Are You for Real?

Recently in Australia there have been a number of big issues come up, multi-culturalism, the carbon tax, immigration, Tony Abbott… and in all of these issues there is one thing you can rely on, angry, angry men (and sometimes women) getting onto the airwaves and ranting furiously about just how deeply angry they are about whatever this new event/product/tax/bunny/whatever.

And what always surprises me is the consistent venom and bile that they are spilling out of their mouths and onto the airways. Because really, how can you be that angry, that genuinely bloodcurdlingly angry, about so many god damn things all at the same time.

Take the King of rage, Mr Alan Jones, radio broadcaster in Sydney who every day gets on air and fires up the blood of his listeners. He yells, he rants, he raves, he tells them all how various people in various industries have betrayed them, have taken advantage of them, how they are not recieving the benefits they are entitled to, how they are being left behind as the world changes.

And he delivers all his so-called facts in such a tone of complete and utter belief that a part of you is suckered along, because damn, that man must have a heck of a lot of proof at his disposal to be able to be so passionate about it.

But it’s the very nature of his changing passions that makes me think that he just can’t believe it. Surely no person can believe in this many things, feel such rage about this many things, without collapsing exhausted and weeping and begging the world to stop?

So does he really believe it all? Is he angry because he believes, he (and the other angry men) truly believe that there is a huge liberal media agenda, that people are out to get them, that immigrants are terrorists here to change the Australian way of life? Is it belief, or is it a cynical ploy to fire up the blood of the listeners? Or is it a belief that everyone feels the same way he does, just doesn’t have the guts to say it?

Either way, it disturbs me that this bile and rage and hatred is so accepted in our society and almost protected, like we should respect the fact that people have iron-clad beliefs that will not change, that cannot be altered regardless of what facts are placed in front of them.

Like we should see that as a strength.


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