Anger Isn’t The Answer

A Principled Yet Pragmatic Politician?

I used to be a very angry person. I can remember the anger starting in middle school when I began to become a bit more aware of the world outside of my own little world. Perhaps you’ve had a moment like this in your transition from the blissful ignorance of adolescence to the far-from glamorous world of  “adulting”. The full time job, the bills, the messiness of relationships…the realization that elections have consequences, that foreign policy and its consequences are farther reaching than you could’ve imagined, and that a handful of people have the controls to obliterate the world at their disposal.

Yeah.

Being a big kid sucks sometimes.

I remember in the early stages of this transition to a broader scope of awareness being profoundly distraught at the idea that I could live comfortably while others starved, or slept in the streets around the world. I remember that the inevitable consequence of this awareness, coupled with the feeling of helplessness (after all, I was only a seventh grader with no self-sustaining income or even a drivers license!), inevitably gave way to a powerful emotion:

Anger.

I remember being angry about everything. Immersing myself in aggressive music was the only therapy that would help release some of the rage I felt by being overwhelmed with the broken nature of the world. I remember a byproduct of this continual state of anger was exhaustion and, as often happens when those two feelings mix, a nihilism that was crippling.

I remember feeling hopeless for the first time. Feeling like nothing mattered and that nothing I could do could change the status quo, and I also remember nearly giving up on it all. I don’t wish that feeling upon anyone, and I know for a fact that it gets better, because I’ve seen it through to the other side of that dark place.

Anger is an incredible gift and an undeniable curse.

Anger causes people to take notice, it can move people to action from apathy and be a catalyst for dramatic change. Anger can also be a cancer to your outlook on life, and it can become a destructive force which rips apart the creative endeavors in life.

As I continually shape my podcast and mold it into an expression of what I hope to contribute to the world, I regularly ask myself what exactly that contribution should look like. There’s money in the business of polarization. The media machines for decades have been profiting off this model and doing a phenomenal job of it. I’m sure some may argue that that particular model is beginning to hold less sway, but it still manages to dominate traditionally accepted media.

Full disclosure: At this stage of my life I am incredibly fortunate to be networking with a group of game-changers who have a solid vision for creating some major waves in media. This group has provoked me to think about what makes media and brands “work” best. I’m incredibly grateful to this team for continually pushing me to challenge the way I think, and how I handle myself and to visualize the world I hope to take part in creating.

I don’t want to profit off anger and outrage. I don’t want my contribution to the world to be known as another ideologue who stuck to the approved script, pounded the party Kool-Aid and left destruction behind. It’s my hope to be a creator not a destroyer. Someone who strives to build bridges rather than burns them.

That is why I truly feel that the name of my show, although chosen for different reasons at the time of inception, still holds true. It’s tempting to seek out the beaten path and follow the example of those who’ve successfully done it in the past. It’s easy to exploit common popular sentiments and to capitalize off of anger, but it’s far more difficult to have a genuine conversation with someone with whom you disagree and seek out commonality in that experience. It takes guts to choose this path, and that’s why this particular path is terrifying to me as well.

It’s terrifying because I could very well fail. I could suck at it, or get a tepid response at best. The problem with trying to forge the counter culture is that there’s no cut and dried roadmap to get where you’re going. It’s just a venture of faith in a way and, being a control freak, I’m not good with faith.

I guess what I’m saying is this…

Anger can be harnessed and utilized to accomplish good things. I’m not saying people shouldn’t be angry. I still get angry about the state of the world. I get angry when I see reports about children being harmed or blown up in the name of some a**hole “god”, or people being raped and the rapists getting a slap on the wrist. I get angry when the rich screw over people with families and bills to pay, and get a six-figure pay off for doing so. I feel rage when I see animals abused just for the fun of it. I feel all these things and more because anger is the natural litmus test that lets us know when toxicity is present in our surroundings.

That in mind, it’s important to remember that anger isn’t sustainable. It isn’t a model to build a successful media venture off of (in my mind) because, at the end of the day, what people seek is the proactive. Sure you can be entertained by debates that devolve into screaming matches between adversaries, but if there’s no adequate resolution many will walk away with a profound sense of dissatisfaction, and a sense of their time being wasted. Another detrimental effect of building a media endeavor around anger and outrage is that it’s bad for your health. Prolonged anger is not good for people physiologically, or psychologically for that matter.

Focusing purely on the things you hate will make you a miserable person. It will cause you to become blind to the things that are good in life, and will inevitably rob you of joy which is an emotion that’s vital to individual wellbeing.

So as I move forward with building The Resistance Podcast, I’m happy to take my time, and to seek out and engage those who can appreciate a model that isn’t predicated on outrage and perpetual victimhood mentality. These people can be people from any political persuasion and religious (or non-religious) ideology who seek truth though dialogue and can respect diversity of thought, free and open dialogue, and can separate issues from the personal. This ethos is the life force of The Resistance Podcast, and the effective counter measure to the Corporate Media Outrage Machine.

This is the New Sound of the Counter Culture.

Postscript:

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by visionaries who seek to create rather than destroy. Even though we differ on individual issues, we’re creating a community which strikes a legitimate balance and seeks to keep anger in its proper place, which is why I believe we will all be successful despite the different styles each member of this community possesses.

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About the Author

Josh Carter

Josh Carter is the host of The Resistance Podcast, an independent, Wisconsin-based media project. He is a working class husband, father of two and a student of history and political and revolutionary theory.