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Thread: Projecting Anger and Fear

  1. #1
    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    Projecting Anger and Fear

    I was watching a Vice documentary on Slavoj Zizek where he explains why Jaws was a commercial success. He reasons that Consumerist society is permeated with irrational fears. This could be evidenced by our media fixations: terrorism, mass murder, financial and climate collapse. It would be interesting to study whether or not these fears are endemic to our culture, and if so, to delve further into their source. Perhaps, that could be one topic of discussion. But Slavoj's point was that Jaws represents a singular entity that viewers project all their smaller, irrational fears onto, and that makes the movie genuinely scary to the general, American audience. (Side note: I believe that sharks kill less people each year than treadmills.)

    This insight got me thinking further. There's not a lot that I fear, which exists outside the moment. Say a gunman points his weapon to my head, I may have an instinctual reaction, something like fear, but I don't dwell on the scenario occurring. I have, however, accrued a fair amount of anger throughout my life. I suppose, you could argue that anger shares the same source as fear. Like the dark side of the force. But I believe, it manifests itself differently. For instance, I can't stand my obese, obnoxiously Republican, perpetually unemployed, succubus of an Aunt. So, if I start to become agitated, she often becomes the topic of conversation, and if I become even more agitated, I'm liable to fume over all the ideals that she represents, and so on. All in all, it's relatively harmless, except perhaps, for the party who must listen.

    Now, I do recognize their are healthier ways to vent adverse emotions. Some people paint, exercise, cook. I used to play guitar. However, at the risk of turning this into a do you do for stress relief thread, I want to know what, if any, entities irrationally occupy your mind, as a response to perceive or real societal ills. Answering this may take reflecting on movies that made you jump or conversations that return to you with ire. Also, if you can pinpoint the source of this irrationality, that may be worth sharing too.
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  2. #2
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    I'd like to watch that interview, I've been on a Zizek binge for a while but had to drop it recently due to spending my nights reading about marijuana, lol (switched opiums ;D). Regarding society's irrational fears, I think some of them are universal while others are specific to certain cultures. Like the fear of alien invasion, I can't think of any third worlder who gives a damn about that, but it seems to preocupy Americans and Europeans quite a bit. Funny though that we basically did have an alien invasion of white men who came to enslave, expropriate and ultimately destroy us, but I guess it's too far in the past by now. I guess for Americans, it started during the Cold War and the arms race with the USSR, the fear of an evil and technologically advanced Other who poses a threat to your way of life, etc., all this deliberately maximized by government propaganda.

    As for my irrational fears, I dunno, I can be prone to overwhelming fear that I feel I can barely even contain physically, and a lot of it is due to feeling that I am unsafe or that other people I know are unsafe. I get intrusive thoughts about it, depending on the moment in life I'm going through, and I have to remind myself that I'm not a psychic and I don't have telepathy, and the things popping into my mind come from me, and not the world. It's easy to think that the fear I feel is coming from the world, other people, but even though it is true that lots of us live in fear behind locked doors, alarm systems and security cameras, that's not what I'm picking up on. It's essentially due to having been the victim of a crime a long time ago and probably some type of PTSD. I find it inexplicable and mind-boggling that other people are so relaxed in situations where I spend a large chunk of time surveying what is happening around us. I find it fascinating that people feel safe when they go out at night in someone else's company, as if that were a guarantee against something. I don't feel safe with anybody. And when I'm with somebody, I might actually feel less safe because I feel like I'm a liability to them, my instinct is to get away from them.

    I don't know about the connection between fear and anger though, about them sharing the same source. Fear seems like a primary reaction while anger seems like a more advanced emotion, a coping emotion.
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