Not that Men's Health is much of a magazine, but just the idea that they thought to publish this...yikes.
Lesson number two: Anger fantasies should feature specific strangers. If you're consistently angry at entire groups — say, Jews or Arabs or blacks or women or cops — then you have a problem.
Lesson number three: At the end of an anger fantasy, you should feel better, not worse. The point is to release tension and deal with a perceived injustice over which you have no actual control. In an anger fantasy, you are your own Captain America. You punish a bad guy in your head because he's not being punished in reality, and better a fictitious punishment than no punishment at all. So feel good about that.
Lesson number four: An anger fantasy should be strictly contained within your head. You don't want the anger churning inside your head to spill over onto the waitress who happens to interrupt you, or onto your mother who happens to call. An anger fantasy has no bearing on reality. You are doing in your head what you don't want to be doing in reality — and that's the point. So know what it is and keep it inside.
Other than that, go for it. Shout at, spit at, break with a bat, gouge out with a fork, hack at with a machete, dismember, set fire to, bury alive to your heart's content. I've been doing it for years. Yet you'd meet me and think, What a nice guy. So friendly and genuine. And I am a nice guy. I don't like guns, I've never swung a fist at anyone, I like Gandhi and Mandela as much as anyone, I'm a vegetarian, I'm a liberal. Hell, I'm even Canadian.
Just don't rub me the wrong way. If you do, you'll meet me again in my fantasy — and you'll be sorry about that, motherf--ker.
Are we all so angry that we fantasize about beating the shit out of each other? Have we become such a nation of assholes that we can't want to be nice to each other? Or have we gone out of our way to be violent, and filled with anger over the slightest provocation?
Am I saying that my guilt is sterling over the anger fantasy issue..alas, no. I've done it, and in fact do it every day. I agree that it's healthy and allows me to shake off that chance encounter with some ass whose character could only be improved by a beating.
So, though I do think it's a concern that we run into so much naked aggression on a regular basis that we need to resort to fantasies of violence to rid ourselves of toxic encounters, I think it's a good thing that we're inventive enough to come up with such a safe and effective relief valve for our aggression.
Something that should concern us far more are the headlines of the "fluff pieces" that in my experience tell the story of what's really becoming of the culture.
Headlines such as:
Home ownership fading as a means to build wealth-