owes me an apology.

Posted in: Columns