Sunday, 28 September 2014

Women and Rage

There is a lot of sh** in the air lately. I mean that seriously. The farmers in our area are fertilising vacant and weedy fields before ploughing and sowing their winter crop. Up and down the poplar-lined roads you smell the cowshit they spray over these fields. Close all windows please. Do not inhale.

You know, the problem with smartphones and the whole system of texting and whatsapping that has been become our staple, is this: we just can't shut up. Screen diarrhoea, I would say. There is always a text to send, or one to reply to, add to, copy to another friend. When your loved ones are far away, it's wonderful to send or receive a warm thought, isn't it? But when it comes to the big emotions - Love, Anger, Sadness, Throbbing Good News - don't you think that texting is the most unreliable way to convey important stuff?

Let's take Anger. Now. Anger is best delivered in the heat of the moment, face to face, hopefully without plates thrown. No? And then once the angry party expels his or her sentiments, the other party responds/justifies/or just yells back. Doors might be slammed. There could be some rash declarations. If all goes well there might be a cooling off period and perhaps - in time - an apology and renewed understanding.

Agreed? Now let's think about what happens when the angry party uses a smartphone message to convey his or her sentiments. What might have been yelled in the heat of the moment is now recorded within a little machine (I realise that sounds a little Fred Flintstone), before it flies out to another little machine, and it texted out further like a virus to the insulted party's friends.

It exists forever, just about.

Over the past few weeks (yes finally I am getting to my point) I have had a couple of seriously angry text messages out of the blue from a couple of seriously angry ladies. At first you think: oh gawd, hormones! (Truly, you could have knocked me down with a feather.) How nasty! How silly! How petty! What Was She Thinking? The thing is, you realise that people who vent their anger in this way usually have other darker issues they can't address, and you end up feeling sorry for their plight. And worst of all, unlike words cast into the air whose edge will fade, these words are able to be reread, shown to others, even laughed at. Out of context, anger becomes pitiable, and an angry faceless message must be the pinnacle of weakness. (Cheeky grin: story material!!!)

Sigh. Get nastiness out of your life. Please. Bad energy is not a trifling thing and it will send colonies all through your body and your life. Ladies, by all means express your anger, spit it out on the plate.

But don't be silly enough to write it down. Or if you do, send it to a trusted friend who squeezes your hand and makes you cancel it!

12 comments:

  1. Totally agree Catherine. As with any new media/technology it's all about using it sensibly. I hate seeing the way (some) people "talk" to others electronically, so nastily. I must admit that I hate the expression of anger in general. You can't stop feeling it but, preferably (and I'm no saint here), it's best if you can vent it by going for a run, punching a punching bag, doing anything that keeps those words from being destructive. If there's an issue, work it out rationally when everyone has cooled down. BUT as you say, never ever write it down and send it to to object of your anger. It does none any good in the long run.

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  2. Oops forgot to tick the Notify me box.

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    1. Well, a good shout is a good shout is a good shout.. to borrow Gertrude Stein's word and twist them about a bit. And I am guitly of this! I agree, nothing gets resolved in the heat of the moment and a good, hard jog is probably the best balm..

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    2. I did say I wasn't a saint! But I do think it's best avoided. You do though have to get out anger some way don't you?!

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  3. I have a trusted friend. Sometimes he tells me I should send it anyway...but it's good to have him.

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    1. In both cases here I really felt like writing back what I thought - immediately - but I know it's best to wait, cool off, think how silly our qualms are compared to the big problems of the world!

      Thanks for dropping by Liv!

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    2. I have the same issue. That's why I route it first. Gives me time to cool down and look at the bigger picture. Have a nice Sunday!

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    3. Thanks Liv hope you did too! Here woodchopping and clearing canals.. not so writerly !

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  4. I don't text and would write something in an email I might regret later. It is much better to have a big grizzle to a friend and then laugh about it.

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    1. Yes I think our best friends are the ones who save us from ourselves..

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  5. the problem with spitting out anger over a screen is that it's too easy to be irresponsible with the words. Choosing to avoid looking in someone's eyes while voicing honest emotion is an easy way out, and it's the danger of communicating via screens. I think it's become an acceptable form of avoidance. I hope it all works out.

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