I’ve been overcome with this emotion, or sensation, many times. and due mostly to the election campaign, it’s been happening more frequently.
it’s the urge, when presented with an argument (or reasoning that seems particularly forced)*, to want to go above and beyond the other person’s worst fears — often to the point of absurdity. it can be summed up by the quote from Fight Club:
“I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every Panda that wouldn’t screw to save its species. I wanted to open the dump valves on oil tankers and smother all the French beaches I’d never see. I wanted to breathe smoke.”
actually, it’s more like that quote than I realized — this feeling has recently (and repeatedly) been brought on by people who drone on about not drilling for more offshore oil, and the related argument to not drill in ANWR.
my position on ANWR is that drilling should be permitted. my understanding is that the footprint for the facilities and environmental impact can be quite small. I may have been horribly misled by the oil barons, but that’s my angle. I really don’t wish any harm on the local habitat or animals.
but when I hear extremists go on about the horrible consequences of drilling, of the evil cabals that are orchestrating the arctic’s demise — it makes me want to go up there, pump as much oil out of the ground as quickly and destructively as possible, and just flood the whole 19 million environmentally sensitive acres with 6 to 8 inches of crude. just to spite them.
thinking globally and acting locally, it was the same reaction when the local radio station used to go on and on about global warming — I swear I would subconsciously reach for the air conditioning and crank it up, accelerating for no apparent reason — but possibly to spite them.
that feeling… I bet the Germans have figured it out, after all the invented schaedenfreud.
if anyone knows the word for it, I’d love to know.
* or really any argument I disagree with, for whatever reason.