Angst (DOG EAR)

Angst (DOG EAR)

come across my hating fair.”

This from Poopdeck Pappy in the ill-fated movie Popeye. It’s a great statement from the top-down look. It says that hate (and anger and other passionate emotions) are not just felt, they are controlled and considered. I really like that.

The thing is, I’ve mentioned that I’ve had a hard couple of months and work has significantly factored into this. Without going into details, all the things they claim they do (compassion, caring, teamwork), they, well, haven’t. I labored over long evenings for over a month and nobody said anything, did anything, or supported me in any way.

Don’t get me wrong. As mentioned a few DOG EAReds ago, Nemo and Ahab were two captains who let rage and resentment shape them into who they were. You can be sure that if I were going to write some sort of anti-corporate story, the events I endured would factor in. I’d simply allow the experience to course from my memories, down my arms to my typing hands, and there it would be. A lot of the first few chapters from Early ReTyrement came from actual experiences, and Skip Mattocks? I took him from a person I really resented, an absolute shit weasel. Hey, why not? Write what you know.

So the point of it is that I’m carrying a lot of resentment about the last few months. My rah-rah attitude is very much diminished. I’m not doing anything about it. No nuclear powered submarines nor hijacked whaling expeditions. No, I’m just nodding that it happened, that I got a glimpse of the true corporate soul, and I’ll carry in it my literary back pocket if I ever need that sort of thing.

But then again – my company recently sponsored a two day event where they threw a long series of exercises. It’s about play and discovery and experimentation and all that other bullshit that doesn’t mean anything, not in the cold light of my experience. There were childrens’ books (I kid you not) and coloring (I kid you not again). And did that help?

If a person was dealing with the aftermath of a horrible event, a murder of a relative, say, do you think crayons will help them?

Doesn’t help me. When I’m made to stand up, to run over and get some card so we can draw the next pointless image with our apologetically inartistic abilities (because nobody want to really draw, do they? They don’t want their art to stand out), it actually had a counter effect. I’m actually even more angry now, simmering in the resentment of making my frustrations and debasements into a game. It doesn’t answer anything. It doesn’t address anything. It is the clouding of the truth (the human condition, as dark as it needs to be) with the corporate mission (whatever it takes to get a task checkboxed for the next departmental review).

Artists grab their emotions with both hands. They don’t draw bunnies when they are unhappy, they draw Cthulhu. Most artists wrestle with depression and frustration and anger their entire lives. Artists are not “most people”. We are not consumers, and we are not suburbanites. We fuel off our passions. And our passions are not resolved by drawing circus clowns with a marker.

“I come across my hating fair.”


P.S. Okay, so the very next day, it was like the entire corporation showered me with praise. I received high accolades from people in senior positions. Everyone liked me. And that leaves me looking like an ingrate. I almost didn’t post this, but I will because this is how I felt when I wrote it a few evenings back. The point here is that we writers should ride our emotions and not suppress them.

Still, this sort of thing, I feel like Rick at the Council of Ricks. And you’re cool if you get the reference.