A colleague of mine mentioned something in passing that has me thinking about the contentious voices surrounding our lives. Consider with me for a moment; when the last time you heard just the news was? No commentary, no hidden bias, no reporting for emotional reaction, simply a description of the events of the day, news? I cannot remember when I last heard a news report. It seems that to get the local news, I have to question the motives on the stories, compare news broadcasts for opinions and biases, tune into three or four different radio stations and compare them to the TV, and those to the newspapers, and even then, 90% of what is reported still has to be discounted.
My colleague mentioned that the efforts of contentious voices are to exert emotional control over the audience, for if the audience is emotionally controlled, they are physically controlled. If they are physically controlled, they can be bent, shaped, and molded into weapons of self-destruction for the entertainment of those controlling the contentious voices. This insight has me thinking—self-destruction through contentious voices exerting control, all through unbridled emotional understanding.
When emotional intelligence was first coming out, feel free to read the early papers and books on this topic if you doubt what I am reporting. Emotional intelligence was declared as the ability to read the emotions in a room and then control the people through their emotions. For which I have adamantly opposed emotional intelligence as a concept since inception. I have always felt that trying to control others through their emotions is wrong, in poor taste, and can easily backfire when those being controlled wake up and realize what has been happening to them. Yet, emotional intelligence has grown as a concept, has broadened in scope, and no one is asking why anymore. Well, I am, and so are a few others, but the media is working hard to keep us silenced and sidelined as “aluminum hat-wearing non-conformists.”
Yet, contentious voices continue to prey upon people’s emotions nightly and call this “learned commentary,” “democracy dying in darkness,” “in-depth reporting,” and “fair and balanced news,” among many other things. Republicans against Democrats, Liberals against conservatives, eco-Nazis from both extremes of the planet is going to hell debate, and the list of contentious voices is long and formidable. Yet, they all have the same playbook, use emotional hooks, sink the emotional hook deeply, and keep pulling that emotional hook every time a person tries to think for themselves.
Well, I would see you escape the hook, wake up mentally, and arise as a powerful individual. Capable of independent thought and able to reason and think using your own instinct, talents, skills, and innate reasoning. I am not making a plea to your emotions, and if you ever think I am playing to your emotions, feel free to call me out! I am not here to enslave your mind, but to free your soul and empower your spirit, to support your goodness, and justify you being the free-thinking person you already are!
Thus, the following reminders regarding emotions. These are not my thoughts; they originate from Robert Solomon’s incredible book “Not Passion’s Slave: Emotions and Choice,” which you can purchase from any reputable bookseller for a minimal fee or find in a local library. If you are close to New Mexico, send me an email to lend you my copy.
- Solomon begins his book with a quote from Jean-Paul Sartre:
- “For the idea which I have never ceased to develop is that in the end, one is always responsible for what is made of one. Even if one can do nothing else besides assume this responsibility. For I believe that a man can always make something out of what is made of him. This is the limit I would today accord to freedom: the small movement which makes of a totally conditioned social being someone who does not render back completely what his conditions has given him.”
- “Emotions involve social narratives as well as physical responses, and an analysis of emotions is an account of our way of being-in-the-world.”
- Emotions are not occurrences and do not happen to us.
- “Emotions are rational and purposive rather than irrational and disruptive, are very much like actions, and that we choose an emotion much as we choose a course of action.”
- Emotions are intentional: that is, emotions are “about” something.
- All emotions are ultimately “about” the world and never simply “about” something particular.
- Feelings do not have “directions.” The relationship between my being angry and what I am angry about is not contingent between a feeling and an object.
- Emotions change with our opinions, and so are “rational” in a very important sense.
- But the rationality of the emotion is time-sensitive, socially sensitive, and environmentally contingent. Unless our societal makeup allows this emotional crossover, emotions cannot often cross between social situations, peer groups, and environments.
- The cause of an emotion is a function in a certain kind of explanation.
- Contentious voices know this as a truth and use their contention to drive the emotional functionality of the arguments to spur emotional growth to your detriment!
- The line between emotions and beliefs is often negligible and non-existent.
- Another truth contentious voices use to spur emotional hooking in the audience to the audience’s detriment and destruction.
- Emotions are a normative judgment.
- We decide the correctness of emoting, based upon the social, environmental, and peer aspects at the time the information is provided.
- Emotions are cognitive judgments of socially wired animals (humans) who use the lightning reflexes of the brain to make these judgments for personal benefits in a social situation, advancing peer associations, or to survive in a specific environment.
- Emotions change with our knowledge of the causes of those emotions.
- Emotions are not occurrences and do not happen to us.
On this last point, consider Joe Biden and his words to different audiences on the campaign trail. To one audience, he pledged to put oil company officers in jail for unspecified environmental crimes. To another audience, he promised not to kill coal. Both declarations were later denounced as verbal gaffes, miss spoken words taken out of a larger context, and phrases that did not mean anything on the campaign trail. Yet, the words fit the emotion being witnessed, and the crowd forming the environment and peer group being addressed. All politicians do this, and it is referred to as “politicking” or “playing to the audience’s emotions.”
Finally, consider something with me, a thought, those controlling the contentious voices believe you, the audience, their slaves, for they can control your emotions, like 2-year-olds control play-dough. Are you a slave? Will you master your emotional judgments to protect yourself and your family? The choice is yours, and yours alone to make. All I can do is offer information and ask for your consideration. But I will make a promise; if you refuse to master your emotions, you will be destroyed by the contentious voices clamoring for your attention. These breeders of contention will pull you apart emotionally, creating depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and other self-destruction options.
Those terrorists rioting over the spring and summer of 2020 were pawns and self-destructive actors to the contentious voices. We are all living in a time where social influencers play the most extensive role in the lives of people than ever before, and they can play this role because we have unbridled our emotions and refuse to believe that emotions are a choice, a judgment, and a tool for social integration. While the masses are not taught these things, those controlling the contentious voices know these truths, but they also practice hiding this information to destroy the groups they enslave. Please, free yourself from bondage, take control of your emotions, and never allow anyone to control them ever again!
© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.