‘Rage’ is one of those buzz-words that all the media news outfits are bandying about these days, using
it as a suffix to create new syndromes with all the restraint of a drunken sailor in Times Square.
According to some people, we now have "Road-rage", "Air-rage",
"Parents-at-their-kids-sporting-events rage", and even "Walking rage." People in
this country are apparently angrier than ever, and are ready and willing to tango with anyone that looks
at them funny.
Blocked at every avenue of investigative journalism open to me, I realized I would once again have to
place myself in danger and use myself as a subject in order to learn about rage. Now, as most of you are
probably saying to yourselves right now, I do not seem like an angry person, and would seem to be the worst
choice for a study in anger.
However, I discovered within me a huge untapped boiling sea of anger.
A scale of 1 to 10 is used to indicate the amount of anger you’re feeling at a given moment.
||Dead, or at least suffering severe brain damage. Being set on fire wouldn’t make you the least bit
||Asleep but having really bad dreams|
||Normal, no rage above the usual simmering frustration with everyone in the world who is dumber than you
are, which is everyone!
||Staring at someone in an attempt to make them burst into flames solely through mental energy, but not
pissed enough to get up and do something about it
||Actively shouting at someone
||Actively pounding your fist into someone’s face
||So angry the whole world is a reddened blur, of which you will have no memory later (also known as
"The Berserker Line")
||You’ve just exploded, taking a room or bus with you in a fiery cataclysm
Rage Factor Journal
Every situation you encounter gets a response from
you which can be assigned an Rage Factor (RF) number. Then, you can add up all your
RFs during a day, average them, and come up with your
Daily Rage Factor
I chose a day during the week at random and kept
an RF journal, cataloging my RFs in response
to various situations.
results were, to say the least, surprising
||Waking up for work
Despite the epic nature of my hangover and the fact that I (or someone else) have
soiled my pants, I am admirably serene.
So far so good. I dress, wash, and collect my possessions without experiencing
anything more than the vague sense of bitter disappointment which is my
serenity is ruined when three people rudely push in front of my to get on
the bus first. They then scramble around like mental patients, claiming
I am shocked to discover this has me making fists and muttering
under my breath.
||Riding train to work
Similar situation to bus ride, it’s like watching a terrible scientific
experiment. But I am now resigned to this, so my RF isn’t too high.
||Riding train to work
A lanky gentleman wearing the world’s largest headphones stands in front of
me, neglecting to remove his huge backpack, with which he proceeds to beat
me about the face and neck every time the train changes speed or
I choose a good moment and pretend that I’ve lost my balance,
pushing him roughly and almost knocking him down. His glare makes my heart
||Exiting train station
People seem to regard walking up stairs as something out of the lower
levels of hell.
Move it, damn you!
||Purchasing breakfast at coffee cart
What?!?! No muffins?!?! I’m going to set your
goddamn cart on fire, man.
||Getting in elevator to go to office
Amazingly, letting the elevator doors shut in some
stranger’s face brings me peace.
||Sitting down at desk to discover there
is no internet service
today, and won’t be
Thinking quickly, I explain to my boss that my computer had
become infested with roaches, so I had no choice but to pound it
repeatedly with my stapler.
Grimly, I contemplate a day at work without
internet pornography, and go to the bathroom to weep in private.
||Performing duties at work
Knowing that a trained monkey could do my job in half the time does
nothing to reduce my anger at having to work for a living.
Is it wrong to
want nothing more than a weekly grocery allowance, beer, and the Cartoon
Channel? Godammit I don’t think so.
All I remember is
thinking "what the fuck do you mean, it doesn’t come with bacon?"
||The Long, Dark Afternoon of the Soul
I am numb. Nothing affects me. You could attach a car
battery to my nipples and you wouldn’t get any reaction out of me, bubba.
When our internet connection is restored, I am only moderately cheered by
the familiar sight of Britney Spears’ breasts.
the bus home, the people in front of me come to several simultaneous
conclusions I would not, necessarily, agree with:
I refrain from smacking them in the backs of their heads by
sheer force of will, the fact that I have to urinate badly and fear a
physical confrontation would have unfortunate side effects.
- that they are funny and intelligent people
- that they are speaking at an acceptable level of volume
- that despite the stony silence surrounding them, they are the most entertaining things anyone else on the bus
has ever encountered.
So, according to the RF, my DRF is a whopping and
unexpected 7.9, which means that I am pretty much always a paper-thin
slice of irritation away from beating someone’s head against a curb until
they lose the ability to yell for help.
This is useful information, and I
will be trying to lower my DRF over the next few weeks, most probably
through the liberal use of barbiturates.
encourage all of my readers to keep their own Rage Diary, and discover
how angry you are!