Wednesday, September 26, 2007

From Anger To The Elders: Can I Make The Leap?

I have struggled at certain times with this blog. But it has been and continues to be a great learning experience, and a means of expression that has helped me immensely in learning mostly about myself and how I encounter and respond to the world.

It's forced me to take a look at the prejudices and assumptions I carry around with me, look for their source, but most importantly, examine them for their truth in the face of reality. Although truth and reality can be subjective, I am grateful to my boyfriend, a lifelong journalist, who regularly reminds me not to jump to any conclusions until I've rounded up as many pieces of the tale from every possible source. Technology, travel and encountering people from all over the world have helped to bring information together very quickly. My opinions are still forming and will probably continue to do so for the rest of my life.

Anger is what brought me to this blogging effort. Anger about corporate America, about America's politics, about religious fanaticism, about a paternalistic warmongering controlling authoritarian approach to the management of our country and our relationships with our global neighbors. But I was mostly angry about the fallout and victims of these entities and practices, like the suffering of many people that is ignored, brushed aside or purposely hidden away by a pampered, self-indulgent and ignorant elite.

But I have my own anger, deep inside of me. About rape, and abuse, and being victimized and marginalized as a woman, employee, person. Anger that is not expressed, manifests itself in depression, paralysis, self-abuse or uncontrollable rage. If all of us were honest, we would admit to having this kernel of anger in our bellies. Statistically, one in six American women, and one in 33 American men have been sexually assaulted, and 44% of those victims are under the age of 18. This doesn't count the crimes that have not been reported. So if I have 13 readers, it's safe to say that at least 2 of you are angry too.

There have been times when I believed that this anger I carry is SO BIG that it can bring a plane down, crash a car, kill people. I've spent half a lifetime trying to be "nice" and dress accordingly, so that nobody would know the horrible, festering, dark anger that I kept in its correct place at all times. This was not healthy. But neither was standing naked on top of a building and screaming bloody murder for three days until all the tortured ghouls and goblins were exorcised from my body.

Instead, I took up blogging. Which is the electronic format of standing naked on top of a building and screaming bloody murder for three days until all the tortured ghouls and goblins were exorcised from my body.

So I approached this blog with trepidation, on tiptoes, and with every strongly-worded post, I ducked under my covers and waited for the fallout. With a total of 13 subscribers, you can imagine that there hasn't been much of a fallout. Not even one Troll comment from a right-wing nut case. The only fallout so far is that I recently lost a subscriber, a friend of ours who I used to spar with since he is Republican and also Christian. But I am ok with his choice to opt out. We all get to pick the people, things and issues with which we spend our precious time. It's our right as human beings. He was nice enough to humor me by reading my blog for a little while.

It was actually this friend that just unsubscribed that said something to me early in my blogging, which stopped me in my tracks for a while. He said, "You are so angry in your blog." And because I have always feared my anger so much, I swallowed that simple sentence as a poison pill and stopped writing altogether for a while. But over time, I realized that my blog tag line was "It's never too late to be pissed off." So, yes, I AM angry. That's the theme of my blog. For better or worse. So I started writing again, except this time I pulled out the stops and let the anger go forth and, well, multiply.

I think anger has its place in our lives. It's pretty much ok, even admired, when men get angry. But women? Not so much. Look at that guy called Jesus, in that book that a whole bunch of old men wrote called The Bible. He got REALLY pissed off at the vendors in the temple and flew into enough of a rage to upend the vendors' tables. I think The Mens (those in charge of The Churches) called what he did "righteous wrath." An unfortunate term that is also used and abused by people today who have nasty intentions.

It's all hearsay, I know. But this guy Jesus is revered worldwide as the son of some supreme being called God, and evidently he came down to earth to help all of us blundering fools be better human beings by offering himself as an example of LOVE. Or at least I think that was his message. Sometimes his message is a bit skewed by people who want to use it to promote something much more nefarious, like hatred of gays and Muslims, and, and, and.

So that guy who had the message of LOVE could also get awfully pissed off. Which qualifies him as a former (now dead, but some people insist he's still alive, like Elvis) human being. Inside one person, there are many contradicting forces, which drive us in different directions, until we learn our way. So, me and Jesus are alike. (The Christian fundamentalists are now purple with apoplexy) I just spend more time right now tossing tables around the temple than teaching the power of love.

And I'll tell you one thing I know for sure. When Jesus knocked over all those tables and threw a hissie fit, he was and still is respected. If a woman did that? She'd be hauled off to the loony bin or at best, deeply medicated.

Which brings me, in a long and roundabout way, to the subject of this post. I am saddened by the direction our country is going, and deeply depressed as I now face the fact that what I suspected all along, that the Democrats don't have the fucking gonads to effect this "change" they've all been yammering about, is now, or will soon be, confirmed. Those bastards are going to fund the continuance of the Iraq occupation, and if we aren't careful, Lieberman and Kyl will slip the declaration of war against Iran into a bill so that Darth Cheney can have his way with the Middle East.

It doesn't matter anymore how angry I am. I can't say fuck enough, or stamp my feet enough, to make a difference. And I have no hope that the American people will get angry with me and put down their fucking gameboys or turn off Star Search long enough to get out in front of their local government buildings and protest loudly against the genocide that our government is continuing to perpetrate against the Iraqi people, funded by our very own tax dollars.

So I am considering a change in direction. I have shitloads of energy. I can write like a banshee. I can do voice over and on-camera work and produce videos. I understand the concepts of marketing and PR and have practiced them for years, for shithole corporate fear products like insurance. I would like to somehow put all of this skill and energy towards effecting positive change in the world. I want to roll my sleeves up and work hard for something useful. I'm tired, frankly, of just bitching.

So, a while back I read this article and then today I found their new website, so I wrote to these guys to see if they needed any help. Meanwhile, because I think they have the best idea since sliced bread, one that transcends global, religious and political boundaries to solve problems, I am going to begin to research and tell their story, and the stories of the people that make up their group, and keep track of where they go and what they do.

Stay tuned. And if you miss my anger, I'm sure I can muster some up along the way.


Mauigirl said...

Great post, I think a lot of us are feeling frustrated these days and looking for a way to actually take action. I hadn't heard about The Elders and am glad you posted this. Talk about a great group to try to save the world! If all of these powerful people band together, surely something can be accomplished.