It was 8:30pm, and there was only thirty minutes left of lecture. This late night ritual is a rare one at UCLA. As a university that mandates full time scholars, night classes are not a luxury allowed to us. However, this particular course is taught by a guest lecturer of sorts—the director of our Center for the Art of Performance.
Our professor, the director, is being interviewed because we students keep asking about what exactly she does. We were certainly all curious eight weeks ago, but it’s been two and a half hours. Our curiosity is waning.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the interviewer makes a comment, “rage is all the rage nowadays—it’s fashionable.” My friend and I look up, make eye contact, and immediately scratch it into our notebooks: rage is fashionable.
She’s just so on point. Immediately I think of the internet culture’s obsession with rage. Jenna Marbles pops up in my head. As a close follower of Jenna Marbles, I’ve watched my own humor follow hers—ranting. I don’t know why, but people love listening to each other rant (as long as it isn’t too personal). It’s rampant in our popular media and has been for decades.
For context, we were discussing social change. And to be realistic, spreading rage can occasionally catalyze change. More often, though, it just spreads an unproductive form of anger.
I’m no genius. I don’t have an answer for why this is. All I know is that now that I know about it—I have a choice whether to be (or not to be) fashionably enraged.