So Many Angry People…

Anger is a feature of modern life where we are promised so much. Things that can be achieved without effort, pain, nor harm. But the reality is that everything has a cost and we can’t have everything we want. I love elections and I hate them. They give the opportunity to choose change or continuity. Obviously it depends on what type of election and what choices you have. But elections also leave so many people feeling angry.

In an ideal world people wouldn’t get angry. I remember when Queen Elizabeth II on her state visit to Ireland talked about how life could have been so much better if certain things had not been said or done. But perhaps it is OK to have righteous anger sometimes. How can anyone not be angry with the way no-one is held accountable for the people who died at Hillsborough or Grenfell? And what about those responsible for the treatment of the Post Office subpostmasters or letting shit flood into our rivers and seas?

Difficult times ahead

There is also personal anger. I am feeling angry with myself at the moment for a stupid mistake I made that has led to several problems. Indeed, often I can look back at my life and get angry with myself for other stupid decisions I made. Ultimately this is a form of self-harm. Perhaps the best thing we can aim for with anger is the speediest route to acceptance of the situation, learning from the mistakes, and rebuilding anew perhaps even from the ashes of real disaster.

Reflecting and chilling in the quiet

‘Dying Inside’ by Robert Silverberg

Silverberg is definitely one of my favourite sci-fi writers and I have only recently ‘discovered’ him. His output is prodigious (witness his Wiki entry here) and I am enjoying going back to discover classics like this one.

It is not flashy sci-fi but actually a very human story and set firmly in the real world of 1960s and 70s America. This is the story of a man who can read other people’s minds but who is losing this ‘special power’. He’s not bitter, rather confused, despondent, then accepting. Ultimately, it’s a novel about dealing with decline, something we all face. Whether simple ageing, career failure, relationships going wrong, wealth not being obtained, and so on. Simple reasons why so many of us get angry.

Fascinatingly, our hero wasn’t able to use his special power to give him any advantage in life. Indeed, he kept it secret to avoid becoming a lab specimen or a circus freak. Interesting how we think so much ‘if only’ in life but would that extra thing we crave really change everything for the better?

You can find more details about the book here.

Head in hands

‘The End of Eddy’ by Edouard Louis

I didn’t think I had read this book but it already appears on the list of ‘Book I Have Read‘. So I must have read it in the past but I can’t remember doing so. Thus I’m treating it as a new book and I’ve been looking forward to reading it for a while but was left a wee bit disappointed. Ultimately a bit of misery lit / poverty porn.

‘Anger is an energy’ is a phrase that I can remember the Sex Pistols using. Punk was a wonderful thing though many punks ultimately sold out but then so do most humans in some way. However, anger can also be boring – the angry young man (or woman) who simply rails against the system. I think I was that person once and it achieved nothing. Louis’ book is in the same vein.

He is angry about his working class childhood particularly the victimisation of him being gay. But this is true the world over and his growing up matches what so many of us experienced. Parental misunderstanding, homophobia, bullying, sexual exploration, and self-oppression. We are encouraged not to tell people now to ‘get over it’ but, as someone who has been through exactly what Louis has, that is what I would tell him. Going over the past can be like a dog going back to eat its own vomit.

Gender

‘Ultimately everything you own will be given away, sold, or destroyed’

Anon

I saw this quotation recently and I fell in love with it. It is totally true and we should bear it in mind whenever we are thinking about what more we need. I am very angry about the way we are screwing the environment and the other living things that share this planet with us. In line with this, I visited the Exchange taking a load of books I no longer want – hopefully other people can use them and avoid having to buy them anew.

Is all progress ‘good’?

I’m reading a good book about AI at the moment and it is an example of how we make progress but at what cost? The environmental cost of AI is big in terms of the demands it makes on energy and water. For what? Clearly it’s great if we are using it to find new medications particularly to combat the coming time when antibiotic resistance is widespread. But not for silly and flippant things like finding new perfume smells or giving us wider options on what to wear (when there are already clothes swamping our landfill sites). Or even how to use weapons to maximise casualties…

The throwaway society

Gym: Pleasing but messy people annoy me

A great week for my gym routine. Three workouts done on Mon, Wed, and Fri mornings. Bit busier on the bank holiday than the previous one. As always, focusing on the body parts I feel need working and trying out some new things.

It’s funny how you get used to seeing certain people at the gym but never really talk to them. Like the guy who sterilises everything before using it was there again. Feels over the top to me but one thing that does wind me up (not quite meeting the level of angry) is when people leave the gym messy with weights and dumbbells all over the place.

51 gym sessions since the start of 2024 divided by the annual membership = £10.75 per session.

Swim: A rare week with 2 swims achieved

Did something quite unusual and managed to get in two swims last week. Tues afternoon and Thurs morning. Felt like I was really getting my money’s worth from the £20 per month fee. Limited myself to 20 lengths on both occasions with the majority being front-crawl. Bit busier than expected and the usual problem with a quarter of the pool being reserved for one person to have their private swimming lesson.

Weight: Progress

I wrote in my previous blog about ‘Good Days and Bad Days‘ that I had gone back over 13 stone. When there is something that is totally under your control and it goes wrong then there is no point in getting angry. In the week gone, I have focused on simply trying to eat less (that’s how you lose weight!) and I’ve gone back under 13 stone so that is very good news.

Be happy and grateful about nice things

Mum: Good and bad again

So often I make this the first section in my blog. But my life is not just about being a carer. However, it does take up a large amount of my time without anything major happening. Lots of hours spent being with mum often just simply watching TV together. Though I’ve also been shopping, making dinners, and cleaning.

There was a big plan for mum to come to Dave’s for a coffee on Friday. Unfortunately she didn’t feel up to it and the weather was pretty crud. So instead Dave came over to see us. Having guests is good because it means someone new to talk to.

  • Target is 3 gym workouts. Might be just one swim or even none as I need to do some things to help our friend Patrick as well as spend time with mum.
  • I’m still reading my kindle book about AI and I’ve started a novel by one of my favourite historical fiction writers, Andrew Taylor
  • Velvet Page book club next week but I might give it a miss as I’ve not read the book
  • Got to stick with my focus on controlling my eating and slowly but steadily pushing down my proximity to 13 stone

From 2020 but more relevant than ever.

A defaced billboard

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