A Swamp of Rage

I do a lot of things when I get angry.  Sometimes I hulk out.  Sometimes I head to the gym and pound away at a heavy bag for a while.  Sometimes I write.

There are times when I actively avoid social media and the news in general, because I know I’ll get mired in a swamp of rage.  For instance, after the Zimmerman verdict, I turned everything off.  I just couldn’t.  Argue for as long as you want, but here’ s the bottom line: an unarmed kid died because a grown man was scared.  The grown man didn’t use any other weapon in his arsenal – staying calm, communicating, walking away – and the kid died.  I turned everything off.

I wonder about myself sometimes, being a spectator and not an activist in situations like this.  I can’t fight this sinking feeling that going out and marching doesn’t finally accomplish anything.  That people have forever been staging protests, sit-ins, and putting flowers in soldier’s guns, and the wars haven’t stopped, and children are still being killed.  I wonder if sometimes I’m afraid to engage and become a target myself, or if I’m just lethargic and pessimistic and cynical about human nature.  Isn’t the function of art to engage?  The personal is the political.  Choosing to address something is a political choice; choosing to ignore something is an equally political choice.  Art serves as its own form of protest, whether it’s got a blatant agenda or is quietly subversive.  I’m going to watch Fruitvale Station.  I also count Airplane as one of my favorite movies of all time.  What does that say about my personal/political axis?

Living in a bubble isn’t possible, and isn’t what I want to do anyway.  I hope I can somehow address profound issues in my own way, in my own voice, in a way that doesn’t preach or alienate but that initiates discussion and introspection.  Of course, that’s a tall order from someone who just wrote the following:

A HOT WOMAN, overly made up and with boobs hiked up to her chin, regards Kenny with some distaste.

KENNY
I’m Kenny.

HOT WOMAN
Kenny?

KENNY
Yeah.  Short for Kenneth?

HOT WOMAN
Are you asking me?

KENNY
Am I asking you what?

HOT WOMAN
If Kenneth is short for Kenny?

KENNY
No, I’m telling you, my name is Kenny, which is short for Kenneth.

HOT WOMAN
Whatever.

 

Of course, there’s one thing I will forever love: gallows humor.  Always look on the bright side of life.



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