Unleash the Rage…

I woke up this morning with the intention of writing about things that make me happy. Then I walked down the High Street and came into contact with people. All feelings of goodwill promptly vanished and were replaced with a boiling pit of violent fury, lightly flavoured with a sprinkling of deep contempt for all humanity. This changed my plans somewhat.

Therefore, I am writing a short list of some of the things that really piss me off.

Rage Cause #1: Ignorance

Ignorance is probably my most common trigger for anger. I mean ignorance in the truest sense of the word, before people get their knickers in a twist. Ignorance does not necessarily imply a lack of intelligence, although that may be a part of it. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge or information, but shares a root with ‘ignore’. This suggests that the ignorant person refuses to ‘see’ information when it is presented to them.

For example, fundamentalist religions are often ignorant, in that they refuse to accept the theories and facts put forward by the scientific community. They may refuse to even enter the debate on subjects such as evolution (beyond denying it). This isn’t a(nother) rant about religion though, so I’ll skip over this example…

This refusal to engage in discussion, which is a clear message that they assume that the other person has nothing important to say, is hugely insulting, especially coming from someone who would probably have difficulties dressing themselves in the morning. Despite the fact that I know their opinions don’t matter (if they aren’t willing to engage, who cares, right?), it still really, REALLY gets on my nerves when people simply don’t listen to explanations. Bastards.

Ignorance is also responsible for the behaviour of people in the street. When walking on a crowded pavement, the sensible person is generally aware of the people around them, avoiding collisions by making constant corrections to direction and speed. If they need to cross the flow of people, they will judge their crossing so as to inconvenience the least number of fellow pedestrians, and should they need to stop they will do so at a point that does not cause an obstruction.

A statistically significant proportion of people are arseholes. Fact.

Unfortunately, crowded pavements often seem to be made up of less-than-sensible people. These ignorant morons walk in a completely straight line, either unaware of the other people trying to use the pavement, or uncaring that their progress along the pavement is causing massive problems to the people that get shoved aside or have to contort themselves to avoid such a fate. These people lurch out of shops directly into the stream of traffic, causing multiple person pile-ups, or stop dead in the middle of the pavement to have a conversation with a friend, becoming a clot in the blood flow of society.

This attitude extends to the road as well, where the ignoramus in question is suddenly in control of two tonnes of speeding metal. I humbly suggest that this is not a good thing. The sense of pure arrogance that these people barge through life with gives them an inflated sense of confidence, which in turn leads to them choosing to ignore basic rules, such as ‘Give Way’ signs, or rights of way. Unfortunately, when these people cause accidents, it is often other people that get injured or killed.

As a teacher, the subject of ignorance comes up a lot. ‘Why do we need to read a book? Why can’t we just watch the film?’ is something that is often asked in the classroom. A fair question? Well, no. A book is far more than a written version of a film. For a start, it invariably covers a lot more ground than a film, including examining the internal thought processes of the characters. Secondly, watching a film is a passive experience; you are watching someone else’s interpretation of events, characters and locations, rather than exercising your brain in coming up with them yourself. Thirdly, reading is a learning process. The more we read, the wider our vocabulary grows, the more our grammar improves, the greater our store of knowledge. All of human emotion and experience exists within the written world, and we would be fools to allow that to die out.

And speaking of teachers…

Rage Cause #2: Michael Gove

Michael Gove MP, Tory Secretary of State for Education. This will be a difficult section for me to write, because every time I even think the name ‘Michael Gove’ I have to go and lie down until the urge to kill passes.

Michael Gove, MP: Ventriloquist's Dummy of the Damned

Gove is a former journalist who is now in charge of the education of the next generation. This would be funny if it weren’t so scary. Gove has never been a teacher, never had to deal with the immense workload that teachers face, and yet he is dictating how they should do their jobs. He has moved the goalposts several times in the last few years, most notably in regards to the OFSTED inspections that all schools must endure.

