One of the weird aspects of this age is how important people appropriate the emotions and feeling of others and make them their own. They will make statements about their feelings on a subject, but those feelings are not really their feelings because they cannot actually be experiencing the feelings in questions. Our Cloud People have normalized emotional appropriation as a way of projecting to the Dirt People that they have genuine human emotions.
The easy example here is the public person who has a rare moment of honesty and posts what they really think on Twitter. This sets off the familiar drama on-line in which people rush to their favorite platform to express their outrage. The fact that they have no reason to care, much less be outraged, goes unnoticed. Eventually, the director of this drama tells the star to waddle out on stage and issue an apology. In that apology, the star claims to feel things that cannot be felt.
For example, they always say something about feeling remorse for the pain they have caused, despite the fact this is impossible. You can feel remorse for causing harm to an actual human, but not for anonymous zombies on-line. Further, the people claiming to have been harmed were not harmed. In fact, the opportunity to play along in the drama was the highlight of their day, maybe their life. Like the famous people, they got to appropriate the feelings of others.
None of the emotions expressed in these offense-apology dramas can be real, because it does not involve real victims or real offenses. The star of these shows often says, “I apologize to those I have offended” but the statement itself says they are not sure who they could have offended. You can only apologize to real humans to whom you have committed real harm. An apology to imaginary people is an imaginary apology for an imaginary harm. It is all just emotional appropriation.
A recent example of this is the football coach caught dancing with a woman not his wife after a football game. For some reason, football fans were “outraged” as if we have suddenly been thrust into Victorian times. The owner of the team that employs the coach was scandalized, calling it “inexcusable”. The coach then apologized to imaginary people for something no one, other than maybe his wife, should have an interest, much less an emotional investment.
Another common example of emotional appropriation is the Cloud Person taking pride in something that does not exist. Politicians will talk about different communities, for example, as if they are rural villages with a well-defined character. The “trans community” is a current favorite. The politicians will claim to be proud of their support for the trans community. You cannot take pride in something you had no part in creating and you cannot be proud of something that does not exist.
Pride, ironically enough, is one of the most important emotions for our modern emotional appropriators. College presidents are always talking about how proud they are of their community. They are just hired fundraisers who drift from job to job, never creating anything but trouble. Yet, they will take pride in the work of others as if they had a hand in it. The fixation on the sin of pride by the Cloud People is one of those things that reveals much about our age.
The sin of pride, for those deprived of proper religious training, is considered a rebellion against God. The person committing this sin attributes to himself the honor and glory that is due to another, usually God. Since our Cloud People worship the arc of history, it sort of makes sense that they inappropriately take pride in that which is the product of generations of history. Pride has been called the cancer of the soul. It is considered the first and most serious of the deadly sins.
One reason for these weird public displays of emotion is that we have shifted from a male dominated culture to a female dominated one. Maintaining a stiff upper lip, especially in public, is a male attribute. Women, on the other hand, have always been encouraged to show emotion. This is why all public people feel a need to show emotion in public. It is how they project their piety. In order to gain status, you must show how much you care, which often means blubbering in public.
Another issue here, though, is the people who now dominate public life are not capable of real human emotion. They don’t do things, for example, for which they could take genuine pride. They don’t have a concern for the welfare of others. This is the age of the public sociopath. Caring about real people is a sucker’s play in this age, so the ambitious try to avoid it. The result is we get these weird dramas where the Cloud People appropriate the emotions of others.
In the novel Brave New World, humans in the imagined future went to something called the Feelies, which was a theater-like experience. They would be simulated to feel strong emotions via the use of various inputs. The people went to these things to feel things like grief and anger, because they had no way of experiencing these emotions in their regular lives. The combination of their genetic engineering and taking the happiness-producing drug called Soma blocked normal emotions.
Something similar happens today. The Cloud People are mostly sociopaths at this point, incapable of having normal human emotions. The general population, however, has been plucked from normal human community and thrust into a synthetic solution of consumerism that does not allow for the normal human experience. In order to keep the system running, the Cloud People are constantly creating synthetic emotions they can display and use to stimulate emotion in the Dirt People.
This is the appeal of mass media in general and social media in particular. Just look at the name “social media”. It is a replacement for the normal human socialization that would occur in natural human communities. The most emotionally unstable people are intensely on-line. They lack the normal structure of human community to keep them balanced so they seek an alternative on their phone. The result is a population on a roller-coaster of emotional appropriation.
Emotion is not much different from what comes from taking stimulants. The first hit is the best hit. The most intense emotions we feel in our lives are at the extremes, so the emotionalism of this age grows more intense. Public emotion in a liberal democracy is the opiate of the people. Therefore the emotional appropriation becomes more prolific and the drama more intense. We are shaking ourselves to pieces in an effort to feel that which has been normal for the life of man.
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