I really want to be angry. I want to rail and piss people off and make an obnoxious ass of myself (moreso) and have people keep a respectful distance because I might just go off on their asses.
I want to yell and be militant and anger the establishment and spray paint fur coats and preach about how unjust things are and how we need to rise up and bring down The Man.
Sadly, I have no idea who The Man is, no clue as to how to bring Him down if He indeed exists, and to be honest, I'm not real good with the spray paint.
I really admire people who, however misguided, can get very emotional about their beliefs and not only talk about them all the time, but actually act upon them. Maybe that's why I like Harlan Ellison as a writer so much. When he rails against something, you know. When he writes an essay about gun control, you can't help but be swept up in the force and vehemence and outrage in his argument.
Outrage. That's a good word. I can't seem to get outraged about anything.
Maybe it's being in the news business. I see in our headlines and read about so many acts of cruelty and things gone wrong maybe I just can't get up the energy to be outraged anymore.
I want to be angry that the state of Texas jailed an innocent man for rape and murder and only exhonerated him when the DNA evidence was too compelling to ignore. And how they also locked away an innocent man as an accomplice, and that man got beat up in prison and is now brain damaged.
I want to be angry at Jesse Jackson for disappointing us. He sired a daughter out of wedlock at about the same time he was counseling Bill Clinton for his White House indiscrections. I want to believe in Jesse because, like him or not, he's good at who he is. And now that's what people will think of when they hear his name.
I want to hate a guy who wrote to our newspaper after one of our writers wrote a very compelling piece about why some minorities aren't well represented in high-tech. The story was fair and evenhanded and all the guy has to say when he writes in via e-mail is, "You need to get a life." I wrote the guy back and asked if we could publish his e-mail as letter to the editor. Obviously, the guy didn't write back.
I want to be angry at Tim McVeigh for letting his appeals go, but still holding onto the hope of a presidential pardon. It's not gonna happen, but saying you want to die and then allowing for a pardon is a hollow, empty gesture.
I'd like to be angry about the next four years. How despite the flaws of the last administration, I at least felt hope that they were trying to do the right thing. I don't know if I'll be able to keep that hope.
Sometimes I want to go to bed angry and wake up the next morning even angrier. I want to be full of rage at how we are generally good as individuals, but as a mass, people can be stupid, ignorant, petty and on a few occasions, evil. I want to fight it, make people understand, try and change it.
I try to make jokes about it. Write a few stories that may make people think a little differently, or at least see things from a slightly different view. I debate with some of the people in my life about things like abortion and religion and the death penalty. I don't think people's minds are usually that open to a change of opinion on these subjects.
But I don't know how to hate like that. I don't know how to target the frustration I feel when I hear about one more evil act, another pointless scandal, the latest in a string of incidents geared to make us lose hope.
I don't know how to do that. I don't know how to make myself angry, work myself into a fervor. I'm still optimistic. I still believe that people are inherently good. I trust until people prove me wrong.
I used to think that was a great character trait to have. Sometimes now, I think it's a flaw.
I wonder sometimes if having that rage, being angry like that... if it's the only way to translate being afraid of all the bad stuff in the world and turning into some kind of positive, life-changing action.
I'm afraid to hate. I'm afraid it'll turn me into the very things that I fear most.
When somebody works on a Web site and provides it to readers for free for a long time, giving away some sort of free entertainment over an extended period of time... well, to me, that's a good thing. That, to me, is a good act of faith.
Which is why it boggles my mind when somebody who runs a Web site and runs into financial problems (like paying for the cost of running a site) asks for donations, how sometimes people rise up in protest, as if it's their God-given right to be entertained for free and not have to give up a cent for the priviledge. That's just sick. Just because people take the Web for granted doesn't mean you get to just stroll through sites where people devote their time and energy and then bitch when they ask for help, not to make a profit, but just to keep their sites up and running to keep entertaining people.
Yeah, maybe this is something to get angry about.
The reason I bring it up is that Penny-Arcade has been entertaining me with its three-times-a-week comic strips for more than a year now, and when the boys over there finally parlayed their skills into book form, putting the first year's worth of strips into three different editions, ranging from $9 to $85 (for the super-duper limited edition version).
If you like a site like that, you should buy the book, is all I'm saying. It's the least you can do. I ordered mine yesterday, a hardback version for $18, and I'm looking forward to reading it.
Read the site. Buy the book. Support sites you like with your hits and your dollars because if you don't, I promise you they'll go away.
Now, here, let me pass around the collection plate ...
One more thing: my latest recap of Third Watch is up at MightyBigTV. Go check it out. I keep calling the episode, "The Reckoning."