To be clear, I am not saying that schools shouldn’t be inspected – obviously there needs to be accountability in education – but the removal of any kind of acknowledgement of the socio-economic background of the students is a ridiculous decision for a start. In areas of lower social class and lower incomes, education is often not valued at home, so the students see very little worth in education. This has a majorly depressive effect on results, one that is very difficult for teachers to counter. Parents have far more influence over children than teachers do (which is exactly how it should be), and this influence often extends to a lack of importance placed on education. But, under Gove’s plans, this is not accepted, so children growing up in affluent areas of the Home Counties are treated identically to children growing up in economically depressed, inner-city sink estates. This is an obvious idiocy, or should be to anyone with half a brain. Of course, all students should be treated equally in theory, but in practise this doesn’t work. A student brought up in a home which is stable and supportive, where they are encouraged and interacted with, where their academic achievements are praised, will naturally do better in school than a student who is raised in a home where they are not valued, where their education is an excuse to get them out of the way for the day, where their primary care-giver is having to work all hours just to keep a roof over their head. I am not being judgemental, merely pointing out that this is the reality for many children in Britain today. The General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said that it was important to “accept that the job of teaching is made more difficult depending on the home circumstances of pupils. No increased amount of haranguing of teachers or head teachers will alter this fact”.

The reality of teaching for far too many.

The previous OFSTED grades were simple: Unsatisfactory (for schools that were not meeting the appropriate standards), Satisfactory (for those schools that were), Good (for those schools that exceeded the standards) and Outstanding (for those schools that far exceeded the standards). However, Michael Gove, in his infinite wisdom and supported by Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of OFSTED, has decided to change the English language to suit his political needs. Satisfactory is no longer Satisfactory, apparently. Satisfactory is now Requires Improvement. Satisfactory means ‘not trying hard enough’, ‘coasting’, basically ‘unsatisfactory’. If a school gets a Satisfactory grade they will be revisited within eighteen months and will be expected to have shown some improvement in that time. They will be inspected again within a further eighteen months and, if no improvement is shown, will be placed in Special Measures.

This whole procedure seems designed to add to the stress of teaching. Currently teachers get 10% of their teaching timetable for PPA (Planning, Preparation and Assessment); in other words, 10% of their teaching day is for the planning of all lessons and the marking of all work. Obviously, this is ridiculous. Most schools have around a 6 hour teaching day (although that varies from school to school – let’s go with the averages). This means 30 hours of lessons per week, of which around 27 hours will be classroom time, leaving 3 hours a week for PPA. It can take up to an hour (easily) to plan a lesson and prepare resources to the standard expected by OFSTED (and thus many members of senior leadership). That means it can take 27 hours a week just to plan. Marking takes even longer, with a class set of books needing an investment of 2 to 3 hours a week. An average teacher might have seven or eight class sets to teach, requiring a further 14 to 24 hours a week. That means a teacher can realistically be expected to work up to seventy-eight hours a week, not including break/lunch duties, meetings, assemblies, form tutor duties, detention duties, parents evenings and so on. Yes, teachers do get longer holidays than most other workers, but many of those holidays are spent feverishly trying to catch up on the things that get left behind during term-time, like having time to spend with loved ones and rebuilding the relationships that are crumbling because you are constantly stressed out about the amount of work you need to do.

So when Michael Gove says that ‘Unsatisfactory’ teachers will be forced to leave the profession, one is filled with a sense of awe for his reasoning skills. Because clearly sacking loads of teachers makes far more sense than, for example, TRAINING AND SUPPORTING them, so that they can become BETTER TEACHERS. Because that’s just silly.

Rage Cause #3: Intolerance

I appreciate that I may be on slightly thin ice with this one, as I am basically writing an article about what I am intolerant of, but I’ll try and justify it as best as I can while retaining a modicum of credibility.I don’t mean intolerances like lactose intolerance, obviously. The intolerance I mean is the type that is simply pointless. Call it intolerance, call it prejudice, call it whatever you like, it’s the dislike/distrust of a group of people over something that is usually meaningless: race, sexuality, social class, gender and so on. Quite often, the target of the intolerance has no control (race, gender, arguably sexuality) and so the intolerance is doubly stupid. The intolerance is usually based on a stereotype, most of which are just wrong: Women belong in the kitchen, gays are immoral etc.

