During the NFC Championship game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers, I was hanging out with a group of friends talking about whatever thing was annoying or upsetting or being talked about widely on the internet at the time. I think it was partly American Sniper, and maybe a few other things. These are the kinds of topics that everyone cares about deeply for a few days until a new thing comes along to be angry about.
"I don't have time to be outraged at all of these things," I said. "My outrage meter is finite and discrete, so for any new thing that comes along for me to be angry about, something else has to get kicked out. And none of these new topics are doing it for me."
Robbie, a friend also in attendance at the party, casually inquired what would make the list. I instantly shouted "80% militarization of the police," though I later revised that estimate to more like 20% to make room for the minimum 40% I had reserved for people being okay with torture. (I don't always apportion to 100%, since there may be an aggregate group of smaller things that just piss me off at the time, but don't warrant mention by name). Further, I believe that each individual's capacity for outrage is different. I'm not sure what the relevant independent variables are yet, but suffice to say Al Sharpton's Outrage Capacity is clearly larger than, say, Taylor Swift's.
Thus, Dave's Outrage Meter was born.
I think I'd like to make this a regular thing, so stay tuned for the first update, in which I will explain some of the rationale for current news items that either do or don't make my Outrage Meter Cut. (Quick preview: "Brian Williams War Stories" doesn't make the cut, but the phrase "Fastest Growing" when referring to a statistical measurement does.)