Fuck you, I’m a positive person.
If anyone would simply make the attempt to understand me, they’d see it, but no. The “positive” people of the world see the enemy in me, the thing that deserves their unacknowledged anger – mine, my anger. Of course, I and the rest of my world disagree as to whose anger is unacknowledged, so let me add a little data to the argument: my conscious anger.
I’m hurting, real bad. I’m feeling betrayed, alone, unheard. I’m either a kind of crazy that just doesn’t feel like crazy, or the rest of my world is, but I’m hurting, and nothing in my world seems able to help . . . and I’m pissed off about that, I know I am, I am pissed off about it all day long, about my condition, sure, but it’s not just me, is it? I’m pissed about the human condition, for all of us. This must be where it goes wrong for me. I’m mad about the things I see “us” – people, the world, society – doing to each one of us, and yes, to me and sure, I even think especially me because I think I’m in the minority in that I see it and don’t find it to be necessary or “positive” in some way, but it’s not personal.
So, from the popular science stuff I’ve been reading (not the worst of it, Pinker), I think I’m doing this sort of uniquely human thing, having an emotional reaction to a global thing, an emotional reaction to something possibly only happening between my ears, to the problems in my life and in the world as I see them. Anger though, in biological reality is a bad smell, and everyone takes it personally. So, is this the biological basis of religion?
Find a way not to be angry with the world, or the world will be angry with you?
Find a way to be happy with the world, or the world will be unhappy with you?
Hmmm . . . that’s a sort of a new thought, at least for me. This will no doubt be an exploration that goes nowhere, but I wonder what that means in terms of evolutionary psychology, of evolution. Of course, EP and AST agree and are clear on the ‘angry’ part: angry as a response to angry is clearly as basic as it gets, fighting feelings, possibly adaptive primarily for predators and enemies, not family. Not sure about EP, but AST suggests that angry as a response to unhappy may be the adaptation for the family group, the antiseptic for apathy and passivity.
So, I’m antisocial, as in anti-society, anti-establishment – but I’m not in person, at least not intentionally. I may look (and smell) angry, but I’m not angry at you personally. It’s political; I’m not angry at you all for personal reasons, just political ones, just because of your beliefs or apparent beliefs. Is that our biological limit right there, naked and simple as can be? If I disagree with some policy or something and feel anger, people smell the anger, take it personally and fight, personally? Wait a minute . . . it’s so easy to give biology too much, isn’t it? At some point, somewhere along the line, there is something that even today must be considered invisible magic going on, because they can smell my anger pheromones online too. (Not just me either, there seems to be no lack of emotion in the online world. Understatement of the year.)
Psychology has its answer, perhaps: we don’t only respond to one another’s pheromones, but we respond to some perceived thing physically and then we respond to our own secretions. Maybe there isn’t any “anger” involved in a simple flight or fight response, in a straight up fight for your life, maybe anger is a more complex idea, requires time and organization – and then possibly operates as a complex interaction involving our own pheromones. We are political. We have political emotions and they entail at least some of what all emotions entail, probably.
Again, though, anger, in biological reality is a bad smell, and everyone takes it personally. How to say this without agreeing? If you smell angry, there’s a problem with you, and you need to be treated for it. This here, though is science, this I endorse: biology, in the persons of Sapolsky, Trivers, and others, says that the cure for stress is to unload it, to express it. That means “treating” anger like a problem is the opposite of what organisms need. I mean, I get the theory, the idea is I’m angry not reasonably or interactively but pathologically, from something unrealized, that the anger is indicative of lifelong stress that is going to kill me. Honestly, what seems to me to be causing my stress is that my anger is unheard, that no-one can acknowledge my complaints, that the righteous anger I’ve been nurturing my entire life and the train of thought that it has produced can never be validated. Is it really that society is wise and wants to help us through our emotional blocks, wants us to be happy? Or are my angry pheromones simply setting yours off so you’re trying to get rid of them? One option is social science and one is actual science, all I’m saying. That and that the nice part isn’t the actual science part.
April 5th., 2017