What a massive KKKunt

Racial intolerance is a typical example. Why? What is the point? I live in Britain, which is, genetically speaking, pretty much a mongrel race. We are not a ‘pure’ example of anything. White Britons can trace their blood back to the Celts, Normans, Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Norsemen, Romans, and any race that had influenced any of them, like the Persians, Greeks, Egyptians. Our language developed from Germanic roots, with healthy influences from the Romance languages, specifically French (our Arch-Enemies – worse even than the Germans!) Britain has traditionally maintained an open-borders policy, welcoming all races, creeds and colours into our country. I’m not suggesting that there has never been racial tension before this generation, but recently I have been dumbfounded by the idiocy of it all. A common argument you will hear is the ‘Britain is full’, and even fairly well-educated people have put this view forward. Well, that’s quite easy to counter. Look at this:

UK Population Density map

The red areas on the map show where lots of people live, the green areas show where virtually no people live. See? Plenty of space left. We don’t need to operate a ‘one out, one in’ system of immigration just yet. Besides, a lot of people coming to this country come here to work, thus stimulating the economy and paying taxes. This is a good thing. And yes, some of them are committing benefit fraud, just like lots of British people are. Mind you, I have been on the dole myself, and I lean towards the opinion that if they manage to actually get any money out of the government, they fucking deserve it! They obviously worked bloody hard for it!

I have, in the past, been referred to as a misogynist. This is not true. I hold no particular loathing for women. I am a misanthropist: I am an equal opportunities hater. Gender politics is a tricky field to skip through, as some angry feminists will assume the worst no matter what you say, and some misogynists will ascribe views to me that I do not hold. I am all in favour of equality and I support the move towards equal gender representation wholeheartedly. However, some radical, extremist feminists do not seem to want equality. It’s an oft-repeated argument, but worth mentioning in this context. It would appear that some of these radical extremists want to invert the gender relationship that has existed for centuries, rather than settle for equality. They are out for revenge for their sisters, women who struggled against male oppression and often died for their beliefs. I am not, in any way, belittling what women have gone through, but many of the inequalities are now gone, and the majority of men alive today were not involved in it, and many are like me, in that they support equality. So don’t tar all men with the same 17th century brush.

On the flipside to that there are the men who truly believe that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, that women don’t have the same rights as men, that they should stay at home, pleasuring their men and popping out babies. Obviously, these people are wrong too. There is a move on the internet at the moment whereby a certain type of deeply insecure male will make constant mention of kitchens, sandwiches and ‘bitches’, and while some of the comments are clearly made as a joke (and often quite funny ones), there are many that are just a thin veneer over hatred and the suggestion of violence. These ‘men’ need to get their heads on straight. All they are doing is reinforcing the stereotype of oppressive and violent masculinity, which has no place in the 21st century.

And somehow that makes them more interesting...

And speaking of something that has no place in the 21st century, I’m back on one of my favourite soapboxes: Homophobia! Seriously, if you are offended by two men kissing, or two women making out, DON’T WATCH! Simple. Just because gay marriage is legal, doesn’t mean you have to have one. It’s legal to have a cock ring too, but that doesn’t mean you have to rush out and stick a 1lb lump of steel through the old chap. It’s all about choice. The arguments against homosexuality are always idiotic. ‘It’s unnatural!’ So are clothes, living in houses and driving cars. ‘It’s immoral’ So is preaching hate, but that hasn’t stopped you. ‘It’s against God’s law’ So are tattoos (Leviticus 19:28), shrimp and crabs (Leviticus 11:10), the handicapped (Leviticus 21:16-23) and shaving (Leviticus 19:27). I like Leviticus. It’s pretty much where the whole ‘God Hates Fags’ idea comes from, so it’s always worth having a few other verses handy for throwing back at homophobic religious nutters.

OK. I think that’s probably enough ranting for now.

What makes you angry? Let me know in the comments below.

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25 responses to “Unleash the Rage…

  1. Ignorance is the big one for me. By all means disagree with me, but do it from a position of knowledge, a position of strength. I’m glad you made the distinction between genuine ignorance (forgivable) and refusal (unforgivable). For me it’s definitely the wilful ignorance that produces blinding headaches and the desire to set people on fire with the POWER OF MY MIND.

