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There is no single word for the state of being speechless with rage, frozen by fury. It is time we invented one. Ragezen? Angerlytic? Paramadic? Furorleptic? Consider Robert McNamara dying at the advanced age of ninety-three, the man who coldly dispatched tens of thousands of his teenage countrymen to grotesquely premature and futile death. This cosmic bad joke elicited a couple of pious op-ed pieces in the New York Times, dutiful biographies on NPR, judicious assessments elsewhere. But where was the massive outpouring of righteous rage against this monstrous mass murderer of the last century? It cannot all have been diverted by the Palin-Jackson-Sanford spectacle. It must have been bottled by furorlepsis.

And how about those Iranians, pouring into the streets in their hundreds of thousands to rage against the theft of an election and the fraudulent installation of a dangerous imbecile as their head of state? Despite arrests, beatings, and slaughter en masse by the thugs of the regime, the protests go on. We experienced precisely the same electoral theft in this country in 2000, right down to the actual sanctification of the fraud by men (and one woman) in black robes. But no mass protests. No irrepressible outpouring of righteous anger. Gore beat Bush by over five hundred thousand votes, only to watch Bush take the oath of office from the same black-robed charlatan who handed him the election. The reaction was dumb acceptance, mute resignation. It can only have been ragezen.

Today the Congress we elected to serve our interests has legalized usury, passing laws permitting credit card companies to charge interest of 39%. The president we swept into office on a wave of reformist zeal is carefully tending the interests of the same giant corporations whose larcenous practices have thrown millions out of their jobs and homes. Instead of the immediate cessation of the wastage of lives and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan, we hear McNamara's old obscene song of escalation.

No fury? No millions taking to the streets to protest the theft, injustice, and murder being done in our names?  We are all paramadic now.

Originally posted to jcnossiter on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:28 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  gobsmacked? (8+ / 0-)

    Songs up at da web site! Also. . . It's Kostown, Jake. . .

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:31:20 PM PDT

  •  I have outrage fatigue. n/t (4+ / 0-)

    "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

    by Pennsylvanian on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:32:19 PM PDT

  •  Doesn't furious cover it? nt (0+ / 0-)

    "War is a Racket" - MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC(ret)

    by PvtJarHead on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:34:06 PM PDT

  •  Well It's the Long Term Historic Norm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A tiny concentrated super wealthy elite ruling a huge working class poor. In those areas where we're not there once again, we're heading back.

    "Normalcy" I'm afraid is pretty appropriate.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:36:08 PM PDT

    •  Sad, really, that this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goodasgold, justCal, smallgal

      has pretty much happened in my lifetime.  My dad was a WWII & Korea vet.  He used his mustering out pay to buy a house.  We were poor (though someone forgot to tell me that!) but all of us graduated parochial ($$$) high school.  I finished college in 1972.  I am right now just barely doing better by myself than my whole family did on my dad's income.  By the time I die, I am quite sure I will be behind where I started out.  I'll never be able to retire.

      I know it sounds like whining, but what really concerns me is that the kids I teach are beginning to realize that they don't have too many options.  No matter how good they are, there still may not be room for them in the "success" club.  I see young men, who would have been employed in factories, making enough to support a family, now emptying ashtrays and trash cans or slinging burgers for minimum wage.  If they worked 20 hours a day, they couldn't support themselves, let alone kids.  It's just not right!

      -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

      by luckylizard on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 01:23:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I wonder would energize (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and mobilize your kids? More history? Current events? Do they get worked up about this at all?

        •  It's not that they don't care (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          or work hard.  They just know that the piece of the pie that's left for us ordinary folks is getting smaller and smaller.

          No one is more of a cheerleader for them than I am.  I do all kinds of crazy stuff to get them learning, and they do learn.  Every now and then, though, I can see that "why do I even bother" look from a kid who knows that having money for college is not in his/her future.  I just push harder.  They can't give up, but if they ask, I won't lie to them, either:  Getting ahead will be a struggle.  Staying there will be even harder.

