Paper newspapers always pile up at the corner of the table where I work and eat.

April 8th, 2014, 1am

It was 15°C with clouds and visibility OK. The breeze was gentle.

The pile usually gets higher to bury those books I have to read. It gets in the way. But as soon as I put a coffee cup on the top, it disappears.

For some reason, I can’t read a newspaper everyday. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes, but I just can’t. You can imagine how odd it must be to read a five-old-day paper. You would hate reading a Sunday paper on Friday.

I prefer “paper” newspapers because I have this freedom of piling them up. News on the internet demand me to read right away, and I resent their passive-agressive intrusiveness. Paper newspapers will wait. Sometimes I throw them away without reading. But I usually read all of them, five or six day’s newspapers, all at once.

Most news make me angry and pessimistic. Maybe that’s why I pile them up. I wish I didn’t have to read them, but in the end, I do because that’s where I get inspiration: Anger. I have a short temper, an incurable one. So many things piss me off. Years ago, when I was living in a small college town in Pennsylvania, I tried to change my “bad” temperament and even succeeded. But it was terrifying because I stopped caring about the world, including myself. That period lasted for nearly a year. One day, during my own lecture, I had to stop, apologizing to the students: “Sorry. I don’t give a fuck for what I’ve just told you. I don’t believe in any of it.” And it took me years to get my anger back. In order to disconnect from your anger, you actually have to shoot those beasts in your stomach and stitch up wounds quickly without acknowledging tumors and infection inside. You may look normal and can deceive yourself everything is fine, but you’re now a walking dead.

A lot of friends and TV shrinks advised me back then: “You have to control your anger,” “Anger does not lead you to anything,” “Get rid of anger.” They didn’t know shit. Anger is a symptom: As a part of the world, I’m manifesting its injustice and absurdity. “My” anger is not entirely my own. That’s why anger gives me an access to the world. Anger inspires me to write. What I need to do isn’t “controlling it” or “getting rid of it,” but to understand what’s beneath my rage—fear and loneliness. Then it would become my muse.

But it can require a little dose of courage and perhaps better sentences. So I have another cup of coffee instead and place this morning’s newspaper on the pile.

David Wade, Alex, Chris, Luis and 5 others said thanks.

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Shu Kuge

Woodcut printmaker

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