Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mmmmm....this again....

From the anime Umineko no Naku Koro ni (roughly translates into "When the Seagulls Cry") episode 22. If you like suspense and mystery with a twist of magic you should give it a try.

To get you up to speed for the sake of my point the little girl (Maria) crying on the floor at the start of the clip is crying because her mom (Rosa) just destroyed her favorite toy (which Rosa herself made) in an act of rage. If you pay attention the next minute or two is a build up of why Maria is angry with Rose (the breaking of her toy was just the straw that broke the camel's back). At about the 2:50 mark Maria lashes back. And she lashes violently. To be exact Maria is a witch and with the help of her teacher has the power of resurrection. Maria proceeds to go on a vicious loop of killing and resurrecting her mother Rosa.

At first I was doing the usual "Damn!" type reactions and was even cheering her on. But then I started to feel sorry for Maria. To have been hurt by someone or something so badly that they find solace in repeating a cycle of hatred and violence.

While nowhere near as bad as our young Maria here I can understand the concept of being hurt so badly and so often that you want to lash out every chance you get. In my case specifically when it comes to gender my target of choice are feminists. They aren't all bad but frankly speaking I've been on the receiving end of some pretty fucked up treatment by these folks who talk themselves up as if they were the one true way to equality. Being told that my gender has nothing to do with the pain I've felt. Being told that I have no idea what sexist treatment feels like. Being told that my privilege washes away my dis-privileges. Being told that I should pretend my life is a cake walk because of my gender. I'm sure you get the idea. After getting treated like that I've come dangerously close to developing a a truly hateful anti-feminist attitude (I came from that place not too long ago). And in all fairness I'm sure there are feminists who feel the same way because they've been treated similarly.

Well when you have a gathering of people who are suffering from pain and some of the other people on other sides of the conversation match the description of those that hurt you...well sparks can fly. Nothing on the scale of what I showed above (which I only showed because it was the first example of someone's pain causing them to lash out in horrendous ways) mind you but the words in such a conversation can get very fiery very quickly. In fact such a thing seemed to about to happen over at Clarisse's place. As best I can tell it started to happen right about here (If someone else like Clarisse herself happens to drop in to clarify it would be appreciated. That thread is pretty long.)

Even after getting in on the pile up myself I have to say that ultimately its counter productive. I'm sure you've heard some quip, metaphor, or proverb that pretty much translates into something like hate only begates hate. True. If we just give in to our desires to lash out at those that harmed us while it feels good in the short term in the long term its not doing us any good.

However. Even though such anger is ultimately useless it must be confronted. Trust me when I say that trying to tell someone to just "get over it" when they are angry rarely works.

Which comes down to one big question. Where can one go when trying to resolve that deep seated anger that is at the edge of spilling into outright hatred? I think Clarisse has made it pretty clear she doesn't want that conversation going down in her space (feel free to correct if you will). I'd be up for it but I just don't have the community built up for it (kinda hard to offer therapy when no one knows about you). But whereever the place may be all this anger needs a place where it can be resolved. Not to be confused with a place where people are allowed to simply simmer in it for all eternity. While those places can be good that can be poisonous if you sit there too long.

The standoffs have to end. The firefights must cease. The hatred must be confronted.

We just have to figure out how and where to do it.

Any ideas?