In Outrage We Trust

I refrain from talking about politics in works, so I was perplexed reading this comment on today’s Daily Dojo:

Walt Whitman was a marxist and antithetical to american norms and virtues. Love your musical musings and videos, but please lose the political tangent you seem to embrace.

A pissed off Internet twit

Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is one of those books that was so new, so different, so brilliant on its publication that it continues to resonate with people and scare the hell out of shallow and stupid people.

Antithetical to american norms and virtues? Really?

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

Walt Whitman, I Hear America Singing

Poetry, and art in general can act as a sort of Rorschach test in that the reader will see the bugbears or angels of their psyche reflected in the words. If you see gay marxists in my work I would be willing to bet you see them in your cornflakes or the wood grain of your desk.

Part of this nonsense stems from the fact that America has become a land where everybody is outraged over something stupid.

“This person said something I don’t like. I am outraged!”

“Well I am outraged that you are outraged!”

“Oh yeah? Well I am outraged by your outrage over my outrage!”

“I am outraged by your outrage over my outrage over your outrage!”

“I see your outrage, outrage, outrage, outrage and raise you even more outrage!”

“This is outrageous! I am outraged!”

“Wait. . . what are we outraged over? I lost track.”

“I am outraged that you forgot the cause of this outrage!”

“Really? Well, I’m going to be on The View talking about how outraged I am! Jim Carrey is going to do a painting and everything!”

“Oh, big deal! Fox News is going to have me on talking about how your outrage is destroying America!”

Any topic on any given day

It’s like a critical mass of lunacy. Who’s On First circa 2019. Everybody is pissed off about something, acting as if being outraged – or simply disagreeing with something – is a mortal wound.

I keep politics and religion out of my work. If you see a tangent other than my usual, “Love the world and share!” my advice would be to find yourself another music teacher.

3 thoughts on “In Outrage We Trust

  1. I am outraged you suggested I find a new music teacher! 🙂

    Well put Patrick and a great philosophy to have.

  2. Sigh! No Matter what you do in life, Somebody won’t like it. Patrick, just keep doing your thing. By far, most of us out here greatly appreciate all you’ve done and continue to do for us. Thanks once again!

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