Finding Your Fury

We all get this feeling from time to time of absolute, total apathy- no matter what it is we’re supposed to be doing, we just. Can’t. Be. Assed. Get out of bed? Nope. Fall back to sleep? Not working. Productivity? What’s that, some sort of Commy propaganda? How dare you demand that I be productive?! It’s a free country, I can be lazy if I want!

The inherent stupidity of the ‘it’s a free country’ argument aside, I’m not going to chitter about those moments, as such. I’m going to foam at the mouth over the solution to those moments. You see, there’s one particular feeling in the human repetoire that all of us have grown convinced is just bad- we shouldn’t do it, period. Even people who are very accustomed to using it, such as Bill O’Reilly (and to be fair, all manner of overzealous social justice persons), would never openly admit how much they’ve come to rely on it. But I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to hide or be ashamed anymore. You don’t need to disguise your unreasoning rage from the world- the world needs to cower in terror from your rage. Or rather, your Fury (hey look, it’s the title!) I’m going to make a risky distinction here, one I made up on the spur of the moment this morning. This little opinion of mine, may be a bit controversial- well, that’s fine, so are all the others. If you ever read the Youtube comments (DON’T), you know that almost every conversation, no matter how banal, soon leads to either the Nazis, Communism, or Religion v. Atheism. Lovely stuff. Makes for a good textual accompaniment to my morning playlist.

You see, I enjoy listening to metal. Now, now, don’t go running, the dark powers have already agreed to take your soul for reading this- too late now, you might as well finish this article before they DRAG YOU INTO THE UNDYING FURNACES OF ETERNAL DAMNATION! Look, just keep the tab open, you get out on a technicality, hell’s weirdly convenient like that. But you see, those chugging electric guitars, the angry-but-not-quite lyrics and constant energy, those are all things that I adore for a very specific reason- they make me feel pumped up. Powerful. They help me find the Fury. Now, I am going to clarify what that means to me, but not before I do more set-up, just to annoy you. Because annoyance leads to anger, and anger leads to UNLIMITED POWER. Er, wait, maybe that’s the wrong angle to take…

You’ve probably been so angry before that you couldn’t speak. Even though you were in control of yourself on some level, you were so pissed off that the niggling wisps of logic in your brain burned away long before they could stop you from doing whatever it was you now regret.  As a man who once viciously attacked his computer monitor with a USB stick because one mission in Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath kept screwing me over, I feel your pain. But it doesn’t have to be like this. People tell you over and over again not to get angry, to ignore the things that make you angry, to blah-blah-platitude-blah-blah-poorly-justified-morally-superior-diatribe.  Those people are morons. Anger is not, in fact, like a fire, something that will burn you no matter what you do. Anger is actually much more like a tool- say, a hammer. If you let the hammer’s weight swing your arms around willy-nilly, of course you’ll wind up with a headache. If you try to pretend that nothing in life makes you angry, you shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself losing control and blowing up at some point. A person who doesn’t find anything to object to in life is a doormat- if all the issues in our society today don’t whip you up to a borderline murderous frenzy, I suggest you think on them a bit harder.

When I just sit and fume, I get steadily angrier. I feel terrible, and eventually I develop pounding headaches. Not a pleasant experience.  But if I find something to do- say, a ranty article railing against the scourges of the anti-vaccine movement (spoiler: Autism is preferable to death by infectious disease. I think that bears repeating), when I find something to release that anger against in a productive manner, I get a different sort of anger. It’s not really an ecstatic rage, because I’m fully in control. I can stop being angry anytime; I generally do the instant I finishing writing whatever it is I’m writing. The danger here, in my case, isn’t that I’ll say something I don’t mean, but that I’ll say something I’m normally too decorous to say. This is why Fury should, perhaps, be relegated to use in non-argumentative scenarios, or personal projects that don’t directly involve other people.

As to what Fury actually is– it’s power. It’s a nearly limitless source of energy, a focus for all that anger of yours into something useful. But more than that, Fury is being ready to take on the whole world at a blink- relishing the idea of it and being truly joyful if it actually happens. It’s the distilled feeling of every rival battle in literary, movie and gaming history- the pure, essential emotion of ‘Hell yes- come on and kill me if you’ve got the guts!’ If that prospect scares you, I understand- you’re used to your anger sweeping in and taking control of you, pushing you to do things you never would while calm. But that’s my point. When you do something stupidly angry, it’s just as much because you want to release the emotion, to banish it, not always simply because of the anger. If you don’t have that idea, that you have to get rid of your anger immediately, if you get used to living side by side with it and wielding it when it can do something useful, your explosions will be a lot less frequent, if nothing else. You may think there’s no way this can work- well, get yourself some extra pillows just in case, and practice it the next time you’re steamed in private. The issue with just pushing your anger out, or bottling it up and expecting it to go away, is that you’re not really ‘controlling it’ at all. Everyone tells you that’s what you’re doing, but if you have to put any part of yourself in a locked little mind-bunker, if you’re that terrified of any part of you (and anger is part of you, let’s get that straight), then you are not in control of that emotion- and you’re giving into fear, which is also something you need to mitigate with control (but again, fear has its uses).

In sum- you don’t learn to drive a car by running away from the garage shrieking and drenched in a cold sweat, you don’t learn Physics by stealing an M2 Flamethrower and torching the book, and you can’t control your anger if you’re afraid to mess with it. Some people are able to stay calm no matter what, or else they’ve got really good at faking it. But if you’re not one of those people, try this- the next time you’re angry, try to harness it, and don’t feel guilty. Because I’ve been angry and I’ve been Furious, and it’s only in the former case that I feel drained afterwards. In the latter, if I feel less energetic, it’s simply the same as coming down from an adrenaline high.

The only way you’ll never be angry is if you have no emotions at all. No matter how you achieve that, it’s not a good thing, and it’s seriously creepy. So please- try getting as mad as hell, just for a little while.

Say something, darn it!

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