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Monday, October 5, 2020

RageRage by Richard Bachman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this way back in the day and then again now to mainly see if it still packed a punch or whether it was a bit more disturbing now after so many school shootings have come and gone in America.

Do we get more sensitized to things like this, or less?

Unfortunately, I couldn't find an answer. I spent most of my time feeling like the mid-'70s were an alternate dimension full of casual violence acceptance of it -- so long as you know the people doing the violence.

And isn't that always the way? What happens when you like guy, approve of the casual violence, and you buy into the whole scene because you're also jaded, cynical, and still a normal confused teenager?

How about the ultimate Florence Nightingale story, a hostage situation in a classroom, but hardly any of the teachers really feel like hostages? Indeed, they like the freedom.

Maybe THAT is the true horror of the situation. That any of us might fall into step with a truly outrageous nightmare that, at any other time, would have been unthinkable?

You know, like actively going out of your way to beat up protesters or participate in voter intimidation or just plain giving yourself permission to be your very worst self... because all your peers are getting into the swing of it, too.

Yes, I'm talking about peer pressure. And my goodness! Have we figured out that we don't have to be stupid teens in order to participate in it!?

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