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Everybody is angry and more than usual but I don’t want to be angry 2


I was driving down Fairview Street when the man with the big head saw me. His eyes were too too wide and to me, being in the moment as I was, as we all are mostly, I suppose, the eyes appeared as though bloodshot. To a degree which would concern me, were they my eyes, anyway. A doctor may disagree with me on this.

I was nearly home. His car pulled out around me and that’s when I saw his big head and his probably problematically bloodshot eyes and he was spitting on his own window shouting he was so angry.

“I just want to go home,” I said to him, though uselessly as there was no way the man with the big head could hear me.

I just want to go home a lot. My friends, who are all getting divorced, are not there in my home, and my mother, who hates the President, is not in my home, and my clients are not in my home, either, not even that one client who threw her shoe at my head on Monday. At my head! Everybody is angry and more than usual but I don’t want to be angry too.

It’s music, mostly. It’s like this: In my home, I find an album – an album always, an ambient album sometimes, a classic rock album rarely, your favorite album never but an album which makes shapes and colors nearly every time – and I climb down inside that album like a rabbit hole.

(A freak folk album not anymore. An Elephant 6 album sometimes again.)

When I am down inside the album, Astro watches me from very far away. I push my fingertips into my navel. I pull and then I push up into the inside, slowly, being very careful especially of the liver and the assorted intestines until I come to my anger-stone. My anger-stone’s got to be removed obviously and it must be left down inside the rabbit hole when the song ends. Don’t worry, this does not injure the song.

(An acid folk album some days. A kraut rock album almost no days.)

And then for a few hours or a day or a few days, I can’t say how long, exactly, I never know and it can hardly matter to you, at any rate, I’ll be just fine until somebody says something like “Did you see that the President is locking babies inside of cages?” and I’ll be angry again so I’ll feel my stomach, and sure enough, the anger-stone has climbed back in when I wasn’t looking.

(An electronic album more and more. A black metal album never enough.)

Everybody is angry and I can’t stop that but if I had a restaurant and you came, even if you were a bad person I would give you food. And – who knows? – if it was good food then even though you were a bad person you might wonder about who made this good food and things might get better a little.

I don’t want to be angry. I don’t want to be part of all that. I’ve got to keep trying.

Comments

  1. When I get angry I play Tupac or Ice Cube.

    There are a great many angry people out there at the moment, but maybe it's those angry people that change things. If that anger is channelled the right way. Well not the one that threw a shoe at your head, she needs a chill pill.

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    1. I keep hearing that anger is a great motivator.

      It might have worked that way for me at times when I was younger. I'm not sure it does anymore.

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  2. When I was a line cook I cooked good food for whoever got seated. That was my job, and if I showed up for work I had already decided by showing up that I was gonna do that job. Sure, there was a sign in the dining room that read "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" but that was the front of the house's responsibility, not mine.
    Yes, I saw that sign get enforced more than once, but far more frequently I made good meals for truly reprehensible customers.

    Anger, right now, is a public resource that we can't allow to be squandered. 2010 happened, and we are woefully short of plans with any probability of success even approaching the success that anger had in 2010.

    That said, it can't all be MY anger, as it doesn't work that way.

    I tried to get lost in the excellent new Neko Case album, and that did work for a while. Kelly Hogan isn't touring with her this time, but Rachel Flotard is, so that is interesting.
    The Joy Formidable has a new album, AAARTH, in September and they have a song from it up on YouTube called "Dance of the Lotus" and maybe another I haven't heard yet, so I have that to look forward to.
    Lucius didn't really make a new album this year, although they did put out "Nudes", a collection of "acoustic" re-imaginings of older songs, and it did include Lead Belly's "Goodnight Irene" recorded in Electric Lady's 45RPM booth with Roger Waters. Jess and Holly are touring with him, and that's why they haven't gotten around to replacing their departed band member and making a real new album, and that's fine with me. They do a bang-up job singing "The Great Gig in the Sky" and seem like an essential part of his band at this point, and I have to give them that.
    And Motorhead. I've been listening to Motorhead, which somehow has a calming effect on me these days as it is strong enough to beat back the feelings of dread that are threatening to bubble up if I let them.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. I know Lucius have been touring now with Waters for a LONG TIME. They've really set aside their careers for this, which says something.

      I can't explain the Motorhead thing, but I can't explain the way music works, so that's par for the course. I listen to black metal which should not work to calm me down but does.

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    2. My friend Chris, who died day before yesterday, was a big fan of black metal. In fact, before he took off on what he knew would be his last extended road trip, I ripped his CD collection to an external hard drive so he could listen to them while he drove. I felt like it was the least I could do for him.
      As for Jess and Holly, some opportunities you don't pass up, and I just think that was one of them. To get to do that show, night after night for a couple of years is something you don't really see yourself doing until it happens. And Jess has said in interviews that the experience has "given her ideas" and that seems like a thing to be optimistic about to me.

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    3. I would agree that sounds promising except I am being anti-anger this week and we're talking about Roger Waters.

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    4. I just read that it had rained a bit in Houston. Are you OK?

      -Doug in Oakland

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    5. Yup, thanks. We flood a couple times a year in this city. My house has never been affected - not even during Harvey last year. Apparently, I live on a 4-block island in the middle of a large flood-prone region.

