Mad as Hell


Let’s just say I’m angry. About what? How the fuck should I know? Once, a wise, aging newscaster mystically operating on an American broadcast news network within the fictional confines of celluloid, screamed out in a finely-tuned British accent, “I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!” Yes, that’s right, he was not a real person. And, yet he was experiencing some type of neuro-psychological dysfunction and meltdown of biblical proportion, just like many of those around us. In spite of these minor defects, he spoke for many real people who had paid goddamned good money to get into that goddamned movie theater in the first place.

Ok, calmer now. So, I’m mad too, but actually not as mad as I expect I might be if I actually do make it to hell. And on that point, I place better-than-even money that I will make it. Sample case in point: on a party-and-drug run, one dark, eventful evening in a stately part of a large, Baptist-minded Texas town no one had any business being in, my perpetually chemically-impaired brother and I drifted in the far reaches of an altered-state of mind concurrently fueled by a morbid combo of frozen margaritas and a fistful of ludes. At a light, he reached across the vehicle and grabbed my balls for an instant. Fuck, this ain’t no locker room. As it follows, I knew instantly that any of the god-fearing, bible-thumping closet-sinners who might have been peeping out their windows at the dark car sitting motionless on the road through several stoplights as intermittent blinks of glowing light and small puffs of smoke escaped the nearly-shut car windows, would have sensibly shuttered themselves in; they would have dropped to their knees and prayed feverishly, instantly reserving for us a place in the hottest niche in hell. If anyone, they’ve got a pipeline to God. No homo. And, yes, I’ve always been a tad paranoid. Life will grab you by the balls like that.

Flash forward. What does it mean, then, to be mad today? Back in the day, it might have meant anger from worrying on a daily basis that the Commies were going to storm through the back door, throw grandma across the bed and brutally gang-bang her till she bled; or it might have meant one of your parents showing up on bed-check duty or simply on a whim, hell-bent on meting out punitive disposition for anything that might have randomly tweaked their nose out of joint. Confiscating the TV remote. “Fuck, no Mannix tonight. Just me and Mr. Happy.” Could be anything. So, when that lovely, demented news anchor pleaded that all anyone wanted was to be left alone in their living rooms - also, something about a Pop Tart in the toaster and Uncle Floyd on the tube and so on and so forth …LINE! – was he begging the age-old question and speaking the true nut of it: is that all there is? Is a banal existence what makes us mad? IS IT? Is that what makes me mad? Ok, that type of anger is probably a personality thing. But, what about today? Today, being mad and being sad and being up and down and over and out is just such a human thing that I, for one, embrace. Drifting….

Why, then, is this rambling screed, spewed out by a guy obviously in need of much psychotherapy, ensconced in this fine, straight-and-narrow, online rag in the first place? Coz, it makes me mad to think that it wouldn’t be so. And, I’ve got some free time. And I know the publisher. So, there you have it. I rage at my clouds as they lazily drift by on a really-shitty, scorchingly-humid day. I rant at them hoping they will diffuse or, even better, morph into a grade-A, mother fucker of a thunderstorm; one of the fire-and-brimstone sort. And, I do this with a smile just as surely as the ice cubes melt swiftly into the V&T that I sip for comfort.

Yeah, here’s to all the crazies out there; to the outliers, and the bitter; here’s to the misanthropic malcontents; the depressed, dysphoric and delusional beasts that walk among us as men…and, of course, women. We’re all human beings, and our lives do all have value, blah, blah, blah. Here’s to the Howard Beales of any stripe that remind us that, from time to time, it’s alright to be a half-baked, screaming demagogue spewing bullshit at the microphone or keyboard on whatever jaded television network or online presence gets accessed, disseminating venom to most of the world. Hell, it’s the American fucking way. Most importantly, it’s okay to receive the message and live to see another day. Roger that. That’s right, shmucks rant too!

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