Service of Anger II

March 7th, 2016

Categories: Anger, Politics, Transportation


When an elderly friend stood up to get off a public bus last week the driver slammed the back door shut and shoved off and out of the bus stop abruptly before he could exit. Fortunately this passenger, who was carrying a heavy package, was holding on and no harm was done except he had to walk four extra blocks to get home. He said drivers are usually nice to him.

I was fuming, having just heard his story, and mentioned the incident to a lovely very young cashier at an office supply store. She responded, “Anger.”

On a crowded subway also last week a slight man in his late teens was balancing an old person on busenormous box with a sheet cake marked “Happy Birthday Boss” on one arm and hand while he stretched his other arm over others to reach the overhead bar. In a voice I hoped would carry I asked him if anyone had offered him a seat. He smiled and said “no.” Nobody budged as the train lurched on and he tried to stabilize his package. At the next stop a few people got off and he asked me if I wanted one of the seats and after I refused politely and thanked him I shepherded him to one of them ensuring that he sat down. Were the other passengers angry too?

I get anger. I have a bad temper. But I don’t accept anger as an excuse for nasty, cruel behavior on the job or an anesthetized approach to what’s going on around you.

Pundits repeat that anger is the fuel driving support of a wacky candidate running for President. As for voting for a clown whose embarrassing performance is dragging the election back to seventh grade, the relationship of such support to anger is lost on me. And you? When you feel anger, how to you quell it?

 School elections


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6 Responses to “Service of Anger II”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    Anger can be positive, such as the reaction of society over the arrest of a creative teen whose science project “scared” the teacher. The ACLU got involved and it is supposed that schools will think twice before making knee jerk calls to the police.

    Attributing anger to the possible nomination of a given candidate oversimplifies. Assuming the slightest bit of truth to this diagnosis, is one now to believe that all the “non-angry” people are flocking to everyone else? Was the person who recently attacked a bus driver angry? What happened to the possibility of his being a rotten individual? One who enjoys smacking others around? Psychopaths aren’t necessarily angry, this is their form of enjoyment. What makes me angry is the public’s eager swallowing of easy explanations without showing the slightest interest in underlying facts.

    Has anyone given thought to the threat of another candidate? The one who has recently announced that “God wants me to become President?” He’s catching up to “Whacky” at a furious pace. Anyone getting that warm and fuzzy feeling yet?

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    This attributing everything to anger reminds me of a period in which anyone who arrived at a doctor with a disease that couldn’t readily be identified was told, “you have hypoglycemia.” It was the fad disease.

    Anger is, as you point out, too simple an explanation for rude, thoughtless, outrageous behavior.

    So God selected someone as President? I hadn’t heard. Presumptuous for sure. And such arrogance, close to nuttiness, is not a great alternative to “Whacky.”

  3. hb Said:

    This reminds me of that old story about the experiment with a colony of ants in an anthill. When the number of ants was appropriate to the size of the anthill, there was peace and order and the ants got along and worked well together, but when the experimenter increased the number of ants, they became furious and angrily attacked each other.

    The USA in 2016 is like that anthill, too many people fighting for their share of a shrinking pie whether it be pizza, jobs or just plain old fashioned security. Most everyone, including our would-be political leaders who should know better, is angrily lashing out at each other.

    How to dilute the vehemence of the anger? Reduce the number of people and cut up the pie more equitably.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I missed the ant story when it first came ’round but it’s apt. With all the refugees in dire need of a place to live, I doubt we’ll reduce the number of ants anytime soon.

    I don’t see much hope for cutting up the pie more equitably either. This is a country where owning and spending $billions is what people respect and covet. Look at beggars on the street and in subways. Who stops to give them money–the well-dressed or the poor? It has always been thus. Big sigh.

  5. Hank Goldman Said:

    Seventh grade? Seventh grade? You give that moron too much credit.
    Sand box behavior is what it is. Name calling? Bullying? JFK would have dealt with protesters
    —and did— in a grown-up way. ….not said go back to mommy boo hoo.
    It’s truly astounding that so many fellow Americans encourage his anger
    and swear they will vote him in! Ugh!!!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I thought 7th grade because kids at that age are often cruel. The latest was his asking for pledges from attendees at a rally. He told the audience to raise a hand and promise that no matter what, they would go to the polls and vote for him. My guess is that he didn’t think through what a roomful of thousands of raised hands reminded viewers of–he’s not a person to care anyway. Even after he was asked about the association of this vision with Nazi salutes at a Hitler rally, he repeatedly asked for the pledge from subsequent audiences.

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