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  3. I wonder if we haven't reached peak anger yet and I dread those conditions. Meanwhile, I realize that I might do myself psychological damage attempting to find out just what the truth is that I could respond to with anger. The knowledge that I don't know the truth or have a handle on it helps prevent unnecessary anger from disrupting my life. Besides, a successful pickpocket oftentimes provides a distraction and I think that is what is happening on a national scale currently.

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    1. Yeah, as far as the news goes... I try and cut myself off from it because if I'm not actually trying to go out and change things, then why bother? I know I'm not going to support the psychopaths in charge. But I still wind up getting angry over it.

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  4. "We are all just walking each other home." I don't know if this quotation has any relevance to your post but I just like it.

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    1. Ram Dass has some good quotes. I need quotes like that today. It hasn't been a great week.

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  5. I don't want to be angry either Harry.....music doesn't help me like it helps you...but knitting sort of does so I'll just keep on knitting the angry stone out of myself. There is a lot to be angry about these days isn't there? But there is also lots to be happy about (contentt with) (pleased with).......we just have to look hard for it and smile at people a lot. Sometimes they smile back and that helps too.

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    1. I agree. I'm going to keep trying. I don't know what other choice I have.

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  6. I don't have an angry stone, so a certain president and his ever expanding cages don't bother me. Instead I have angry sand. It crumbles when I try to get a grip.

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    1. That sounds like a much better deal. Maybe I can trade the stones in sometime.

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    2. Keep trying my friend! Listening to music is good and always make sure to take deep breaths! Also give Astro a hug! I know it's hard, but never stop trying!

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    3. Hi, Stacy, and thanks. It's been a really, really lousy week - which I might end up writing about sometime - and I'm trying to keep occupied and, as you say, take deep breaths. I'm going to make it through.

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    4. It's all very well until fistfuls turn into beaches.

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  7. music and "like a rabbit hole" - have you heard Blue Man Group's version of White Rabbit?
    When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead - most rational people get a little angry.

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    1. I have not. Every time I hear the original "White Rabbit," I think of the scene in "Fear and Loathing in Law Vegas" where Benicio del Toro is trying to get Johnny Depp to throw the radio into the bathtub with him when the song peaks.

      I don't know whether I've heard the Blue Man group of anything. Blue Man Group reminds me of an ex, which in turn gets me angry...

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  8. If we are supposed to make lemonade, when life gives us lemons... what do we do when people throw shoes at our heads? I've thought about asking the little Bush, but... I doubt he knows. Do you know?

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    1. The bad thing is that it's not the first time this has happened to me. People are very angry. I get angry but I've never thrown anything at anyone. Maybe shoes are heavy enough to get to where you're throwing them but not so heavy as to hurt someone.

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  9. I don’t want to be angry. I don’t want to be part of all that. I’ve got to keep trying.

    I'm keeping my head down and staying quiet. Shit is getting weird and scary.

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    1. I think it might be the way to go.

      On one hand, I worry about what I'll think of myself later on. Whether I will feel guilty about not doing more while this stuff was happening.

      On the other hand, I like to listen to music and... people are crazy.

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  10. I don't like being angry either, but sometimes being nice doesn't work and people take advantage. Sometimes you have to say, "No more Mr. Nice Guy," like Alice Cooper did.

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    1. Sometimes.

      It just feels as though maybe I've been that way a little too often lately.

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  11. A part of me has honestly given up. I've always put faith in reason, in facts, in rational debate, but millions of people support this president despite his misbehavior, giving credence to the most tenuous sources that support him and dismissing all evidence against him, no matter its credibility, as part of a liberal conspiracy. I have family members who credit the current economic growth to Trump, but deny that the job growth from 2009 - 2017 was attributable to President Obama or even that it happened. When confronted with labor statistics that paint President Obama in a positive light, they will label those numbers as fraudulent. But when shown statistics from the exact same source detailing job growth under Trump, they will accept the figures as legitimate. They see no discrepancy. And if we did experience another downturn, as is inevitable given the recent spate of deregulation, they would find a way to blame it on Democrats. It's destroyed my faith in democracy. The existence of so many stupid and weak people, so prone to believing what they want and nothing else, has made me think that this, as a form of government, cannot work. And I've believed in this form of government my whole life, so that's a hard place to be.

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    1. I'm reading a book right now called "Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History," by Kurt Andersen, which basically lays out how America has often followed delusions, home-spun myths, and PT Barnum types and still managed to move on sort of.

      It's made me feel a little better, actually, especially after a week in which i felt like maybe I was hitting rock bottom. I've got to fend off dark cynicism somehow.

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    2. That is heartening. I hope we pull out of it this time, too.

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  12. Anger is an energy, it can be hard to control, it can be misdirected, and it is exhausting. It takes great practise to turn this energy to positive use. Losing control is not helpful. It is human and sort of wonderful to be passionate about things/events, but when we start dividing ourselves into 'them' and 'us,' that's dangerous. I look to people like Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa - I think they channelled their energy well through some tough times.

    And Motorhead, definitely!

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    1. Yeah, it seems like it can motivate people to do things they wouldn't otherwise do in a positive way. Hasn't been working that way for me lately, though. Maybe I just need a break from anger and outrage.

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