Prof. Mondo recently talked about the tendency of people online to fume with righteous indignation over everything, noting:
Now as it happens, I have some professional knowledge of vice (in addition to the fieldwork most of us engage in from time to time.) It’s worth noting that the phenomenon Holiday describes — the desire to smash, to seethe with what one thinks is righteous wrath, but without the acknowledgement of pleasure, is traditionally associated with the sin of envy. And I wonder if so much of the outrage that folks gin up each day might not simply be disguised versions of some of our old pals, the Seven Deadlies. The constant outrage allows people the opportunity for moral preening (Pride), to wish ill on others (Envy), and to vent rage (Wrath.)
It’s sometimes useful, I think, to bear in mind that we may be sinning the most when we feel most righteous. And if that is so, perhaps it is best to regard the temptations to outrage with significant suspicion.
I tend to come across as fairly irenic and laid back in person, but I can seethe like the best of them within the confines of my own head. Actually, the majority of my sins tend to be in mente given that I’ve tended to be too inhibited to actually do/say anything too wild. It rarely translates into something like irate Facebook posts, and I’ve seen too much of the ugliness that the indulgence of anger in the name of moral outrage, But, man, it’s hard to nip something in the bud that can, admittedly, feel so good.