A Capacity for Indignation

A friend recently posted his outrage over the coca cola commercial that aired during the super bowl. Some people decided to ridicule him for this, as if having an ideological opinion is an embarrassing character flaw.

Indignation is an honest and vulnerable emotion. The word is derived from the Latin, indignari—“not worthy”. Expressing indignation is drawing the line in the sand—what you will or won’t put up with. If you lose your capacity for indignation, you’ve lost the personal compass that tells you what is unworthy to you. Indignation is a lance that spears through the clutter of mindless chatter, like the debris in the movie Gravity. Which, by the way, was a movie about which I was very indignant. I didn’t see it in 3D, and for me it had the oh-so-tired trope-y plot of “helpless woman rescued by man” (even if he’s dead). In other words, the movie’s success was dependent upon other media—3D—to make it work, since god knows it didn’t work based on its storyline. I don’t know about the rules in the movie award business, but in the children’s picture book award business, the Caldecott given for best picture book of the year is never given to a book that is dependent on additional media to make it work. But I digress.

Expressing indignation raises pointy bits—the rough edges that continue the discussion. It is the antithesis of that smooth manipulation disguised as communication—the spin.

Take the pointy bits. Leave the spin.



2 thoughts on “A Capacity for Indignation

  1. I get indignant at many things, probably too many. I do not know what your friend found offensive, but personally, I rather enjoyed the coke commercial.

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