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Quote of the Day: As The Red Haze Descends…

 

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, raise the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” — H. L. Mencken

Avast ye! Hoist the Jolly Roger and draw your cutlasses!
Hoist the Jolly Roger and draw your cutlasses!

The idiocy of a million morons gets under your skin. Hordes of people willing to toss everything away over a triviality (sellouts! traitors!) or unwilling to stand up to the Left, Jihadis, and other enemies (pathetic cowards!). People ignore the evidence of the coming apocalypse that could be prevented. Even worse, some just give up and wait for the end. Profanities are muttered under your breath — or louder. Your gaze hardens on the present source of outrage and deep in the recesses of your mind a vision of brutal, savage, yet cleansing violence appears…

Many of us have had this experience. H. L. Mencken, cynical satirist that he was, certainly had moments where his disdain for the great unwashed went beyond what his wit could convey. Some experience it every time they watch the news — that why I bailed on Ricochet and political media during the latter stages of the 2016 election. I’ve always had a tendency toward furious rage, and I have found that is best to act quickly when the red haze starts to descend.

Why is this? I believe it is the result of outrage without an outlet. Outrage is a phenomenal motivator. It can give you the will to resist a tyrant or stop a criminal enterprise. It is the motive of many heroic tale. Much like pressurized air or steam, it possesses a vast quantity of energy. However, outrage without any proper outlet is just as dangerous as confined pressure. One of the first rules of process safety is “Never heat a fluid without providing relief,” because rising pressure inside an enclosed container is more commonly known as a bomb. All that potential energy looking for a chance to escape is not a workable situation, either in process chemistry or in mental health.

Relief Valve
Pressure Relief Valve

Avoiding this scenario can take a variety of approaches. The most ideal is obviously to turn the outrage energy into useful work. This is very hard in with political rage, as most things that are useful do not make use of rage. I could certainly imagine standing guard outside a business while Antifa is acting up would be a constructive use of outrage. There is also the aspect of limiting exposure to political outrage. This becomes steadily harder as the Left demand all things serve a political purpose (another reason why that plan is likely to end in blood), but it can be done to an extent.

Avoiding the news is not necessarily a bad strategy. Avoiding social media relating to politics is even better. A final option is to relieve the pressure. For example, many post on Ricochet are more for venting than actual political persuasion. I personally recommend a good heavy punching bag for venting political stress. (I will not deny that I sometimes imagine political opponents inside of it.) Regardless, it is a good idea to have a relief path planned before turning up the outrage. Otherwise, you may end up with a bloody cutlass in your hand and the black flag flying overhead…

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There are 21 comments.

  1. Moderator
    OmegaPaladin Post author

    This is part of the August Quote of the Day series

    We have many openings on the August Schedule for your wisdom on the Quote of the Day. We’ve even include tips for finding great quotes. It’s the easiest way to start a Ricochet conversation, so why not sign up today?

    • #1
    • August 9, 2018 at 3:18 pm
    • 3 likes
  2. Moderator
    OmegaPaladin Post author

    Two side notes:

    The flag of Jihad is black. This quote becomes disturbingly literal when you consider standard practice of Jihadis, whether ISIS, Al Qaeda, or various sufferers of Sudden Jihad Syndrome.

    My motivation for selecting this quote was its use on the masthead of Ace of Spades HQ. (WARNING: Flagrant COC violations everywhere) It has gradually seemed more and more applicable to Ace. His white hot hatred of the National Review and the Weekly Standard continues to grow in intensity, adversely impacting the snarky humor I’ve enjoyed from his site. I imagine he likely is looking longingly at his black flag right about now.

    • #2
    • August 9, 2018 at 3:33 pm
    • 3 likes
  3. Member

    Within our New American Coalition, our Trump coalition, most of those who are sympathetic to Mencken’s solution would have been Mencken’s victims.

    So, I’m not a fan, even if I personally would be safe. The progs and their witless proggy stormtroopers would win and slit my throat anyway, in the long run.

    On the contrary, I think we should all work together for conservative results, regardless of whether or not it is because of timeless conservative intellectual and moral principles.

    • #3
    • August 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm
    • 2 likes
  4. Thatcher

    OmegaPaladin: Avoiding the news is not necessarily a bad strategy

    What constitutes “news” has varied throughout the years. Even with political bias in the 1960’s, most news programs tried to present legitimate topics needed by the general population. Andrew Klavan, as a news reporter during those times, saw the change from “real news” to “feel good stories” that increased viewers but left them with nothing of value. In other words, news in the 1960’s (meat and potatoes) become marshmallow fluff in the 1970’s. So avoiding the fluff and bias of the present Main Stream Media is perfectly rational, as long as you are getting real news from trusted sources.

    • #4
    • August 9, 2018 at 4:07 pm
    • 3 likes
  5. Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    The progs and their witless proggy stormtroopers would win and slit my throat anyway, in the long run.

    I’d have to run out of ammo first, and I have lots.

    • #5
    • August 9, 2018 at 4:12 pm
    • 4 likes
  6. Thatcher

    I get my news from Powerline, Ratbuger, and Ricochet, and, in that order

    • #6
    • August 9, 2018 at 4:46 pm
    • 5 likes
  7. Member

    Always loved that Mencken quote even though I’m no fan of violence. Perhaps it’s just an almost equal revulsion for the kumbaya, can’t-we all-just-all-get-along, surrender-monkey attitude that has got us to this pretty pass. Tired of losing before and still not tired of winning.

