What Will It Take For Us to Get Angry?

Occupy Wall Street 2011

Edward Snowden, The Guardian and The Washington Post know how to keep a story in the news.

Instead of dumping all of their leaked documents to the public, they are slowly releasing information on PRISM, the NSA and more to the press in waves.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Europe is pissed with us. Russia’s Vladimir Putin basically gave America the middle finger. Hong Kong (and China) did the same thing. Edward who? Oh, he left hours ago because you messed up his middle name. Also, what’s this about you spying on us?

The only ones who don’t seem pissed are Americans themselves. Sure, you can’t read Reddit without coming across at least one “Fuck the NSA” or “Fuck Obama” post. But have you seen what’s going on in Egypt? How about the protests in Turkey?

The U.S. government has been invading the privacy of hundreds of thousands of people, including Americans, at a scale that has never before seen in the history of mankind.

And how do we react? We whine about Paula Deen.

Okay, perhaps I’m oversimplifying the situation. But I haven’t seen anybody in the streets taking our government to task. This includes me. I’m upset, don’t get me wrong. But for some reason, I’m not angry.

There’s a very big difference between upset and angry. When you’re upset, you get a few articles. When you’re angry, you get worldwide protests that scare the shit out of politicians. Just look at the Occupy Movement for a small demonstration of the power of the American people when they’re angry.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Are the NSA, FBI and U.S. government’s assaults on personal liberties not egregious enough for us to finally become angry? Are we too comfortable with our lives on the top of the global food chain to take our government to task? Or is the ignition that will light up the American people still waiting to be leaked by Glenn Greenwald?

I don’t know the answer. What I do know is this: we should be angry. We should be very angry. But we are not, and until something — or someone — acts as the catalyst to unite the American people, we will continue to lack the will to take action. And that is far more dangerous than any secrets the NSA is collecting about you.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Image (The Occupy Wall Street General Assembly in Washington Square Park) courtesy of David Shankbone, Wikipedia