The Head Moron over at AoSHQ has staged an intervention for some rageaholics who frequent his site. As a long-time lurker, I’m pretty happy about that, even though I enjoy issuing a good rant once in a while. Apart from the fact that some of mine have been Instalanched and Malkalanched and who doesn’t enjoy a massive influx of blog traffic? it just feels good to vent once in a while, and to have other people pat you on the back for doing so. That’s not wrong; it’s like a dash of cayenne, right? It improves the flavor. Isn’t it just a matter of not going too far?
Now Ace comes along and ruins all that with a splash of icy reason to the face:
Anger is not a virtue, and hatred is not courage.
Screaming and ranting does not improve morale, and does not stiffen spines.
There is a word I love: “unmanned.” Bereft of manhood; sent into an emotional tizzy; screaming like a child.
It is not manly to become unmanned.
Let it be known:
Most of us are pretty angry.
But yet it must be kept in check.
Anger is sinful; but to indulge in anger, to make excuses for it, to call anger prudent and wise, is pathetic.
It is narcissistic to claim flaws and indulgences are really virtues in disguise.
I am angry. I’m often angry. Sometimes I mask it with humor.
I am also a reasoning human being who knows what most people have known since age six: Anger does not produce good decisions, nor good results.
Anger is an indulgence. A soft, callow indulgence. An indulgence of emotion, and indulgence — like all indulgences — that feels good.
I indulge in it too. We all do. But make no mistake, every time we do, it is an indulgence, and not a badge of righteousness.
I’m going to have to disagree with just the one phrase: “Anger is sinful.” No, it isn’t.
Read the Psalms… David was furious, and yet he was “a man after God’s own heart.” But I don’t want to pick nits. Ace wasn’t issuing religious instructions, he was making the point that we do NOT want to mimic the unhinged rantiness of the Kos Kidz. And he makes a very cogent point about something we can do for the sake of other people:
I heard Dennis Praeger say something to Adam Carolla that I thought was stupid and sappy when I heard it, but then Adam Carolla agreed, and then I realized they were both right.
He said it is a selfish indulgence to be unhappy, and that it is a moral necessity to be happy and cheerful.
Not for yourself, he clarified– for others. For the sake of others in our lives, we should project good cheer and warm spirits, even if we do not exactly feel that inside.
Read the whole thing, it’ll probably do you as much good as it did me.