Friday, June 26, 2009


An article by Dr. Robert Allan suggests that it's not a good idea to vent your anger. People who express their rage are more likely to die of a heart attack, according to this doctor.

So many people are very very angry today. They are angry because of the loss of their savings, because they have suddenly found themselves unemployed, because their house has been taken away from them, because they've been on the job market with no results for months and there is still no prospect of a job in the foreseeable future.

I have no doubt that Dr. Allan, whose main point is to teach people that directing their rage at those who have harmed them is dangerous and wrong, will never have any problem with getting funding for his research. His strategy is great: scare people with the possibility of disease. Since those people who are the angriest right now are also the ones with no medical insurance, it might really work.

I'm not saying that the good doctor is doing this on purpose. It's just that, somehow, he found the right spin he can put on the results of his research. The social (as opposed to medical) value of his data soared.

I'm not a doctor but I disagree with Dr. Allan. Anger is good, it can lead us to very productive things. It can lead us to look at our lives critically and change what we don't like. Behind every movement for social justice there's been a lot of anger. My favorite feminist sticker says "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention." So, to hell with this doctor's advice. Let's be angry.

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