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Mark Morford

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I Am Outraged! Are You Not Outraged?

Posted: 11/01/10 02:51 PM ET

You surely are, yes? Outraged, that is? Seething and churning and burning up inside, deeply upset about that thing that just happened and which you did not want to occur in that particular way, even though it totally did? Damn right.

Here's the good news: You are not alone. Nearly all good Americans are outraged about something. This is what makes us good Americans. This is how we know we're alive, what defines us versus them. Ill-conceived outrage is our heritage, our birthright, our grand legacy as a super-privileged, first-world culture. Goddamn this miserable world, and have you seen my text-messaging bill? Outrageous!

To be sure, outrage comes in many forms, flavors and degrees of serration. But the truly modern American kind can only be found by employing a certain wonderful, proprietary matrix, a formula of fury and frustration that we as a country live by like some sort of mantra, tattooed onto our little red, white and blue bones.

It goes like this: the more ridiculous, tiny, arcane or completely irrational the object of your outrage is, the more you know you have attained ultimate freedom. You are living the real American Dream, hereby defined as being endlessly upset and miserable about totally meaningless bullshit for no valid reason whatsoever because you have everything you could ever want or need in this life, ever.

Such it was that I found myself tickled to death to read about all the distressed American consumers recently "stirred to outrage" not over, say, genocide, or bank foreclosure scandals, or horrific gay bashing, or because someone killed their cat with a baseball bat and then cooked it over a BBQ with a nice Chianti before peeing on their favorite shoes and raping their couch.

No, this headline-making outrage was all caused by the world-shattering news of -- can you guess? -- the redesigned logo for the Gap clothing company, quite possibly the least interesting line of chain-store shopping mall attire ever sewn together in China, except for all the rest.

Perhaps you heard the laments? The lonely wails deep in the night? Perhaps you were one of those who instantly joined the "I hate the new Gap logo!!" Facebook group that sprang up within seconds of the announcement, just before slamming yourself in the face with a brick and drooling into a cup? Fun for you!

Verily, when the first images of the perfectly boring new logo -- basically "Gap" in overused Helvetica, with a little blue square hovering just above and to the right -- landed on the Interweb, the outcry hit like a thunderclap made of toenail clippings and old pudding.

Everyone hated it. For no discernible reason. Well, one reason. Because it was new. It was different. It wasn't what came before. We're Americans, goddammit. We hate new things. Right up until we love them.

It was logo Armageddon ...

Mark Morford is the author of "The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism," a mega-collection of his finest columns for the SF Chronicle and SFGate. Get it at daringspectacle.com or Amazon. He recently wrote about the world's most perfect product, the wonderful hoax that is global warming, and the dark, magnificent horror of the BP spill. His website is markmorford.com. Join him on Facebook, or email him. Not to mention...

 
 
 

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