Something More to Think About; Anger


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Are Americans Angrier?

Tony Dokoupil

     On CBS Morning, Tony Dokoupil’s lead question, “Are American’s angrier?” was in sync with conversations I’ve been having with family and friends. Almost all phone calls and table discussions end with rants about people’s misbehavior and world sanity.

     Well, there is a lot to be angry about.

     During my recent flight to Maine, a three- year -old strapped in a car seat, that, had been secured in the airplane window seat, attempted to remove his Covid mask and squirm out of his buckles.

     His mother whispered, “Don’t do that,” and pointed to the glaring red seat belt sign. Her other hand held his face mask in place.

     Once in flight, the struggle continued periodically until he was screaming his protest and when ignored, hit his mother. You can image my distress watching the insanity we now refer to as child safety.

     “I’m angry and I’m not going to take this anymore,” a famous line from “Network” came to mind. My husband and I had watched the movie on TCM the previous evening.

     It is a classic and still relevant today; especially when the terms: social media and fake news, are substituted.

     The film came out two years after television news reporter Christine Chubbuck committed suicide on-screen in Sarasota, Florida. The anchorwoman was suffering from depression and loneliness, often emotionally distant from her co-workers, and shot herself on camera as stunned viewers watched on July 15, 1974.

      This real life event was used in “Network,” in which the final scene shows the anchor killed, not by suicide but by staff because of low ratings. The scene might be responsible for the expression killer ratings.  

      Anyway, I paid close attention when Tony Dokoupil interviewed a parent about his recent outburst at a school board meeting and spoke with Dr. Ling, an expert in the field of anger.

      Tony’s view of anger as an unhealthy changed and they discussed the following.

  • Anger is a natural response that keeps us alive. Anger warns us of danger.
  • Anger and Violence don’t go hand and hand.
  • Anger can be appropriately channeled into good or change.
  • Passion can be perceived as anger.

       Many of us grew up with angry threats, i.e., “Do that again and I’ll kill you.” I believed my mother’s warning and did not do it again.

       What I did, instead, is tidy up closets and scrub bathroom floors.

 

 

. . . just saying

 

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Who Or Whom Are We Protecting?

Who Are We Protecting? Or, Oops, Is It Whom?

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Friday night, we invited friends over for pizza. I had put an extra leaf in the table and after everyone was properly distanced and had removed their face covers the conversation turned to masks. Should they be mandatory and who, or is it whom, were we protecting anyway?

We sat and talked, two males and two females married to each other. Oops, that is not quite right. The girls were married to the guys and the guys were married to the girls. Well, you get the picture, two old white married couples. Oops, I did not mean to imply only white straight people stay married.

So, forget about gender, race, age, or sexual orientation. Four adults sat around the table talking.

“I wear a face mask to protect me.”

“Really? Doesn’t my wearing the mask protect you?”

“They should be mandatory. People in the grocery store aren’t wearing masks. I got yelled at the other day.”

“You weren’t wearing a mask? You came to our front door wearing one.”

“No, I was yelled at for wearing a mask. What about my First Amendment Rights?”

“Well, it’s hard to believe a piece of fabric really protects us. What about gargling with Listerine?”

“My mask prevents molecules from the transmission into the environment. I’m protecting you.”

“But you don’t have the virus.”

“I don’t have the virus yet.”

“Right. Your mask protects you.”

“We wash our hands. Why not wash out our mouths. We should be gargling.”

“Would public gargling be considered a First Amendment Right?”

“Why isn’t the media reporting on gargling?”

The discussion was interrupted by television coverage that a statue of Calvin Griffith, a former owner of the Minnesota Twins, was removed for racial comments he made in 1976.  Other incidents of statues being taken down flashed across the screen. Many of them not peaceful. In Seattle police questioned who, or is it whom, to protect when activists injured and killed two fellow protestors. Police across the country faced similar challenges. Who to protect?

The conversation resumed.

“So, who, or is it whom, are the police protecting?”

“They were protecting them.”

“No. The police were protecting US.”

“Shouldn’t they protect everyone?”

One of the men put his head in his hands and like the grandfather in the movie Moon Struck lamented, “I’m so confused,” and then ask, “why can’t we watch baseball?”

“It’s not on.”

So, is it who or whom?

Who is the subject of the verb and whom is the object.

In the sentence, who/whom are we protecting? The subject is we. Are is the verb. Therefore, the answer is; whom are we protecting? Oops, that is right unless it is wrong.

  . . . just saying

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