14 May 2009

Anger and stress

A note on ‘anger’

If a person is angry at the way they have been treated by society (schools, hospitals, etc) this is regarded as demonstrating the weakness of their position. For example, when I have given some account of the damaging ways in which I have been treated, as an explanation of how I could have been forced into my present quite unacceptable and unsuitable situation, people are very liable to tell me that I sound angry, which is apparently automatically pejorative, as there is no concept of justified anger for someone like me. Then they are liable to tell me that I am wasting my time by being angry at my position and by continuing to try to get back into a realistic social role. ‘Life isn’t long enough’, they say, with would-be sympathy, but when it is clear that they have not succeeded in influencing me to change or conceal my real viewpoint, their ‘sympathy’ quickly turns to outright anger.

This is a curious paradox. Anger on the part of an individual victim is contemptible and seen as an invitation to intrude into his life to ‘help’ or ‘counsel’ him. On the other hand, an individual who complains of maltreatment at the hands of agents of the collective, and who does not give up on attempting to remedy his position, arouses an unconcealed (and often quite frenzied) rage in all right-thinking persons, and this sort of anger is regarded as perfectly healthy.

I have already written about some of the situations which aroused anger after I was thrown out at the age of 21. The overt anger that has surrounded me in adult life sheds light on the anger that always stormed around me at school and at Somerville, although then the anger was ostensibly focused on my father, thus destroying his health at the same time as destroying my career prospects.

‘Experts’ hold forth on stress

Salaried academics have been holding forth on ‘stress’ (among all sorts of other rubbishy things) in the papers, in which they are described as ‘experts’.

‘Stress is an engineering term to describe the force brought to bear on an object. Now it’s being applied to any human emotion to frighten people witless and sell them therapy and products,’ says Angela Patmore ... a former research fellow investigating stress at the University of East Anglia ... ‘For the more unscrupulous members of the stress industry, this is mission accomplished: the industry creates the condition, then sells “calmdowns” to cure it.’

Professor Stephen Bloom, an expert in stress at Imperial College [says] ‘Perhaps because of the nanny state we have an inability to face our problems, and too much time to dwell on them ... Maybe we’re not stressed at all.’ (Daily Mail 12 May 2009, ‘Stress is good for you’ by Marianne Power.)

Funding continues to be rigorously denied to all departments of my unrecognised but genuine university which might make some real contribution to understanding, if only by publishing critical analyses of the fatuous ‘studies’ being produced by socially accredited ‘universities’.

No one will work for us because, once they know that I do not regard the way society treats me and has treated me as in any way acceptable, they become too angry at my still trying to make something of my life and needing help in doing so. ‘Move on!’ they shout, as they leave the house.