Thursday, November 12, 2015


"Tonight, we not only speak to the members of the Greater Jerusalem Baptist Church. We not only speak to Baptist people tonight. We not only speak to the Methodist people tonight. Church of God in Christ, Catholics, or no particular denomination. No particular city. But tonight we speak to the whole nation. Tonight, our message: Drop the hate! Forgive each other!"

I've been thinking about my problems lately, and sometimes feeling sorry for myself for the hurts done to me, and sometimes feeling guilty for the hurts I've done to others.

And then I think, really, things are pretty fuckin' good.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no one actively working to end my existence because of who I am or what I believe.

I'm surrounded by people that I love, who make me smile and laugh out loud almost every single day.

I have such an abundance of clean drinking water, that I expel my bodily wastes into it all the time.

I have such an abundance of food, that I track my consumption with a handheld computer that sends data to and receives data from space just so I don't eat too ridiculously much.

My greatest health concern is trying not to get sick from too much pleasure.

I have a job with health benefits and a salary that allows me not only a nice home and all that food and water, but also the ability to do almost anything I want, almost any time I want.

And virtually everyone I know has all of these things, too.

Clearly, some of these ideas I owe to the incomparable Louis CK:

"You're in a chair in the sky!"

"But, it doesn't lean back very much..."

Ha. Anyway. What was I saying? Oh, yeah.

When I look around, I'm baffled to see so many people so determined to be angry and unhappy. At work and in my private life, there are several people that seem to work very hard at being mad. They look closely for new injustices that have been heaped upon them by cruel circumstance and cruel people.

I hate being mad. I want it to end as soon as possible. I hate lying awake at night going over and over in my mind how angry I am. I'd rather sleep peacefully and wake up rested and refreshed. So I wonder: are there physical differences in our brains such that some people experience anger as a pleasurable sensation? I've always said of some people, "They're not happy unless they're mad," and now I'm wondering if it's literally true. Is anger akin to joy in the brains of some people? Are there studies on this, complete with colorful images of parts of the brain "lighting up" at the opportunity to tell someone else that they said or did the wrong thing, or said or did it the wrong way, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons? And to tell them over and over again, with white-hot rage?

The phrase "righteousness orgasm" popped into my brain the other day to describe the apparently climactic joy in expressing outrage at perceived victimization of a just or innocent person, and we all tend to think of ourselves as at least mostly just and innocent. It can be seen in comments sections all over the internet, and I think it's what Lenore Skenazy noticed in this post on Free-Range Kids. It's an outrage that seems easiest to express in writing, because face-to-face communication allows too much humanization of the offending party, too much explanation of extenuation, too much give and take, to really allow a good orgasmic buildup of righteous indignation.

I know I've indulged in the righteousness orgasm now and again, and even recently. I'm trying though, Lord. I'm trying.

Anyway, now I'm going to go turn my Pandora from Rage Against the Machine back to Lyle Lovett. And tomorrow, I'm told, is Aloha Friday. I've never been to Hawaii, but I have no doubt I can only benefit from more ukulele in my life.

Aloha, fuckers! Namaste, bitches!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails