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October 25, 2012 by morganmcfinn

copyright by Morgan McFinn

“Yeah, man. Anger is my motif. I write. I paint. I’m an artist. In this day and age how can a sensitive person react with anything other than anger as he confronts the world as it is? Everywhere you turn there’s rape, pillage, murder and bullshit. The so-called evolution of the human species is a grotesque travesty. Man has simply progressed to become a craftier, more sophisticated and efficient minister of evil. It’s a sorry, sorry world. So, so much suffering and injustice.”
“This angers you?”
“It enrages me!”
“Happiness is not in your repertoire of emotions?”
“Who has time for happiness? The fat, bald, rich businessman. That’s who. And his ever dieting, boutique mannequin wife and their sassy, spoiled children. No, no. Show me a happy person and I’ll show you somebody who’s either a tyrant or a pampered hedonist.”
“Ever been to India?”
“Once. Calcutta. Ah, the poverty, the stench and filth. A smoldering cauldron of agony and oppression.”
“I’ll bet you were angry there!”
“I was so angry it made me sick. Couldn’t bear it. After two weeks I had to leave.”
“The food made me sick. I left after one week.”
“Think of all the people in India who are starving.”
“A pleasant thought.”
“You were lucky. At least you had something to eat.”
“But it made me sick.”
“Starvation will kill you.”
“You liked the food?”
“No. It was shit! But I was mostly too angry to eat anyway.”
“Some years ago I was in Delhi, walking around late one night. There was a full moon glowing up above and below was all the poverty, stench and filth that you mentioned. But alongside the road near a bridge I noticed an old man with his head propped up against the seat of a broken-down rickshaw. He was sort of nursing a cigarette, staring at the moon and dangling two scabrous stumps over the side of the rickshaw where a wheel used to be. He had no feet. A little blood oozed from the filthy wounds and I flinched in horror at the sight of him. Then he noticed me. He looked at me, right into me; with a pair of the most joyous eyes I’ve ever seen. He blew some smoke through a grin you could only wear if you hadn’t a care in the world. I mean, you couldn’t look at him without thinking to yourself, “Now, there, by God, is a happy soul!” He was no tyrant, no pampered hedonist.
“Yes, well… bless him. But he’s ignorant.”
“You think that man needs to be educated?”
“Of course. He needs to realize how terribly abused he’s been. He needs to know about the rotten iniquity of his circumstances.”
“Make him angry.”
“Yes. When he begins to comprehend the shameful degradation of his life then he’ll get angry. And, when he’s angry he’ll fight back against the oppressors. He’ll protest. He’ll stand up like a man and demand justice!”
“But, he doesn’t have any feet.”
“Yeah, well, I mean figuratively speaking in his case.”
“You’d wipe that grin off his face?”
“It’s a stupid grin.”
“I liked it.”
“It’s a stupid grin born of ignorance.”
“In fact I rather envied that grin. He seemed so peaceful.”
“Ignorance is bliss.”
“Oh, right. I forgot about that. So, tell me, when you’ve made everybody angry, then what?”
“The world, society will begin to change for the better.”
“Through anger?”
“Anger is the catalyst that will effect the changes necessary for establishing justice and equality in this world. You got a better idea?”
“Yeah. Why don’t you start by putting a smile on your face?”
“That’s silly.”
“Then why don’t you just leave people alone? You want to be angry and miserable, do it somewhere by yourself. Me? I want to be happy. I want to laugh. To hell with rage. You’ll find all you like in hell. There’s never been a lot of justice and equality amongst man; never will be. You’re only here for a short spell. Pour yourself a whiskey and soda, have a few laughs. Maybe, you’ll get lucky and find somebody to love.”
“Have a few laughs? You think that’s a valid response to the innumerable tragedies that plague human existence?”
“Laughter, humor is an effective method of sabotaging the turgid self-seriousness of our times. It’s my brand of terrorism. The anarchy of a grin, a laugh, a smile, a joke. My goal is redemption and there is nothing redemptive about anger… God damn it! You can have Marx and Lenin, Sartre, Franz Fanon and Herbert Marcuse. I’ll settle for Bertie Wooster and Zorba The Greek.”
“What about Bosnia and Somalia and Rwanda?”
“They all end in ‘A’ and ‘A’ stands for anger. So what?”
“Don’t you take anything seriously? Does nothing make you angry?”
“I take whiskey seriously and I get angry if I run out of ice.”
“I see. Well, I’ve got a solution for you next time you run out of ice.”
“Open up one of your veins and hold it over a bucket.”
“I would if you’d soak your head in it.”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake!”
“Exactly! Do it for Christ’s sake. Remember his first miracle? The wedding feast at Cana when he changed water into wine? He meant to make people happy, not angry.”
“So why don’t we all get drunk and forget about the suffering masses?!”
“I’ll buy the first round.”
“You must be kidding.”
“I never kid about buying somebody a drink. I’ve got some principles.”
“Maybe, later. I don’t drink much. Bad for the liver.”
“So’ is anger. Bad for your heart, as well.”
“Whatever you say. Listen, I got to go… Things to do.”
“Give ‘em hell, pal!”

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Morgan McFinn

Our Bungalow by the Kampot River

I am the author of 3 published books set in South East Asia. Read excerpts from my books on my website:

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