Ah, butthurt. The Internet’s ultimate expression of its cognitive dissonance. As a rule, it should never be responded to directly, lest one feed the trolls and become the source of their lulz. But that doesn’t mean it can or should always be ignored. Just look at the United States.
The Donald scored the republican nomination floating his arguments on dissonance like he floats his businesses on credit and the people who support him clearly do so out of pure butthurt. So much butthurt in fact, that renowned British magazine The Economist is already predicting that even though Hillary Clinton will become president (running an anti-Trump butthurt campaign), she will not be re-elected in 2020. Wow, that’s calling it early. So, how about the here & now? What makes Tatitan’s patriotic hemorrhoids flare up? Well sit back, grab a drink and bare (the pain) with me. We’ll have to do this in parts.
PART ONE: The Warning Shot
Come to think of it, butthurt is something that could only come from cognitive dissonance, for only that mental discomfort experienced when holding contradiction in one’s mind for too long can be strong enough to make any otherwise reasonable person give in to butthurt and react in an overly negative manner. Now, let’s not lie to ourselves, contradiction abounds on Aruba and we don’t get tush-pained over most of it because we don’t get much choice in matters anyway. Not being able to address matters with choice & action, we then try to at least reduce dissonance by attitude change, mentally spray-painting gold over the shitty parts and trying to turn the frown upside down, or simply by trivializing the issue. All the residual dissonant energy that can’t be transmuted this way accumulates over time and when it comes out, it does so as -you guessed it- butthurt.
Politically, that doesn’t need to be a bad thing, especially that bit about ‘spray-painting gold over the shitty parts’. Actually, cognitive dissonance theory is an indispensable component in current politics, modern marketing and contemporary negotiation tactics. It’s one of those things individuals, nations and corporations have been using for half a century to sell us shit; anything from products, ideas & innovations to laws, trade agreements & cellphone metadata collection. Ruling the world this way may have yielded the social contracts necessary for us to have our global economy and prosper from it, but it has come at the cost of blue-collar Americans getting fanny-troubled in resonance with Trump’s cherry picked juxtaposition of the rising trend in immigration against the falling trend in U.S. domestic manufacturing jobs. And what to say about the Britons voting pro Brexit without at least googling it first? It’s butthurt, butthurt everywhere.
As we can see, the ass-angered (like Tatitan) do not reason, they rationalize. Google those two words and you’ll notice a subtle difference between them. For me personally, it means there’s always the risk of meaning to open my mouth to say something in earnest and ending up talking out of my arse. But despite my sphincterache, I feel this risk is worth taking firstly because the payoff, nudging the pendulum of public debate, is now more necessary than ever. Secondly, the risk is manageable. Simply put, I don’t expect anyone to believe my narrative. Instead, I hope my arguments will be fact-checked. Would you take statements made by some guy online calling himself Tatitan at face value? No, you would not and should not. But the more you dig, the more you’ll keep finding out I’m right. That’s how I hook ‘em.
CAft, the CITGO deal, the so called ‘All-Inclusive’ law, these are nothing but a few recent examples of choices our government purports it has made in our best interest, when it’s glaringly obvious that the main (if not the only) purpose being served is the continuation of the AVP majority reign. Any of these law proposals failing to pass would have meant Game Over, you dig? CAft NEEDED to come into existence or the Sword of Damocles would have fallen; the May Protocol clearly shows that. The authorities NEEDED the CITGO deal to go through like it’s freaking heroin; the national budgets for 2016 and 2017 clearly show that. And not passing the ‘All-Inclusive’ law would have meant screwing with the one minister whose fizzled out palace revolution in January clearly showed that he doesn’t think he NEEDS Mike Eman or AVP to get himself re-elected. See what I mean?
It only makes sense that they would exaggerate the advantages of their choices and downplay the risks to the point of even pretending there are no disadvantages, all to minimize the buyer’s remorse (a classic form of dissonance) that always lingers after making important decisions. I don’t let myself get butthurt about that because I can’t hate on the Game AND the Player at the same time (it’s against ghetto rules), not because there’s no reason to. But what truly flares me up is this government’s CONSTANT & OVERT disregard for the Aruban intellect as it puts out these press releases only to have its ministers use the dumbest, most simplistic cop-outs whenever they’re asked a critical question.
Case in point: Whenever minister de Meza is put on the spot with respect to the doubts surrounding the financing of the CITGO deal, he cops out by saying that financing is CITGO’s end of the deal and that Aruba has a guarantee worth 150 million dollars, just in case. Now this BS blatantly insults my intelligence. Financing may not be the minister’s responsibility, but the economy is going to rely too much on this deal for it not to be his problem. Say CITGO backs out, how could we morally justify trying to collect 150 million dollars from a starving, desperate neighbor? How’s that compatible with Christian Democratic values? And morals aside, would we be willing to risk the consequences of causing such butthurt?
Butthurt, it’s the overarching theme that works on all political narratives in the world nowadays, from the American presidential election to the Aruban Governor appointment (hey, I don’t even gotta touch that one). When people are being incoherent, false or offensive, they can easily be dismissed as ‘just people who got rear-afflicted’, thus amalgamating that energy into an irrelevant, directionless mass that can be swung either way. But when that energy is focused into rigorous argument it can be a force to be reckoned with. It can make people regret decisions so badly they even consider revoking those decisions in order to reduce the cognitive dissonance, that contradiction inside. In all of my writing so far, published on Den Cayente or otherwise, I’ve gone out of my way to appeal only to reason and NOT go for butthurt. That will be different for the remainder of this gaiden. What’s more, the aim will be to redden buns left & right and, God willing, score some lulz. Consider this the warning shot.
Bron: Den Cayente
Ariën Rasmijn (1975) is freelance journalist. Naast zijn publicaties in Amigoe en diverse andere media schrijft hij in deze column regelmatig over nieuws en politiek in Aruba. Hij stelt reacties op prijs via: [email protected] Lees meer…