Rage

We live in a sad world.

War, famine, drought, pandemic, environmental decay, mass extinction on the horizon. Communities falling apart through inequity, unemployment, mental illness, scary drug addiction, crime, political corruption…

And who the hell is doing anything about it?

Who can do anything about it?

Armed only with a triennial vote, the little people cower in the shadows as the titans of industry, economics and ideology wage their unholy wars way above our heads. All we are left with is a political class that exploits us, a media that sells us poison, and in place of gods we worship a cadre of celebrities and sportsmen who despise us.

We can never make a difference, we can never have meaning, we make no mark on history except as statistics.

And how do we respond?

Some despair, a few of us fight the tiny wars of irrelevance, but most are too weighed down by the mind-numbing reality of ignorance, decadence and exclusion that characterises our sad existence in the C21.

I was pondering all this, this morning – standing on the station awaiting my commuter train.

It’s a funny little community we have. All of us wrapped up in our own private worlds as we assemble on the platform. We know, more or less, where the train doors will open so we gather in the optimal areas and there are any number of written and unwritten protocols to govern our conduct.

Above all, you do not try to jump the queue as the train rolls to a stop. You stand behind the yellow line, and anyone who tries to push past his fellow commuters will cop a frowning indeed.

So, this morning, my usual reverie as the train arrived was completely disturbed by some interloper striding past those waiting behind the line to get to the doors as they opened – right in front of me, as it happened.

“Please don’t push past people waiting,” I told him, and to my amazement, he went completely berserk. Aggressive, shouting, how dare I judge him etc etc

I said nothing further – just shrugged as he carried on, clearly trying to goad me into doing or saying something that might justify his behaviour (or even an escalation – he was barely holding himself back).

Several people left the carriage in dismay but he eventually settled down and I found myself wondering about the inspiration for such an incredible over-reaction.

It wasn’t me that was pissing him off, was it.

As a middle aged lawyer, it is rare I encounter this kind of rage. Bizarre, visceral and howling – this guy had problems. Clearly there was some kind of personality disorder happening – exacerbated maybe by amphetamine or steroid abuse (if I can read the signs).

But there’s something deeper here, surely.

What I sensed, most of all, was a profound frustration – and I share his frustration for all the reasons outlined above. The world is deeply fucked, and the last thing we need is some arsehole lawyer in a suit reminding us how to behave.

I really feel for him.

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