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Friday, March 06, 2009

"With great vengeance and furious anger"

There are times in one's life when one feels like like taking a sharp object to someone's neck and putting an end to an existence. Or, it could be the urge to take a blunt object to someone's head to smash their brains in. It's at times like these when words like 'bludgeon' seem to roll off the tongue without much effort. When you've come this far, it seems miraculous that you haven't become a felon already. I would define "being civilized" as the ability to walk away from such a situation because the moment you cross this line, you've committed the ultimate sin. You've played God by deciding that you had the authority and power to end a life that you didn't provide in the first place.

But is that enough? Is this all that keeps us from losing our cool in an instant and dealing our unfortunate adversary a death blow? I find that hard to believe. It seems a little too conveniently cute to think that we even remotely ponder the consequences of causing harm in the heat of the moment. I know for a fact that I don't. The reasons that I come up with are usually things like "But I seriously don't want to get any of this dude on me". Once the blinding anger begins to subside, the lack of confidence and the first seeds of common sense begin to kick in. Then I think, "It's a good thing he walked away otherwise he may have gotten hurt." Finally, when calm has returned and good sense prevails the thinking is far more sober. "Well, I'm glad it didn't get out of hand," or, "Thank God it didn't go too far. And I'm glad I gave him a piece of my mind in the process," or even, "I don't know what I was thinking, but it's a good thing this didn't get physical 'coz he'd have pulverized me," are examples of things that I think at this stage. But this whole "rage" thing is a process that one engages in on such a consistent and constant basis these days there's bound to be a manual on it somewhere. Look at the cartoon and how it depicts the numerous opportunities that one has to 'lose it'.

As the world gets more crowded and the pace of life becomes more maddening, we don't hesitate to let people know -- at the top of our lungs -- that they've somehow ruined our plans for that instant, or maybe even a more extensive period. All this anger isn't helping any, but if you point this out to someone in the heat of the moment you're bound to lose a limb. It's like some sort of slowly advancing, collective, emotional armageddon that we all seem to be unable to escape. Do the rules of nature still apply, with regard to baring your teeth for the most part and only resorting to violence as a last step? I don't think so. Maybe it's upto us to get into a physical fight so that we experience this extremity before generally cooling down a bit, at least for a little while. But what if this isn't enough? Well, then it'll be a typical case of the some-days-you're-the-bird-and-some-days-you're-the-statue thing. It's like that line from the Everlast song, What It's Like, "Late one night there was a big gun fight and Max lost his head. He pulled out his chrome 45, talked some shit and wound up dead."


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