Manufactured Anger

“Don’t give in to hate. That leads to the Dark Side.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

The world of media has changed drastically in the last two decades. Instead of journalists getting paid by outlets that sell ad space in a printed medium, they get paid primarily through clicks. What that means is they get paid by getting you….often tricking you…into clicking on their articles.

There are a couple of different ways that writers can get you to click on their articles. The first is simply to write something compelling that makes you want to read it, but the most common way is for them to write a teaser title that hints at something salacious that isn’t actually delivered by the article itself.

Let’s look at a couple of recent examples.

For some reason, the release of a new Star Wars movie has become a polarizing event. I suppose it’s because millions of people like myself can’t wait to see another installment in the most successful movie series of all time, so the media piranhas come out of the woodwork to capitalize on that rabid fandom. So shortly after the release of The Rise of Skywalker, the click bait media whores began working hard to lure in unsuspecting readers.

On such story involves the character of Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran. If Kathleen Kennedy, whom Disney put in charge of Lucasfilm, hadn’t insisted that the new Star Wars trilogy utilize different directorial points of view, there would be no Rose Tico. She was essentially a plot device contrived to give Finn a love interest outside of Rey. Once JJ Abrams was put back at the helm, Rose failed to be of any practical value to the story.

So now the final installment in the Skywalker saga is in the books, and with Abrams back at the helm, Tico was not all that important in the grand scheme of things. She wasn’t absent, by any means, but she also wasn’t not critical to the final outcome of the film. For me, a lifelong fan of the Skywalker saga, that was just fine. Honestly, when I left the theater after my first viewing, Rose wasn’t on my mind at all.

If headlines are to be believed, however, Star Wars fans are “outraged” that Rose didn’t play a more pivotal role in Episode 9.


The headline suggesting that anyone is “outraged” that a minor character is still a minor character is nothing but an attempt to manufacture anger about something that really doesn’t matter in the least.

Before you click on such garbage, you have to ask yourself: do you want to see more of this crap, or do you demand more from the media? Clicking is voting, you see, and clicking on a silly story like this is akin to voting for more such drivel in the future. On the other hand, if you take a step back, deploy Ishmael thinking, and refuse to be so easily manipulated, you can influence the future of reporting in a more positive direction.

What really makes you angry? Do you determine that, or do you allow someone else to manipulate your feelings and “make” you angry?

I left the theater…three times and counting…completely satisfied by JJ Abrams’ conclusion to the Skywalker sage. Hell, I even cried multiple times in each viewing because I was so happy to see certain things comes to fruition. I have no desire to reward clickbait headlines attempting to drum up controversy and/or fake anger over some perceived slight of a minor character.

Think for yourself…don’t allow some controversy-hungry headline to alter your own feelings about something. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and be be original.

Trust me….it’s worthwhile.


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