The End of Rage

Angry man

Image found here.

I believe rage has failed us, and I hereby declare it publicly: I give up on rage. I think it has failed us in its only potentially useful function which is to protect us. The idea here is that rage is supposed to prepare us for fighting, either individually or collectively, against some sort of an opponent or perhaps a collective of opponents, and the goal of that fighting is ultimately survival.

Well, perhaps that worked well enough in the olden days when the worst we could do collectively was hunt some woolly or flightless or saber-toothed species of mega-fauna into extinction, but those days are long gone. Now we’re in a situation where we have so many massively powerful tools for fighting each other that we could bring about an apocalyptic extinction event, and this with not much more effort than it would take the President to pick his own nose (and maybe Tweet forth a photo of some sticky little prize scooped therefrom).

Talk about counter productive!

Religious people are always going on about love, but to me that seems almost as hopeless as rage. Of course I love. I love my family, and a few friends. I do believe in love. I have always believed in love, but especially so since my children were born. But when the faithful talk about love — “Universal Love” — I just find it naive and all but irrelevant to us human beings. How am I supposed to love perfect strangers? It makes as much sense to me as a “Universal Screwdriver” — the most wondrous of all tools, because it obsolesces every other kind of tool. I can hear the advertisements in my head — the Beatles wrote the music: All You Need Is A Universal Screwdriver! The song’s cumbrous arrhythmia is no doubt a metaphor for something.

Nope — and in saying so I beg the pardon of all who are Holy — but as far as I can tell, love is not the answer. Much more plausible, to my view, is simple kindness. I’m pretty sure I could treat anybody kindly, at least in principle. In actual practice things could be more difficult, at least with some people. But showing kindness to a random stranger seems much more achievable to me than actually loving him or her. In any case, I’m willing to give kindness a shot.

But even if kindness is not the solution, I feel quite sure that rage is the problem — really the mother of all problems, or the mother-fuckler of all problems; and as such really must be abandoned. However it happens — whether we choose to stop raging, or wait until rage puts an end to us — one way or another, the end of rage is coming, and in my own case at least, has already arrived. You’ve read it here: I give up on rage.

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