Thursday, March 25, 2010

ANGER!... ANGER!... Master of Puppets is Pulling Your Strings!

This post is only tangentially related to WoW (ie WoW co-inspired it), is rather long and maybe a little deeper into thought that I ought to go.

It's inspired by Taramind ("Don't go wasting your emotions") in which he ponders the possible reasons for all the WoW-rage, and he posits that it's simply because it's really one of the few acceptable emotions that you CAN express. Either that, or they just keep mum.(I'm horrid at summarizing, he says it SO much better and the comments are awesome as well, so PLEASE read it if you haven't!)

I think he's definitely on to something, but during my looong drive home, I got to thinking (yes, a dangerous pursuit for me)

Maybe a lot of that anger is real.

To put this in perspective, or at least explain my perspective let me 'splain a bit about myself.

I'm not young, I'm not old: I'm about as middle age as you can get. I'm 40. I don't have the hormone driven angst & anger of youth, or the senile acceptance of old age (though I do want those whippersnappers OFF MY LAWN!) I sit happily in the middle, betwixt those extremes.

And yet I rage. Road rage, nerd rage, rage against the machine, et cetera, ad nauseum. Though, to be honest, most of my anger can be traced to two sources:




In most cases, it's not people actively and intentionally being jerks, assholes or morons, it's just that they are completely self absorbed and absolutely clueless that they exist in a world with anyone else.

They cut in line, they cut you off in traffic, they stand in line at the fast food joint, talking on their phone, and can't be bothered to chose their food prior to being asked what they want.

They write a check at the grocery store for $1.83. (and don't start writing ANYTHING until they find out the total) Or, even worse, they make the same purchase with a mixture of pennies, nickles and dimes.

Or they're too lazy to pull into a parking space correctly and either take up 3 spaces, or they block you in after you've already parked.

The result?

Only now,getting angry and/or acting out is socially acceptable.

"Back in the day", being a jerk, being loud or any of a hundred plus other behaviors would get you socially punished. People would stare, laugh or act in some way that would reinforce that you were "behaving badly in public".

Nowadays, an Olympic medal winner gets photographed at a party with him using the medal in a manner that makes it look like he's getting a blow job, and when he gets disciplined for it, a hue & cry goes out that he's being treated too harshly.

We ignore the families with children screaming like Murlocks and their dirty feet and asses on the table at the restaurant.

We actively cheer the hecklers, even when a performance is good.

Everything is on video, or photographed by cell phone, and all manner of ugly behavior is nearly idolized and the assholes' "15 minutes" lasts them a life time.

Our society actively promotes nasty, disrespectful behavior.

Then everyone gets upset because they are either an asshole that gets angry just because they can, or it's one of the folks they're being an asshole to, and THEY get pissed off at the the whole thing.


It's just a figment of the electronic, internet age. The actions & behaviors aren't really any worse than before, it's just that with all the media we are exposed to, maybe we just see it more vividly.

After all, here in the US, violent crimes of almost all types are down from years past, but the news would have you believe otherwise. Assaults and abductions are down, yet they get prime coverage; if it bleeds, it leads... or so goes the mantra.

(though I'll be honest, I don't think the anger & disrespect we see are the same as the news, I honestly believe the "people behaving badly" is a real phenomenon)

Did I talk myself in a circle?

Probably... but it was an interest line of thought for me... even if I am an angry S.O.B., railing at the misfortunes of age, and the prospect of rolling down the back side of the hill that I am now going over.

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