How to Become a Ranting Grump

Insane Woman Screaming

Note: Any resemblance to a known writer, blogger or activist is purely coincidental.

1. Only write when drunk

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good liquor cabinet, must be in want of reasoned argument.

Our friend the frontal lobe is the engine of all things rational. Initial insights, perhaps not, but form and expression, absotes. Both form and expression require restraint and intellect.

Booze is ranting grump-food. Anything that causes loss of reason, caution, inhibitions, sociability, talkativeness and intelligence can be nothing less. Hey, the internet wouldn’t exist without it.

2. Release the ego

Humility isn’t just a characteristic of decent people. It also provides a restraint on the raging and partially repressed ego monster within all. In (perhaps) better days it was supported by disciplines of honour, duty, manners and social stigma, ideas whose corpses have been rotting under our society’s floorboards for quite a while now.

At heart, ranting is conceit. Certainty, absence of argument and evidence, a tendency to personalise. Make a big noise from your big head, and the ranting world is yours.

3. Stop researching

Everyone is lazy; even the best of us ease away from accountability. Honest research is a challenge to our schemas and self-concept. Just tell yourself: ‘Why should I do research, when no-one else online does it?’  If you can get away with it and get an emotional payoff, well and good. Oh, and tell yourself being glib and pithy (read lazy) is what the really smart people do.

4. Forget politeness; light your anger

Fully embrace Steps 1-3 and this just follows, like complete misunderstandings and claims of fallacy on a Facebook comment thread.

If you have trouble with giving up manners or feeling enraged, or are weak on Steps 1-3 (I really advise commitment to Step 1), search for your inner idealism, call it principle, and identify everything in life that contradicts it. Then ranting rage is a cert.

5. Only read online posts shorter than 400 words

Books are for yesterday’s people. Essays are just opinion dressed up as reasonable. Today’s intellectual output is short, sharp, and either glib or angry. Perfect fertiliser for a ranting weed.

6. Don’t meet people – your online persona is enough

Unabomber yourself, even if you live in the inner city. Windows are just walls with really crap insulation properties. Whatever you do, don’t show yourself to be socially adept or even likeable. If you have to meet people, drink too much (see Step 1) and then rant in person.

7. Choose to be celibate

Connection, pleasure, joy and calm all undermine grumpiness. A varied, valued, athletic and innovative sex life is no way to maintain that perfectly-rantesque combination of anger, narcissism, isolation and laziness.

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