    The teaching stuff? My dad left in the 80s because the bullshit was getting to be too much and it’s only gotten worse since. I would have liked to have been a teacher, family tradition (on both sides) or not but I knew I couldn’t deal with it. Even as a student the bullshit pissed me off and I saw how it frustrated our teachers and those friends of my father’s who stayed in teaching.

    How are the uninspired supposed to inspire?

    • Oh yeah, I have absolutely no problem with people being uninformed, as long as they have no problem with new knowledge. Levels of intelligence are irrelevant, it’s how we deal with our own intellect and its restrictions that, in part at least, defines our personalities.

      I’m seriously unhappy with the state of the teaching profession. I love the classroom stuff, and the interaction with the students is great, but the rest of the bullshit is crippling. It’s being turned into an industry, being run like a business, and that is killing morale, leaving teachers exhausted and unable to inspire.

      It sucks.

  2. At the moment I’m fairly angry about the enforced healthy eating bullshit being handed down to us from on high. They’ve taken away all the decent, fun cereal and their accompanying free toys and instead we’ve got dull, unimaginative, flavourless and toy-less cereal that promises to be high in vitamin D and low in enjoyment. Instead of toys, they’re giving out website links to download fitness coupons, it makes me want to vomit.

    And kids TV, rather than having exciting adventures in imaginary worlds, now we’ve got superheroes whose only discernible talent is eating apples and exercising. Like kids are going to say hey, I don’t want to play cowboys and indians or He-Man or Thundercats, I want to go jogging mummy!

    Homophobia pisses me off too of course, people who blather on about it being against God and all that bullshit. How can love be against God, what kind of a God would frown upon love between two consenting adults? A fucking shit one if you ask me and if they want to worship a shit God then they don’t deserve to have an opinion.

    In terms of feminism etc, I’m a playful misogynist, a borderline chauvinist. I like women, I think, I just don’t understand them. They puzzle me at times.

    I think overall, the thing that makes me the most angry, I mean really, really, really angry. As tame as this is going to sound, the thing that makes me really see red is people hurting cats. It makes me absolutely insane with rage to the point where I lose all sense of self preservation and will scream abuse at dangerous looking street hooligans if I see them bearing down on some defenceless cat. Which has happened. When I read articles in the paper about teenagers slaughtering kittens it drives me to the brink of foaming at the mouth madness, I want to personally hunt these sick bastards down and cause them a slow and painful agonising death, probably involving glass rods and urethras.

    Aside from that, everything else in life ranges from not bothering me to mild annoyance.

    • Well, I’d reached 2000 words and only covered three things, so I thought I’d leave it there for today, in case it turned into the notebooks from Se7en. Don’t want the feds finding me…

      I know what you mean about kids TV. When I was a kid (way back when) we had proper TV shows, like Chorlton and the Wheelies, Ivor the Engine, Jamie and the Magic Torch. You know, stuff inspired by the mescaline dreams of sixties hippies. Proper telly!

      • Jamie, Jamie, Jamie and the magic torch…

        So many shows of joy and joyness. Some better than others. Ah, how fondly I recall Dangermouse, Darkwing Duck, Count Duckula, Bananaman, Thundercats, Bravestar, Captain Planet, He-Man, Bucky O’Hare, Round The Twist, The Girl From Tomorrow…

        They’re just the ones off the top of my head. I’m sure if I were to research it I’d be consumed in a cloud of nostalgia.

      • Glad it’s not just me being overly precious or anything.

        I certainly hope that I don’t end up inadvertently getting myself killed in some cat based altercation one day.

  3. I understand the all encompassing rage, however, can you actually cite any examples of women who want to subjugate men?

    I don’t know any, and I know some pretty extreme feminists.

    Most just want to be able to get the same pay, the same opportunities and be able to walk down the street wearing whatever they like, without being hooted and screamed at. Oh, and not be routinely accused of lying when we report a rape, that’d be nice too.

    Inequality still exists – saying that is not an attack on all men, or you personally, any-more than saying racism exists is an attack on all white people.

    • I have met several feminists who match the description given above. I’m not going to cite names and places because they would be meaningless to you. This is entirely anecdotal.