    • #7
    • August 9, 2018 at 4:56 pm
    • 6 likes
  8. Member

    Gar.

    • #8
    • August 9, 2018 at 5:41 pm
    • 2 likes
  9. Contributor

    Love this post of Ace’s featuring multiple uses of the cruise ship emoticon. 🛳

    • #9
    • August 9, 2018 at 6:03 pm
    • 5 likes
  10. Member

    Lash LaRoche (View Comment):

    Love this post of Ace’s featuring multiple uses of the cruise ship emoticon. 🛳

    That’s a great post at ACE’s.

     

    • #10
    • August 9, 2018 at 8:19 pm
    • 3 likes
  11. Coolidge

    Lash LaRoche (View Comment):

    Love this post of Ace’s featuring multiple uses of the cruise ship emoticon. 🛳

    Interesting post showing the hypocrisy of the left. But, I am confused by the meaning of the cruise ship emoticon. 

    Does it mean: they are slow witted, trolls, along for the ride? 

    • #11
    • August 10, 2018 at 3:55 am
    • Like
  12. Contributor

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Lash LaRoche (View Comment):

    Love this post of Ace’s featuring multiple uses of the cruise ship emoticon. 🛳

    Interesting post showing the hypocrisy of the left. But, I am confused by the meaning of the cruise ship emoticon.

    Does it mean: they are slow witted, trolls, along for the ride?

    The emoticon is being used to mock establishment conservative media organs like National Review and the Weekly Standard which host annual cruises as fundraisers.

    • #12
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:55 am
    • 6 likes
  13. Member

    Does this post have anything to do with people who say we should vote in Democrats to save the Republican party?

    • #13
    • August 10, 2018 at 1:39 pm
    • 3 likes
  14. Member

    While Ace is a bit of a wild card, I find him smart, fresh, insightful, and caring on both personal and national issues. His cohorts are also excellent.

    • #14
    • August 10, 2018 at 2:16 pm
    • 3 likes
  15. Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    The progs and their witless proggy stormtroopers would win and slit my throat anyway, in the long run.

    I’d have to run out of ammo first, and I have lots.

    Mencken left you bleeding out on the linoleum, remember?

    So I’m saying, let’s just forget the whole throat-slitting strategy, no matter how fun it may sound, and just keep voting. It seems to be working, a little at least. We’re having an intervention next week with Gary and Fred. Just be patient and let things work themselves out.

    • #15
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:15 pm
    • 1 like
  16. Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    The progs and their witless proggy stormtroopers would win and slit my throat anyway, in the long run.

    I’d have to run out of ammo first, and I have lots.

    Mencken left you bleeding out on the linoleum, remember?

    So I’m saying, let’s just forget the whole throat-slitting strategy, no matter how fun it may sound, and just keep voting. It seems to be working, a little at least. We’re having an intervention next week with Gary and Fred. Just be patient and let things work themselves out.

    I’m just sayin’.

    • #16
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:21 pm
    • 1 like
  17. Coolidge

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    The progs and their witless proggy stormtroopers would win and slit my throat anyway, in the long run.

    I’d have to run out of ammo first, and I have lots.

    Mencken left you bleeding out on the linoleum, remember?

    So I’m saying, let’s just forget the whole throat-slitting strategy, no matter how fun it may sound, and just keep voting. It seems to be working, a little at least. We’re having an intervention next week with Gary and Fred. Just be patient and let things work themselves out.

    In all things, there is a season.

    The Left has, for instance, handed the Republicans a golden opportunity with Sarah Jeong and her adulation, and they (the GOPe and pundit class) refuse to go for the jugular. Again.

     

    • #17
    • August 10, 2018 at 6:16 pm
    • 6 likes
  18. Coolidge

    garyinabq (View Comment):

    While Ace is a bit of a wild card, I find him smart, fresh, insightful, and caring on both personal and national issues. His cohorts are also excellent.

    He’s probably my single favorite blogger.

    The OP does have a point about his rage affecting his humor, though.

    • #18
    • August 10, 2018 at 6:21 pm
    • 3 likes
  19. Member

    OmegaPaladin: This becomes steadily harder as the Left demand all things serve a political purpose

    This has to be one of the worst features of the Left. Aside from the gulags, firing walls, and overarching paranoia, of course.

    • #19
    • August 11, 2018 at 5:22 am
    • 1 like
  20. Member

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    garyinabq (View Comment):

    While Ace is a bit of a wild card, I find him smart, fresh, insightful, and caring on both personal and national issues. His cohorts are also excellent.

    He’s probably my single favorite blogger.

    The OP does have a point about his rage affecting his humor, though.

    I love Ace, but I love Jonah Goldberg’s thinking too. It’s very troubling.

    • #20
    • August 11, 2018 at 3:39 pm
    • 2 likes
  21. Member

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Lash LaRoche (View Comment):

    Love this post of Ace’s featuring multiple uses of the cruise ship emoticon. 🛳

    Interesting post showing the hypocrisy of the left. But, I am confused by the meaning of the cruise ship emoticon.

    Does it mean: they are slow witted, trolls, along for the ride?

    National Review and Weekly Standard sponsor cruises with their pundits. Ace’s (and others) use of the cruise ship emoticon is intended to indicate that the writers and editors of the above-named publications are conservatives in name only, and are only interested in the money to be garnered from supporters who are rich enough to go on cruises, and not interested in fighting for conservative principles. 

    • #21
    • August 15, 2018 at 4:41 pm
    • 2 likes