Wednesday, June 13, 2012

too bad the rain forests are burning

I think part of what makes my mom say I'm dramatic is my ability to become angry about a surprisingly large number of things, many of them of next to no importance.  Last week I pointed to the word "hubby" in a newspaper ad, narrowed my eyes, and said to my mom, "That word is an abomination."  Not long ago I was in the car reading a blurb in Sunset touting a Salt Lake diner, in which the correspondent referred to the delicious sandwiches which he or she called "sandos."  Hot sandos.  "Sammies" isn't stupid enough, we've got to coin a new, even more repugnant term?  I became enraged and frothed at the mouth for a few minutes, while Emmett sat in the back seat and laughed at me.  Now he calls sandwiches sandos when he's trying to get a rise out of me.  I lectured friends and family for weeks about the idiocy of Pyrex's redesign of their liquid measuring cups.  You remember my feud with Justin boots just last summer, all because a piece of the lining cracked.  Have you ever wondered how it is that I can get so upset about the pettiest, most trivial things? Allow me to educate you. 

Ladies and gentleman, it is because of a precious gift I have been given: the gift of a limitless capacity for hatred.  My venom and bitterness know no bounds, and are in a constant state of outward expansion, creating my own Hate Galaxy, with angry little moons and planets and stars orbiting the great, pulsing, throbbing Rage Sun at its center.

I make a fuss about silly things, and my feelings of contempt and outrage are legitimate, trust me.  I really do feel that way.  So you can imagine the way I respond when confronted, as happens daily, with the mounting evidence of humanity's failure to prove that we even deserve to exist.  The Middle East!  Wall Street!  The government!  Sex trafficking!  Mexican drug wars!  You and I, the decent folks (I'm assuming you're decent) are surrounded by barbarians whose depravity and cunning increase with each passing day. 

I read an article about a man who walked in on an acquaintance sexually assaulting the man's four-year-old daughter, and the man punched the acquaintance to death.  And I'm thinking, "Right on."  I'm for the rule of law, generally, but in the heat of the moment?  Some guy is doing that to your little girl?  If granted the car-lifting strength that mothers purportedly gain during emergencies, I would tear that guy's throat out with my bare hands.  I would disembowel him. 

Which brings me, of course, to the Jerry Sandusky trial.  I'm reading Outliers right now (about time), and in the chapter on plane crashes Gladwell says that the typical accident involves seven consecutive errors.  It's not one huge error, but the compounding of error upon error.  You hear the details of the Sandusky trial and you can see this concept at work--at so many levels there was an egregious failure to act like a human being.  If any of the people who knew what was going on had just bothered to speak up and make sure they were heard, this would have been over long ago.  Sandusky's predation was made possible, and prolific, by the continued shelter of everyone around him.

This is the sort of thing that has given me my ability to hate everything in the entire world.  I can't flay Sandusky and put his head on a pike, much as he deserves it, I can't make Israelis and Palestinians and everybody else stop shooting and beheading each other, I can't interfere with the robber barons who control our country, and I can't stop the abuse of women and children that has been going on since the first man decided he wanted something he wasn't supposed to have.  I'm in this limbo land where I can't think or talk about any of it for very long or I can't sleep at night because I'm so angry and scared, but I also can't stop thinking about it because I want so badly to fix it.  I'm so used to impotent rage that I almost can't feel any other way.  Smiting powers, you guys, I'm serious.  If I had smiting powers I would not care nearly so much about people writing "it's" when they mean "its."  I would not cry about the city not watering the new trees at the cemetery.  As long as the smiting powers came with omniscience, and I could be sure I wasn't smiting the wrong guy, I would be so mellow, and I bet a lot of other people would be, too.

You know I believe in God.  How does he stay his hand?

I guess that's a rhetorical question.


tipsybaker said...

"Smite" is a great word. "Sando" is an abomination, but my least favorite is "bump." I read one long story about Sandusky and was so sickened I refuse to revisit the subject ever again.
I recently tried to convince my husband that we should become foster parents. We would be good at it. I always read about terrible foster parents and this seemed like one way we could right a tiny, tiny bit of the wrong in this world. But so far he remains unpersuaded.

Sarah said...

You and your great Rage Sun are making me laugh so hard I'm getting teary-eyed. But then I realized that it's not just from the laughing...but because I hate that the whole world is so freaking awful all the time. I can't think about all the super, unbelievably atrocious things that go on every minute of every day, because I'd probably find myself rocking back and forth on the bathroom floor and could never move forward with life. So instead, I choose stupid, superficial things to stress about. It's better for me that way.

Sorry that for the times I've probably said the word "hubby" in front of you. ;)

Sarah said...

Ugh! And to make it worse, I didn't proofread my last sentence. Ewww... try again:

"Sorry for the times I've probably said the word 'hubby' in front of you."

Tori said...

Rage Sun. You have the best descriptions of fury.

And yeah, the anti-robot system has been asking me for weird number picture things on your blog, too.

Marsha said...

You write so well, and what you say is true for me also. The question you ask is the one that has troubled me for years, and I find that it takes a lot of bravery to answer it honestly. I have confidence that you will remain honest.