      In the article I explicitly say “I am all in favour of equality and I support the move towards equal gender representation wholeheartedly”. I am well aware that inequality still exists. I do not believe that saying so is an attack.

      I also said that “some angry feminists will assume the worst no matter what [I] say”. You getting the irony?

  4. My comment was enquiring where these rabid feminists are?

    Thinking about it, I have met *one*, but she was 60, and even other extreme feminists think she’s a d**k.

    • To be fair, the extreme feminists I have met that are totally anti-male are dicks too. I would argue that the second half of your comment was not about those rabid feminists, but rather suggesting that I held beliefs counter to those that you were quoting. Which I don’t. Obviously.

      • Nah, I was feeling all fired up about Rush LImbaugh. Realised that, then decided to go work it out on my own blog instead.

  5. My favourite article. There is nothing like well-expressed rage on a page to make me feel so much better that I am not the only one angry in this world.

    It’s the small things in life isn’t it? People whose only topic of conversation is reality tv, ticket touts, people who complain about buses in london (clearly have never left london and tried to get a countryside bus), people who don’t ever want to try anything new, all of the governments ever, and my digestion increasing rejecting much loved cheese products.

    Ahhhhhh. Thanks Jon x

  6. Randomly stumbled on your site. My personal opinion on intolerance is that the mindless type is less harmful. I would rather someone dislike me for a stupid reason than for one that is debatable. My thought process is that if a person hates me for a reason that is out of my control, then it is truly that person’s problem and not my own. If, on the other hand, they hate me because of traits or circumstances that I choose for myself, that is much more hurtful because that person hates me for the person I actually am and chose to be. As an example, if you hate me because my hair color or race or anything like that, I can easily just brush that off because that means the person is kind of an idiot, but also because those characteristics do not define a person. If that same person hates me because my religion or lack thereof, profession, the people I associate with, etc., that would be much more hurtful personally because I chose those things. That is my perspective anyway. Great post, keep it up.

  7. Hmmm – good writing… however the thing I think might not be quite right is your stance on Britain being full. Britain is not full in terms of how many people we can fit in, its in the way that how many people can fit in with public services and resources available. In addition too many people can cause social tension.

    I realise you may have put this for a joke however!!!

  8. I agree on virtually everything, but I must mention something.

    You say that Britain is not full and that there is plenty of space. There is not. The least populated areas are countryside, and should remain so. There is no room for more people, unless we cover our countryside in concrete, which we should not do.

  9. I have a suggestion for you that could prove of great value to to you, professionally and personally.

    First, locate a length or wooden rod apporximately 2″ or less in diameter.
    Obtain a length of strong nyslon twine and put a rolling hitch ( with two turns over the loosend of the twine, in the direction of the load.) Tie the loose end to a tree and bend over and start running.
    This should suffice to draw the rod out of your arse.
    What a sactimonious, intolerant prig- and you get to run loose amoung kids?
    A teacher’s job is to teach, not indoctrinate with the State – mandated values of cultural Marxism (or any values).
    Imparting values is the role of parents, not the State.
    You are yet another example of a PC bigot.
    Bigotry, in my opinion, is not havinga particular view, it is having a view that you express strongly, or live by, that you have not fully and rigorously examined.

    That said, I haven’t rigorously examined much of what you have written.
    I got few a few hundred words then decided I didn’t want to read any more sour, misanthropic whiney-bitch teacher-knows- best BS.

    • Yeah, you really didn’t read the article, did you. Is there a chance you’d be willing to provide a solid example of any of the sins that you have chosen to accuse me of? Hurling insults is a waste of time unless you are prepared to support your claims. Stating that I indoctrinate kids with state-mandated Marxism is simply laughable. You have absolutely no idea what I do in the classroom. You have never seen me teach and you clearly are not aware that a teacher teaches from the curriculum, not from their own opinion, regardless of how well-informed that opinion may be.

      You even admit that you didn’t read more than a couple of hundred words, and yet you expect me to take your comment seriously? Are you high?

      “I know nothing about this subject or person, but I’m going to make sweeping statements about them anyway!” – I refer you to my comments on ignorance!

      If you wish to engage in a reasonable debate, please do. Otherwise, I shall treat your comments with the contempt they deserve.

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