The video I posted yesterday, wherein Robert Egger hands Rush Limbaugh his head on a plate, has drawn two very different responses. (Update: The original video is here – video at yesterday’s site has been updated to exclude the “offensive” portions.)
One response is, “Yes, right on! And I love the ending!”
The other, diametrically opposed, is, “You had me until the end. Hold your anger, Robert. Take the high road.”
Those of you who are regular readers here have watched me walk that same line – the line between gentle encouragement and downright indignation. Like Robert, I have received the same comments when my normally understanding side is overpowered by my “righteous indignation” side.
Watching the response to Robert’s video, both here at the blog and especially in social media circles, I cannot help but wonder:
- What is the place for anger in creating social change?
- Does social change require a bit of poking and prodding around the edges? Is it inherently about the balance and blend of anger and higher ground?
- Isn’t anger part of who we are as humans? Isn’t it something we all feel at times? Would that not make it ok to express that? Or is it always about reaching for the high road?
- If our highest potential for compassionate, joyful living is reached by walking the talk of that potential, what is the highest potential for what we do with our anger?
- Is there a place for periodic explosion, for someone to express what we are all feeling, and then, as Robert does every day, get on with the very real work of making change from the higher ground? Does social change need a provocateur to balance what my friend Renata Rafferty calls “The Tyranny of the Nice”?
In the U.S. over the past 2 years, we have seen the result of anger from a place of fear. What of anger from a place of aspiration? Is such a thing even possible?
Because I myself am a provocateur, I wrestle with this in my own writing and speaking. I know that my own anger tends to arise not from fear, but from my own personal intolerance for the intolerance of others. (Yes, I know, I’m working on that. Just ‘fessing up to my own demons here!)
And so I cannot help but wonder:
What place does anger have in creating social change?