Here at Angry Angel Books we like to get angry about things, and in this garbagescape we currently call society, there is plenty to be angry about. But the things that truly matter that might make us angry are things that we cannot show anger for, or risk losing quite a lot.
Let’s use a very simplistic example. I am very angry about my job right now. Public education has become something I don’t even recognize anymore, and when my effectiveness as a teacher and job security rest on the internet surveys submitted by and “she made me feel bad” complaints from parents and students instead of student performance and my actual teaching and conveyance of course material, I get mad. But what can I do? I must grovel and attempt to change in an effort to win back the favor of the capitol, else I be cast into the Hunger Games that is teaching in a physical classroom. I cannot be outwardly angry. I must be servile and submissive.
So when I saw the video of the man being literally ripped from his plane seat on that United flight, my first instinct was to be like “If that was me I would have fought like hell!” but then I was like, no I wouldn’t have. I would have been 100% servile because 12 years of teaching and being poor and scared and hungry have beaten out any useful fire that might have been inside of me. “Please don’t arrest me, I’ll go quietly” because if I get arrested, I can be fired. If I get arrested, it could prevent me from getting future jobs. In situations where I don’t have a choice, if I am being honest with myself I will go quietly every time.
The best I can do is live in my imagination and think of a world in which I could have power in that situation. The power to refuse, the freedom to accept the consequences of refusal and resistance. And really that just translates to money to me. I will never have the money to speak up, or fight back, or resist. I am always a lost job away from disaster. But I still have my imagination, and in my imagination I can claw the faces off anyone who dares to touch me and try to pry me out of that damn airplane seat I can’t even fit in anyways because you boarded me onto the plane and I am GOING TO MY DESTINATION THANK YOU.
PS: Since we have to qualify everything today because people make everything about their damn selves, this is about how I would deal with these situations, not how I think everyone should. So before anyone says anything about me thinking people should just “go quietly” and everything will be all right, this is not that. This is about ME and how I feel I would need to act to preserve my job and life and family. This is not a prescription for anyone else.