“Oh No, Not Again!” Coping with Perpetual Outrage Syndrome

I feel tired. But not for the usual reasons, like trying to balance motherhood, significant other, full-time job, and all the activities and responsibilities that come with the “Superwoman Myth.” I’m tired because there’s only so much outrage I can muster on a constant basis.

It seems like I once had an inexhaustible supply. But after being whipsawed back and forth with rage-inducing episodes like this and this – and ongoing affronts like this – my storehouse of outrage is depleting.

Now I just snarl to myself when the nation’s first black president runs a sophisticated data-driven re-election campaign, yet conservatives chalk up this historic victory to minorities and women who “feel they are entitled” to “stuff.” I tune them out. Let them blather.

Image: Edvard Munch, “The Scream”

Other times I cuss under my breath. We send young men and women off to war without a compelling reason to do so, and fail to take care of them when they return home. Then on Veteran’s Day – when we should give them our singular focus – we dissect the titillating details of a four-star general’s sordid love triangle, or “love Pentagon” as a friend tweeted.

On the one hand, social media amplifies the outrage decibel, with one appalling or distressing event after another. But even without that stimulus, there’s the daily grind and frustrations: getting cut off in traffic, an inconsiderate salesperson, living with a hormonal tween. There are only so many absurdities you can process before being numbed by it all.

So to the residents in more than 30 states who want to secede because they feel so aggrieved at the Nov. 6 election results (i.e., Barack Hussein Obama had the unmitigated gall to reclaim the presidency), I say “sayonara.”

Last I checked, leading the pack in petition signatures was Louisiana and Texas, states that have benefited greatly from the federal gravy train provided by blue state taxpayers. The next time a hurricane hits or the ground dries up from drought, I have every faith that small government and rugged individualism will sustain them. Guess we would miss Tex-Mex, beignets and Dixieland jazz, but we can muddle through.

That’s not to say that I don’t care about anything anymore. I do. I’m just tapped out when it comes to responding with intense indignation to every onslaught of stupid. The whack-a-mole approach – swinging at whatever outrage pops up on any given day – is better left to the throngs of twitizens and shut-ins who have way more energy and free time than me to chime in on the latest offense.

As a black woman in America, not to mention an unapologetic liberal, I am presented with a plethora of reasons to be pissed off daily, if not hourly. With a finite supply of outrage, I choose to practice conservation. At least for now, while I store up my reserves, camel-style, for the next egregious act.


  1. Could you have ever imagined what has taken place following the election? It’s shocking, really.

    • Obviously of the same mind on this topic 🙂 I had the same rule with my son: temper tantrums will not be rewarded. Thanks for sharing your post! Very funny.