Monday, December 12, 2011

I heard on the radio today that road rage might be an indication of some deeper issues. My first response: uhm, duh.

These are the symptoms: aggression, depression, and what someone is calling Intermitent Explosive Disorder. Which lead me to my second response: now, I watch a lot of movies . . . aren't these responses the way that I've been told to respond to dumbasses? Yes, they are. One of the things the article claims causes road rage is seeing other drivers who are distracted. This pisses me off, I admit. Still, I have a hard time imagining Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson responding to some idiot: "Pardon me, I see that you're distracted. Could I trouble you to stop shaving and texting and focus on your driving. Thank you. You look great today."

What this article is calling "temper tantrums," I think Hollywood (and therefor the rest of us) would call "standing up for oneself."

We might even call intentionally ramming our car into a stranger's car completely natural. After all, what would John Wayne do?

I pulled into a parking lot the other day, and was greeted by a goatteed man, screaming "fuck you" and tossing me a very aggressive bird. While I'm certain I was abiding the speed limit, and I know I had my turn signal on, I think maybe it was a late turn signal or, perhaps, I hadn't slowed into the turn.

As for me, I never think fast enough to honk or flip off or even swear much, but I do feel my face go flat and my eyes go dead when I drive around idiots. I know that meanface is its own kind of aggression.

I'm not entirely convinced it's natural or right to respond this way. Why do I do it? I'm conflicted. Why do I sometimes feel like being powerful and reasonable are mutually exclusive traits?

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