          Do they get worked up?  These are jr. high kids.  They only get outwardly worked up about texting, sports, and the opposite sex :-)

          -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

          by luckylizard on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 01:42:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  REALLY mad. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcion, velvet blasphemy

    It's all about capital letters.

  •  Apoplectic (6+ / 0-)

    Comes to mind.

    But a couple of things: We can't be outraged by everything at once, mm-kay? You got your Darfur, polar bears, MTR, it adds up.

    And, the country is too big. You can riot in your own city, but that won't get things shaking in the next county. So we let our brave pundits and talking heads express our anger for us.

    Lastly, Congress is not POTUS.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:37:55 PM PDT

  •  Apoplectic (5+ / 0-)

    ap·o·plec·tic (p-plktk)

    1. Of, resembling, or produced by apoplexy: an apoplectic fit.

    a. Having or inclined to have apoplexy.
    b. Exhibiting symptoms associated with apoplexy.

    1. Extremely angry; furious: "members of Congress who otherwise become apoplectic about wasteful government spending" (Dan Morgan)

    From The Free Dictionary

    Trust english to already have it.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:40:52 PM PDT

  •  You had me till the last paragraph...then boom. (5+ / 0-)

    The president we swept into office on a wave of reformist zeal is carefully tending the interests of the same giant corporations whose larcenous practices have thrown millions out of their jobs and homes. Instead of the immediate cessation of the wastage of lives and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan,

    He's been at the job for 6 months.

    In Iraq, US forces have been pulled back to their bases and combat operations have ceased.  There is a plan in place to pull them out of the country by 2011 (most will be gone by August 2010).  

    In Afghanistan, the US went into the country, removed its government and supported the people of Afghanistan over the theocratic monsters who would drag it back to a period of torture and oppression.  You have a responsibility to finish the job you started and to not abandon the Afghan people.

    Something President Obama understands.

    On the economy, your accusation of "tending the interests of the same giant corporations" is overblown hyperbole.  The economy needs to be put back together, but at the same time we hear of new regulations and oversights and more than a little criticism of the way corporations have been behaving.

    If you are looking for a popular revolution, you will never get one.  The US people are too convinced that their systems works and only needs the occasional reform.

    If you were expecting President Obama to behave like a modern day Che Guevara, you voted for the wrong man.

    If you are expecting over the next 4 - 8 years to see some progress made on social problems, some inequalities corrected and few injustices addressed, you have reason to be optimistic.

    All evils are equal when they are extreme. - Pierre Corneille

    by LiberalCanuck on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:43:17 PM PDT

    •  Not Che, FDR+TR is what we need (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      now, a combination of TR's trust busting and FDR's massive public works projects, both an even bigger scale. By carefully preserving the too big to fail institutions that have more than failed us, Citibank and Goldman Sachs et al, we simply lay the groundwork for the next massive defalcation. Obama has been too solicitous of the interests of the mighty. His too small and misdirected stimulus isn't putting people back to work, isn't preventing further job losses. We're reaching the point where the problem is now his and not Bush's and he's not addressing it with sufficient smarts and vigor. Also he's too solicitous of the hawks. Afghanistan has no military solution and pouring in more troops as we're doing is simply Iraq II.

  •  The problem isn't semantic.... (5+ / 0-)

    It's that anger increases to a given point, that point where all action seem futile, and something takes over.  It can be depression, acceptance, withdrawal....but sustained rage is not in our physiology.

    The release of neurotransmitters can't be sustained, and we either act on the rage, or it dissipates.  

    And rage at McNamara, why?  Why not rage at Andrew Jackson, who force ten thousand American Indians to march to their death.  Or why not, to get closer, Harry Truman, who was McNamara's boss when they ordered firebombing of Tokyo and the A bombing of Japan.

    So, most of us express our rage on this site, and have the feeling we are being active, uniting others, and perhaps we are.  This is why Obama's failures such as those you describe are so much more infuriating than when similar things were done by Bush.

    We could all hate Bush in unison, and conspire for his party's defeat.  But now what.  How do you handle a problem that is so entrenched in our political culture that even electing the ur change agent seems to bring no substantive change.

