Monday, April 30, 2012

Embracing our aggressive selves...

I think society makes us paranoid about our aggressive natures.

Party time with a friend's AR.

Does society punish our animus and reward our anima behaviors?  A little like the "War on Religion," I think it's a "No" with a "But."

Screwing around with a shotgun.
Myself with about 150 of the 1,000 paper cranes I folded someone serving in Afghanistan.

I do know that I'm far more rewarded for behaviors like this:

Some of the 300+ cookies I baked for homemade Christmas presents this year.
Than behaviors like this:

My work.  A figure showing the quality of the denoising tehcnique I developed using Newtonian differencing.
People are encouraged not to be aggressive, competitive, analytical and confrontational.  I don't think that this is a problem unique to women; I think society in general has become paranoid about the animus and too worshipful towards the anima.

It's a thought I've had before, particularly with regards to education and politics.  You're not allowed to call a student "lazy" or worse, "stupid."  Politicians employ methods to make you empathize with them and speak of loving gentleness and compassion rather than pragmatism.

On the right I feel that people get their animus fix vicariously through foreign war.  On the left, it's "defending" others by banging bongo drums.

Have you tried actually organizing and voting, you crazy hippies?  No?  Just whining and banging bongo drums to annoy people?  And this will accomplish... what, exactly?

Both are inappropriate.  I think the right's method of getting their animus fix by waving flags and telling someone else to risk their lives for their country is probably the more egregious.  Yet somehow I find the left's method more annoying; I'm not 100% sure why.

I think we need to re-define the model.  I don't think aggression is bad or even necessarily threatening.  I feel that as a society - Western society - we need to awaken our animus, to become more personally aggressive and critical.


  1. "PROBABLY more egregious"? Life and death decisions v. neo-hippiedom?
    In any case, the thing that bothered me OCCUPY was the occupation. It became more about the permission to stay than the 99%. That said, it did change the conversation.

    1. Support for war isn't a decision to go to war, Roger. We've had nationalists for a long time.

      Of course exploitation of that nationalist, right wing urge is worse, but if I remember correctly every single member of Congress voted to go to war after 9/11 - both right and left - with the exception of Barbara Lee.

      How, exactly, did it change the conversation? When you really think about it, isn't it much more like Martin-Zimmerman or Troy Davis or a pile of other cases where the media Eye of Sauron just kinda shifted on to the topic, riled everyone up, and then shifted back to something else?

  2. “The truth is that every intelligent man, as you know, dreams of being a gangster and of ruling over society by force alone. As it is not so easy as the detective novels might lead one to believe, one generally relies on politics and joins the cruelest party.What does it matter, after all, if by humiliating one's mind one succeeds in dominating every one? I discovered in myself sweet dreams of oppression.”
    ― Albert Camus, The Fa

    1. That is a beautiful quote. I've never read The Fall, but that strikes me as very true.

      I've found there's a little of that same character in Dostoevsky's writing. And if you really believed that by joining the oppressive party you had a chance to be dictator, wouldn't you at least consider it?