Michael Shannon Did Not Threaten Anyone

In a recent interview, the apparently outspoken actor, Michael Shannon, was quoted as saying “If you’re voting for Trump, it’s time for the urn”, a statement that resonates with those of us who have enough gall to speak up and those of us quietly seething at the results of this fucking cartoon show we’re all now living. I applaud Shannon’s statement not simply because it’s brutally honest, but because he’s absolutely right. To put the statement into context, what he said was:

“There’s a lot of old people who need to realize they’ve had a nice life and it’s time for them to move on. Because they’re the ones who go outand vote for these assholes. If you look at the young people, between 18 and 25, if it was up to them Hillary would have been president. No offense to the seniors out there. My mom’s a senior citizen. But if you’re voting for Trump, it’s time for the urn.”

Again, I applaud the sentiment, he’s saying that the dinosaurs are out and need to accept that it’s a new world, not hold it back just because THEY didn’t live right. But of course not everyone feels that way- ESPECIALLY many of Trump’s die-hard supporters who aren’t in the habit of deliberating. So after reading the article I just quoted from, I inevitably happened upon a response piece by the bullshit news blog “Conservative Fire Line” entitled: “Actor Michael Shannon: Time for Trump Voters to Die.” Got click-bait? 

Yeah. Oh you know, let’s take something entirely out of context and create an article that makes it appear as if Shannon’s either claiming that all Trump supporters should perish or even worse, that he’s threatening to kill Trump supporters. It’s ridiculous. I mean, the blog writer could’ve easily just disagreed with Shannon’s sentiment that the older generation has already had its time and that most of their stunted, fucking desiccated values are no longer relevant (were they ever?). Conservatism, in this case, would’ve just disagreed that those old ideas don’t really matter, but of course the contributor would rather just skew the message and ignite the emotional powder kegs of many of those supporters. Why? Because that’s exposure! Because that’s how you go viral! Because everyone wants a promotion even if it fosters social discord.

And what’s sad is that it works. One look at the blog’s Facebook post easily illustrates this. Here are some choice comments:

  • “Someone who says any type of voter should die, needs to be charged for terroristic threats. And yes, that includes someone saying Clinton voters should die.”
  • “This guy is going to hurt someone!!! He needs to be arrested.”
  • “Let it go, idiot. Anyone threatening should be arrested. Does this numbskull have the right? Not just free speech – this is a form of terrorism.”
  • “… you must suck as an actor because I have no clue who you even are. Furthermore, IF I *need* to die for my opinion differing from yours, it speaks volumes of your lack of character and exposes your lack of tolerence for others. In conclusion, bring it on you little bitch.”
  • “I didn’t vote for him but certainly would never wish for someone to be dead because they utilized their right to vote the way I did not. that is asinine.”
  • “It is said that every successful actor merely brings aspects of their own personalities to their roles. This guy played the Ice Man, Richard Kuklinski.”

That last one is a beaut! Yes, yes, apparently Michael Shannon’s inner Mafia hitman is now ready to go on a rampage. Hah! By that logic, Daniel Radcliffe is actually a magical wizard, Mark Hamill can move things with his mind, and Hugh Jackman has adamantium claws that pop out of his sweet, Weapon-X fists! Fucking morons. Conservative Firing Line did this to you, and you let it. You got played, son!

It’s striking how easily these people can be manipulated, especially after they are presented with the fact that they ARE being manipulated. In most cases, they won’t even listen to the argument, to logic, to facts. It’s just an opportunity to take a stance and BE what that stance implies they are in the eyes of others. It’s all about what they want to be perceived as and not what they value. 

Now, I want to be clear, I am NOT saying this of ALL Trump supporters. I am saying this of the above kind of Trump supporter: the intolerant, defensive, reactive, and nonself-actualizing supporter who speaks with blinders and kicks and shouts because they can’t truly hear themselves. If you find this insulting it’s probably because it applies to you. 

And this is mostly what I wanted to write about here: the kind of Trump supporter who is emotionally charged, impulsive, defensive, intractable, and so certain about their convictions yet ENTIRELY unwilling (or just flat-out afraid) to challenge those convictions. In a deep unaware layer in their minds, to doubt is to die. It’s a primitive, reptilian brain thing where hesitation invites vulnerability and possible failure- so even certainty is valuable, and mainstream trends of conviction are suitable and easily accessible ways of preserving that sense of certainty, and therefore, life. But I’d say that if your convictions -whether shamelessly adopted or otherwise- cannot hold up under fire, you’re probably cradling an illusion. 

And that is precisely what is happening with these individuals. Though most of them cannot take adequate inventory of their emotions, beliefs, and ideas, they can -for the most part- intuit how fragile their identities are. On some level, they know that a legitimate consideration of their stunted perceptions would shatter the delicate framework of ideas that comprises their sense of self, which is based mostly on crude, subjective attitudes, conditioning, and hand-me-down behaviors rather than on reason, self-examination and integrity.

Though I repeat: not saying this is true of all Trump supporters. I know several Trump supporters who are reasonable and can stand their ground. I may not agree with them, but their ideas are rooted in relatively decent appraisals of their own personal value systems. Not everyone has to have the same values as I do -despite how obstinate I may be about such- but everyone does have a responsibility to take stock of their own values and live in accordance with those if they want to be taken seriously, in my opinion. It’s those other supporters (if you can even call them that) who don’t look inside and when they do, they are so frightened by what they see, that they develop elaborate belief structures and heuristics to cover up the reality of what they are.

This Trump supporter doesn’t give a shit about Trump or the America they seem to love so much. This Trump supporter only gives a shit about being accepted by their peers. This Trump supporter only likes that now they can spew their unprocessed, unexamined, childish ideas into their little digital megaphones and not be chased back into their own psychological foxholes for it. This Trump supporter does not WANT to understand because the point of being a supporter, to them, is to be able to be what they are without putting in the work and pain to develop, to evolve. If they were cookies, they’d be the quarter-baked ones claiming to be done. If they were chicken, they’d be completely pink and perhaps only slightly defrosted. Hah! I know, I know- terrible analogies, but the idea is implicit. 

These people, the one’s just listed, don’t give a shit about Trump. They are just using Trump as an excuse to feel valuable and wanted despite their shitty ideas and behaviors which are no doubt learned from their parents and peers. A reasonable human being does not have permanent walls around them to protect them from other ideas, just as a reasonable America does not have walls around it to protect it from immigrants. The support of the wall is a perfect symbol of the stubborn intolerance of many of those supporters who are scared to death and, therefore, threatened by the beneficial values that come with an influx of something new, be it a culture or an idea. This country has always been split: we’re just now seeing that this is the case. The battle between subjective attitudes and objective deliberation has always been fought. The only difference is that now there is a human symbol for it all and social media venues to document the bout…of course, when it’s not fabricating the entire fucking thing.