    Rage....only for a while.  Then you have to find a way to make a difference, but don't expect too much.  History formed our society as geology formed our continents, neither are easily reshaped.

    •  You may have offered (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven, goodasgold

      a much better explanation than I did in my comment above where I admitted that some late afternoons/evenings, a little birdwatching is my retreat.

      I never claimed to lead an exciting life.

    •  McNamara is our contemporary (0+ / 0-)

      so Jackson is not analogous. Real reform starts with righteous rage; without it you have tepid incrementalism, precisely what we're getting right now. Will it take 30% unemployment or even more titanic oligopolies to get there? Better to start now.

      •  From a formal Psychological approach... (0+ / 0-)

        Response to anger is a reverse U shape.  There is an optimum amount when it energizes, but then it declines, for various reasons.

        I went to my city council over something that had made me angry, but to be effective I moderated my speech.  Anger begets anger, so I channeled it into a calm approach.  It left me more efficacious in pursuing this long range goal.

        You can read about it here.

    •  Obama's failures? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We really don't need the Right to bring down the poll numbers. We can do it just fine ourselves. Did you really think there was going to be a 180 degree turn around in the first 6 months of his presidency? Did you see the campaign ads featuring Obama's magic wand that I missed? He's the president, not a wizard. You really thought he was going to march into Washington and change the way everyone was doing everything all at once? Do you really think that would be prudent even if he could? If so, the failure is not Obama's.

      As if we could make things better without making them worse.

      by A Voice on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 01:13:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Come on.... (0+ / 0-)

        He has failures, as does every human.  And sitting here on my computer, with infinite wisdom and vision, there is no way he can live up to my ideals.

        You seemed to latch on to this one part of my long comment, as if criticism of Obama is something that should be censored, or refuted at all times.

        A suggestion:
        It's really not necessary or worth the effort.  Try making the assumption that it's "constructive criticism" and then see if there's anything more there.

  •  I'm apoplectic! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    john07801, Situational Lefty

    I'm mad as hell and can't take it anymore. We need health insurance!

    by pattisigh on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:56:10 PM PDT

  •  Does 'concerned' cover it? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody." - My Dad

    by briefer on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 01:01:49 PM PDT

  •  There's a word for it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And words don't mean a thing
    There's name for it
    And names make all the difference in the world
    Some things can never be spoken
    Some things cannot be pronounced
    That word does not exist in any language
    It will never be uttered by a human mouth  - David Byrne

  •  Doesn't matter what you call it, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LiberalCanuck, Zubeck

    anger doesn't work. Angry just makes more angry. You have shown at least a sense of understanding "escalation". Maybe what you see as  apoplectic silence is really an aversion to conflict. Maybe it is a confidence that we can work things out. Maybe it is recognizing that there is enough in our control to keep us busy and fretting about those things that are not in our control is a waste of time.

    You don't like 39% interest on your credit card? Don't borrow it in the first place. Or just get pissed off about it and spit and whine and turn all blue in the face and see where that gets you.

    As if we could make things better without making them worse.

    by A Voice on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 01:06:49 PM PDT

  •  immobilized, stunned to stillness, (0+ / 0-)

    by subliminals, is my guess.

    As for Obama, I'm just glad Bush and Cheney are gone.  But I think that is part of the game plan, most people so relieved by Obama's election that business as usual goes on as usual, everyone still stunned to stillness, but on a breathing machine called hope to keep us alive enough to keep paying taxes and working at producing things that once sold make those who are in charge rich.  Same old game.  Used to all it feudalism.  Now it has a glossy new shirt and is called industrial productiveness at best, and wage slavery at worst.  

    Not that Obama is to blame for not living up to the image people swollowed about him.  The same people who were running things in the world are still running things, and are still anonymous, so no anger, logic, demonstration, or whatever can be aimed in the right direction to have any effect.  

    If you are unhappy with Obama, then you have to have been very unhappy with the Bush administration.  I think that's as good as it can get.  If I'm wrong, and it can get better, I will be very happy.


    Efectus nihil profundus sub pensus est

    by Riddlebaugh on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 07:20:02 PM PDT

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