Boston -- Before another year slips down the memory hole, may I offer one last word on the celebrity of 1994? One final thought on the all-American star who sent goose bumps up and down the arms of the body politic?
Maybe he didn't become Time magazine's Man of the Year -- that went to the best-selling author in the Vatican. But in every other way, 1994 was the year of the Angry White Man.
He was awarded all the prizes, even the big one: The Capitol. The pundits, pollsters and politicians unanimously gave him the heavyweight crown. Indeed, anyone who broke ranks with this panel of judges was asking for a few body blows.
I ought to know.
In a rather benign moment, full of holiday cheer, I took exception to the stereotyping of the young, the pale and the pissed off.
In a column, I offered a rather spirited defense of this man. He wasn't angry, I wrote, he was anxious.
The young male who had shifted from one party to the other, taking the House majority with him, was worried about falling out of work, out of the middle class, out of power. The election wasn't a drive-by shooting, it was an anxiety attack.
Well, be careful whom you befriend. For weeks, I have been digging out of a pile of letter-writers and fax-attackers who have assured me in capital letters, exclamation points, four-letter words, and no uncertain terms that they were not anxious.
They were and still are ANGRY!!!!
To give you a reprintable sample, an AWM from Washington state said he had ''never suffered from an anxiety attack in my life'' but was angry enough to help ''a well-planned assassination of liberal democratic leadership and their socialistic agendas.''
An AWM from Wyoming was not anxious but furious because, ''I have NO civil or constitutional rights because every minority comes ahead of me and, yes dear, that includes women.''
An AWM from Columbus, Ohio, became a mad-man not out of anxiety, but by affirmative action. He warned: ''Lest you forget Ms. Goodman, the White Male made this country what it was before females and minorities polluted the entire system.''
The crowned heads of the Angry White Men were not just angry. They were proud of it.
Now, frankly, I was struck by more than the epithets in my mail bag. For one thing, consider the differences in our racial images of rage.
Imagine what the words ''Angry Black Man'' would have conjured up in the national mind? The composite fantasy figure offered by Susan Smith? Hardly a man of the year.
If un-and-underemployment is the root of all anger, try this figure. In 1993, 43 percent of working age black men were out of the work force -- twice the percentage of white men. But the white man's anger is considered legitimate, while the black man's anger is assumed to be criminal.
In the right-leaning spirit of the times, an angry white man is seen as someone who must be appeased. An angry black man is seen as someone who must be controlled. The AWM gets a tax cut. The ABM gets a new jail.
But if the males in my mail bag were outraged at having their anger questioned, if they rejected this defense like an unwanted Christmas gift, it also said a lot about gender.
I belong to the slightly-more-than-half of the population who have an ingrained habit of trying to understand the men who share their lives and ballot boxes.
Women spend much of our free time trying to figure out what men are really feeling.
Though my correspondents didn't want to be analyzed, I have a suspicion about the origins of Anger Pride. Simply put, it's a lot easier to feel angry than anxious.
Anxiety, after all, implies vulnerability, uncertainty, even a loss of control. Not the top emotions on some males' hit parade.
Anxiety carries the aura of weakness while anger carries the sense of power. It's the difference between admitting fear and making someone else afraid.
I still believe the dominant symptom in the land as we turn the calendar is a bad case of the jitters. Jitters about the new world economy and our old jobs, jitters about our kids, our futures, and the frayed connections between people who call themselves Americans.
It's going to take more than a temper tantrum to quiet these fears.
This may have been a year of anger. But I'm hoping that next year the crown will pass to the Problem Solvers.
Ellen Goodman is a columnist for the Boston Globe.