Don’t be Mad

Anger, I am told, is a negative emotion. I feel my anger take away. I feel it shout, pump its fist, throw a tantrum and shout some more.

The news talks about the truth on the ground.  That Kenya has never been more peaceful, more at ease with itself. A google hangout talks about how the entire ICC process has led to the erasure of the victims. In order to be erased, oneintelligent life calvin and hobbes must be present.

It has 12 views.

Things happen in quick succession. Amidst a wave of homophobic laws in the Africas a friend comes out as gay. The sunsets seem to increase in beauty and the coffee only gets colder. On the roof I must remind myself that I can only stay there until a certain time. It is considered best to sleep inside the premises. It is easier to buy into the narrative of peace when walls, gates and watchmen keep the people safe from you.

It’s easy not to feel angry when you live in a bubble. It’s easy to ignore the forces around you that work day and night to make sure that your bubble stays away from danger. It’s easier to imagine your bubble as a fortress. To talk about how your bubble is representative of an entire nation’s existence. Privilege, I have been told, is one helluva drug.

These lines from this essay come to mind:

“ When racism recedes from social consciousness, it appears as if the ones who “bring it up” are bringing it into existence. To recede is to go back or withdraw.  To concede is to give way, yield. People of colour are often asked to concede  

existence savage chickensI wonder what I am ‘bringing into existence.’ I wonder what we are bringing into existence. I use the words ‘bodies’ and ‘spaces’ in conversation. I see people give me the look. They don’t speak my language, and I don’t speak theirs. The thing is, they say, you’re young. You’ll grow out of it.

Anger, I am told, is a negative emotion. I feel anger well up inside me. I own this anger. This anger is my own. It is born of me, and by me. It cannot be taken away. It will not be shoved under the table by mellow voices, ‘don’t be angry.’ It keeps me remembering that my bubble, is a bubble. One cannot be flippant about the precarity of their situation. I refuse to call a bubble a fort. I search the ground for the truth, but all I find is discarded chewing gum wrappers and the lingering scent of strolling lovers.

  3 comments for “Don’t be Mad

  1. January 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Any reader, lover of language and letters – is wont to fall irretractably in love with the easy-flowing, alluring craftsmanship illuminating even the sublest phrases of this ‘though-collection’ … :-)
    On the down-side though, I flinch to accept wholly the notion that anger can be an emption ‘other-than-negative’ …
    While Michael, you make a very good case for the negative-necessity that anger can be especially toward enabling the less well-heeled of this world to fight against the banes of their oppressive reality … it will take me a while to belive that a sword-swing in response to another can be anything but reactionarily-regressive*
    #Well-written narrative nonetheless, and as a friend likes to put it … their is no protagonist or antagonist in this thing … only a narrator!

  2. Steven Blevins
    January 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Your thoughts help bring into existence my thinking.

    I’m thinking about anger as action waiting to be realized.

    I’m thinking about anger as an affect that necessitates action.

    I’m thinking about how another’s anger makes me angry – an empathic, affective solidarity.

    I’m thinking about anger as negation – vital to dialectical movement.

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