January 12th, 2004

terminalblacknight

it's better to be pissed off than pissed on

I've been reading this anger management book I got three years ago when I was incredibly angry at a couple of people who more or less aren't around anymore. I'm only getting around to reading it now because when I first got it, I promptly lost it somewhere in the house and didn't find it again till my home-improvement-and-cleaning frenzy of the last few months. I don't think I have an out-of-control anger problem, as there are only about three, possibly four, people on earth who've managed to behave badly enough over long enough of a period to earn my Wrath-For-Life Award. The one thing they all have in common is that they pretended to be friends of mine, then committed some horrible trust-breaching or backstabbing acts which wouldn't have bothered me as much if they were just ordinary stupidassed schmucks off the street, but really fucking sucked coming from "friends" whom I made the mistake of trusting. But like I said, it's only 3-4 people and they mostly aren't around anymore so it's not like I'm consumed with unmanageable rage all day long. I was mostly just interested in what the book had to say and whether it differed from anything I already thought about anger.

As it turns out, the book has a lot of stuff about putting yourself in the other person's shoes, listening to them, not expecting everybody to do what you would do or live by your moral code etc., and not sweating the small stuff. OK, I agree with all of that. What I can't understand is how the book starts out saying anger is a normal human emotion that society tries to deny by painting anger as a bad thing, and this is not good because many people never learn to manage anger constructively...then contradicts itself by indicating that anger is bad, leads to violence and family breakups, etc. and seems to assume the proper way to "manage" anger is to dissipate it or not get angry in the first place. ???? if you take that viewpoint, then the concept of anger as something normal that happens sometimes and doesn't have to be a big deal gets blown away. the fact that the book contradicts itself just underscores to me the fact that most people don't really know what to make of anger.
used to care

first, we burn all the witnesses (at the stake)

If you are smart enough to graduate from lawya school, you should be smart enough to know it's spelled "hearsay" and not "heresay" or worst of all "heresy", especially when you're repeating said word multiple times throughout a 100-page description of a trial.

Just a thought.