Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Righteous Anger from a Boston Marathon Victim

If you want to live a therapeutically correct life you must express your feelings. You have been told that bottling up your feelings will cause immense psychic, and perhaps even physiological damage.

Unfortunately, no one seems concerned about the damage done by using such idiotic metaphors.

This instruction applies especially to the toxic emotion of anger. The culture considers anger to be toxic so it advises you to spew it out, lest it poison your soul. It isn’t quite as bad as the bottling-up metaphor, but still it’s a metaphor.

The result is that too many people express too much anger too often. Having been taught that expressing anger is therapeutic, they feel obliged to get angry on a regular basis. If they cannot find anything to get angry about they get angry because they have nothing to be angry about.

More and more people can fly into a rage over political disagreements. They take offense at the drop of a politically incorrect pronoun and shout down the opposition. They consider thought crimes to be grievous aggressions and respond to them with a full-throated assault.

In the old days, people who were too quick to take offense were said to be thin-skinned. In the old days people were advised to control their emotions: never let them see you sweat; keep a stiff upper life.

They knew, as we do not, that when you self-respect hangs on a verbal trifle, you are undermining your confidence.

Sadly, but predictably, when you waste your anger on trifles you will not have very much in reserve when you really need it. You will take serious umbrage and launch a barrage of venomous criticism against anyone who dares offer a politically incorrect opinion, but when a terrorist blows up the finish line of the Boston Marathon, you mutter something about the religion of peace.

For that reason Michelle L’Heureux’s comments strike a chord. Waiting at the finish line of the Marathon to see her boyfriend finish the race L’Heureux was struck by one of the bombs that the Tsarnaev brothers planted.

According to The Boston Herald (via Instapundit):

L’Heureux lost most of her left knee in the blasts, and 30 percent of her hearing in her left ear. Her left arm is riddled with shrapnel scars, and there’s a piece of metal still inside her leg.

As opposed to most commenters, L’Heureux is angry, about the bombers, about their mother and about their religion:

A Boston Marathon bombing victim hospitalized for weeks after the blasts lashed out at the mother of the accused bombers, calling Zubeidat Tsarnaeva “vile” for her jihad-laced rants and denials.

Michelle L’Heureux, a 38-year-old John Hancock consultant, told the Herald yesterday it’s time to stop being “politically correct” and speak out — making her one of the first victims to stand up to the terror-talking Chechen family.

“I feel a little bit of hatred towards her. I think she is a vile person,” L’Heureux said of the mom. “If you don’t like our country, get out. It’s as simple as that.”…

“To come in and hurt all these children and people. ... I don’t know any other religion that kills for their religion and think they are going to heaven. That part’s tough to understand,” she said. …

A Muslim terrorist bombed us, and people need to start talking about that more, instead of being so politically correct,” L’Heureux said. “The more politically correct we are, and the more ‘Oh, let’s not hurt their feelings,’ the more they’re going to be able to do these type of things.”

Would that we could hear such remarks more often. Perhaps we should judge the culture by  the anger that no one dares to voice.


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Lastango said...

It's good to read the comments by Boston bombing victim L’Heureux, and doubly good to see that The Boston Herald had the courage to print what she said.

Here's what Mark Steyn wrote about mother-of-terrorists Zubeidat Tsarnaeva:

"The Tsarnaevs’ mom, now relocated from Cambridge to Makhachkala in delightful Dagestan, told a press conference that she regrets ever having gotten mixed up with those crazy Yanks: ‘I would prefer not to have lived in America,’ she said. Not, I’m sure, as much as the Richard family would have preferred it. Eight-year-old Martin was killed; his sister lost a leg; and his mother suffered serious brain injuries."

Anonymous said...

A good interview, and her anger is very calm and thoughtful. I thought about the danger when I was taking picture at the finish line stands of Nicollet Mall mile championship in early May. I came into the crowded finish area with my backpack and camera with no security, and if someone else did the same with a bomb, there'd be no one to protect me. I was vulnerable simply for being there.

Perhaps there were security cameras that I couldn't see, and if someone did act badly (including me), there'd be evidence and the perpetrator(s) would be caught, like at Boston.

At one level, that sort of seems the "most you can do", crazy people will do crazy things, and its not reasonable to expect most can be caught before they act, so we have to accept some of us WILL become victims, and the best society can do is care for the survivors.

Dealing more proactively with hatred is harder since hatred can easily be masked as "free speech", and HECK, that's what brought many people to America, to escape insane radical/cultural hatreds of their birthland.

Whether you're a blackpanther for black rights, or underground weatherman trying to end the Viet Nam war, a Iraw War vet looking to destroy the beast by bombing car cares, unibomber survivalist math professor, or a prolifer who is willing to martyr himself to take out one abortion doctor to save innocent unborn, violence can look attractive, with a righteous mission to change the world, to bring attention to wrongs.

The main argument L’Heureux brings up that is troublesome is how the Muslim religion promises to reward martyrs who die, and all the 72 virgins or whatever reward they'll get in heaven. I don't even know the origins of such things, or what most muslims believe. Perhaps the Muslim religion is fatally flawed death cult that can't deal with their own self-hatred, and express it by acting out in ways to become hated. I don't know.

Anyway, I also feel pity for the bomber's mom, in her denial and confused hatred. And that also shows the problem - when does hatred speech become responsible if other people act on it?

Its always easier to firmly reject hatred, and do nothing until after the fact.

People like Richard Dawkins' and his book "The God delusion" think we can solve the religion problem by helping people see that God isn't real, and there really are no virgin waiting in heaven for them. I'm sympathetic to his argument, but if its fundamentalistic belief that's the problem, then Dawkins' atheism might be equally confused and unhelpful.

My own conscience is we all have the right to die, but not the right to kill, so if we kill, we'd better know why, and know there's a price to be paid. I don't have any idea how to carry the responsibility of killing or maming someone, accidentally would be bad enough, but intentionally, I'd have to acknowledge very deep and confused hatred in me that needs redemption.

Anonymous said...

I'm having a hard time understanding why liberals have a hard time blaming all Muslims for the actions of a few crazy ones but have no problem blaming all gun owners for the actions of a few crazy ones.

Dr. Mabuse said...

I remember Theodore Dalrymple, years ago, writing about this widespread belief that if you experience anger you have to "let it out". It's not much more than a superstition, but the people who believe it think that they're being scientific, even clinical when acting upon it. Dalrymple wrote that they have the vague idea that unreleased anger is like a sort of "psychic pus" that must be drained or else one's health will suffer. That expression has always stuck with me.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thanks for recalling the Dalrymple remark. Back in the time everyone was being told to express anger, as though it were a toxic substance. Then, a few years back someone did some research and discovered that people who expressed their anger were the worse for it-- presumably, after the initial catharsis, when they looked back reflectively on what they had done, they cringed in embarrassment.

Sam L. said...

Righteous anger is not multi-culti!