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Writer Wonders If Age Has Rendered Him 'not With It' Anymore

This article first appeared in issue 22, and was written by Billy Joe Fudge.

It may be that I've grown into middle age and I'm just not "with it" any longer.

It may be that I'm behind the times and not "really cool" any longer.

It may be, though, that there is a new fad sweeping the country like an El Nino driven wave across a Southern California beach. I hope it is no more than a fad.

This unusual activity in which people are engaging is angry misery. Now I know what you're thinking and I agree with you that people have always been at least occasionally angry or miserable. The unusual quality of this activity is not in the angry misery but in the ensuing happiness this phenotype seems to exude.

Yes, I know what I've just described is an oxymoron and I'm just as uncomfortable with oxymorons as your are. After all, they do have a certain intrinsic inexplicability about them and we of the human species do like to be able to explain things.

Well, anyway, in any attempt to explain an abnormal behavior we must first define normal. In this case then, we will say that happiness is an effect that is a result "normally" of some good, joyous, advantageous or pleasurable cause. Thus, we have what one would call a normal cause and effect phenomenon.

After having defined normal then all we need to do is give some examples of cause and effect; then see how they stack up when compared to normal.

Cow and her baby calf-Normal.

Rain from a clear KY: sky-Abnormal

To grieve because of a lost loved one. Normal.

To be happy because of anger or misery, Abnormal.

So for the most part we can, I think, say that normal has a certain usualness, has a certain recognizable identity. Again, I think normal is not like beauty being in the eye of the beholder.

If my assumptions and reasonings are anywhere close to correct then I think we can conclude that anger and misery are not conducive to happiness; there then, this behavior would be called abnormal.

You, then, after reading this little disarticulation will be able to go out into the world and through your own observations draw conclusions as to why people are so miserably angry. Next you'll be able to formulate theories as to why they are happy with being miserable and angry.

I will be waiting to hear from you.

This story was posted on 1998-11-15 12:01:01
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