Wednesday, February 25, 2004

mean flower

rage. it is destructive, but i do not care. even though it disrupts things on so many levels. i have anger, i admit it -- and i am not completely comfortable with my anger, although i accept it as a vital part of me.

i confess i do not know too much about howard dean and his alleged anger. what i have seen of him on tv, he seems righteously vehement. he talked of taking this country out of the hands of the rich and powerful, and i found it compelling. i feel it is well past time for decent people to become angry and want things to change ... dean represents the turning of the tide. if he also was the too-intense version of a change is gonna come, well ... so be it. i actually can't understand why we -- in a country where the verbally abusive simon cowell is a pop-culture flash on "american idol," and the queer eyes often meanly dress down the straight guys, and all sorts of unpleasant gloves-off exchanges occur daily on cheesy talk shows -- apparently cannot tolerate the least bit of passionate-debate-to-outright-mudslinging in our political contests. or at least, that seems to be the perception: the public wants politicians to play nice. the perception that is sold to us by ... them?

i'm just saying i understand dean's anger, and i think it struck a chord with some ... maybe i'll just say me ... because it resonates with the constant undercurrent of uncertainty, fear, frustration, outrage, sorrow, and despair i have from living in these times. it's like, finally, someone just comes out and says it. that is significant.

in howard dean's case, they say, he was undone by some tiny soundbite of him all pumped up at an event in ... iowa? not sure. it made him sound unhinged. well, i feel unhinged. not just on my little micro scale of personal frustrations, but also on the macro of ... war without end? no jobs? widespread stupidity? election rigging? more power to the powerful?

feeling powerless makes me angry, and even though i feign control in so many ways, i have none. no one does, but most people are more at peace with that than me. or something. i try to stay away from these trains of thought. but i sometimes feel that anger, a totally valid emotion, is less and less acceptable in certain ways. on the other hand, i have too much of it. it builds up. it doesn't discharge, so it eventually kind of explodes. or really, it implodes, but usually the shrapnel ends up hitting someone else. usually the last person i want to suffer my fury.

instead i would prefer to aim it at a deserving target, or transform it into something more constructive. howard dean has attempted to do that, i think: transform his anger into something constructive. perhaps he has been made to seem destructive; i think it's some sort of media trick. but at least he has the good sense and grace to, when it came down to it, step out of the way and let the changes he fostered keep on rolling. he can still help the cause, and i believe he will. i think we need more righteous anger. i think there is a lot of it out there, and people just need to get connected to it, and learn, maybe, how to use it constructively. not just turn it inward on themselves, or on others. if more of us could see that "they" are a small, if powerful group, and the ways in which we are manipulated by them divide us and keep us powerless -- then maybe we would not implode and wound the wrong targets.

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