Anger gets a bad rap.
“Don’t be angry!” – People who Talk
Anger is a great mobilizing force, channelled correctly it’s a torrent of pure emotion harnessed like wild horses drawing a carriage.
When mother nature gets pissed expect hurricanes, floods and tsunamis son, ain’t nothing subtle about it. It’s wild and uncontrollable and anyone who tried to stop the rage of nature would be a damn fool.
You add focused purpose to anger and it becomes like a gigantic river travelling through a hydro dam. That pure unrestrained emotion and all it’s wild chaotic energy can be focused and directed with the right tools.
We can always learn from the natural world, and we can always learn from Batman and his angry wrathful nature. Sometimes it’s wild and chaotic, othertimes his wrath is measured, focused and sustaining. There is a time and a place for both ways and it’s wisdom to know which to use and which to hit “ignore” at any time.
If I was not an angry son of a bitch I would not be writing these blogs. You can make peace with who you are, your situation in life and all the crazy ass things that happen, but anger ain’t all bad. And you are not wrong to be angry with the many injustices that exist in the world.
You are not wrong to get angry when you see people doing dumb lazy things when they damn well know better, and you are not wrong to get angry about your own un-ending dumb behavior, I know I do. It’s called having standards and values, you know like a certain rich angry SOB who lost his parents, and dresses up to scare the criminal element, but underdeath is a highly moral individual.
Humanity is stupid, we grow smarter one mistake at a time, one bat-step at time
Anger used poorly is a fit of rage that turns into momentary impulsive violence or accidental murder, then jail time and the destruction of everything valuable in our life (our self, our family, our life).
Anger used well is Dirty Harry spending weeks tracking down that scumbag criminal who got away, when every other lazy fuck wants to forget about it, and move on.
Anger used well is peaceful protest, people standing up for their civil rights individually and collectively in a consistent organized manner.
Anger used well is Kratos taking down the Gods of Olympus for being soft lazy lying sons of bitches, especially that old lecherous bastard Zeus.
Anger used well is taking that inner rage and channeling it into a force for something useful, something purposeful, something good – or at the very least something productive.
I’m not saying it’s easy to do.
I struggle with it daily.
I am saying IT CAN FUCKING BE DONE.
Many a time I’ve taken out a momentary fit of pure unreasonable Hulk like rage on a punching bag. Or smashed some old bricks in the backyard with a sledge hammer. Our bodies were made to move and the last thing anger likes is trying to be suppressed.
Fuck that, it doesn’t work.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it does, as they are full of some Feel Good Grade “A” Bullshit.
Putting a lid on steam means eventually something is gonna ***explode***.
Suppressing anger is a short recipe for toxic pathology and can lead to deep psychological issues that will inevitably express themselves in involuntary ways at the worst possible times. None of them with good results.
Once that chemical chain kicks off in your body, anger is going to motivate you one way or another.
Better to be prepared and know how you can use it, rather than give in to our most base impulses, which have their time and place, and have been with us for thousands of years from the times of our hunter/gatherer ancestors.
WHERE’S MY BAT-CLUB OLD CHUM?
Some days I want to fucking cave someones skull in.
That might sound horrible to you
and it is…
it’s appaling to our “civilized” minds…
but it’s also as natural as breathing oxygen or going for a peaceful walk.
We each create and destroy with the same two hands
Our bodies and our biology are built for action, whether it’s peaceful action or live and die action – those chemicals that power us do not give a damn what you are doing, or how you are doing it.
They are neutral, adrenaline has no “ethics”.
So I prefer to so day a few good deadlifts, or punch the fuck out of a heavy bag, rather than punch the fuck out of a person, and I have to admit, quite often I want to… and there are even healthy ways of doing that like joining a boxing gym or grappling class for example where you can express your natural bodily instincts without ending up in prison or dead as a fucking doorknob.
You gotta have an outlet – a channel for that raw energy – which is what anger and all emotions are – a form of energy seeking to be expressed.
Natural agression (even more more for so men, with our particular specific chemical make up) has to find a way, it’s nature.
You can move into alignment with your own nature, or be used up by it. If you want to see the worst results of anger left unchained, of people with little to no impulse control – go visit a local prison for some examples.
Nature is hunter gatherers, you’re either killing your dinner or fighting off an attacker of some sort – those instincts are in us and not going anywhere. You make peace with that or you try and explain it away with some kind of bullshit that ultimately ends up hurting you and those you are responsible for. Anger, or Emotional Energy without focus is chaos, but with discipline that same anger can serve a purpose.
The unseen forces that shape us as individuals we often have little to no influence upon.
If we are caught in a raging river, the best we can do is “go with it” rather than struggle against it and hasten our own demise. There is an eternal aspect to anger that is impersonal and inescapable, it’s part of us and always will be.
Instinct would tell us to struggle – to survive – but flailing about without focus only gets you fatigued and drowned that much faster.
Anger is eternal – it’s a force of Nature, you can try and supress it, but it’s as stupid as trying to suppress a hurricane.
It just doesn’t work and it’s a waste of life to even try.
Batman is an angry son of a bitch (no disrespect to his parents intended) but what he also is, is highly trained, focused and disciplined. He makes anger work for him. He makes anger his bitch.
Focused training and discipline are tools. They are like the reigns on those wild horses, that when used properly direct all that energy and fury in a specific direction. They are your best chance at harnessing chaos, but life doesn’t come with any guarantees.
MAN OF BATS
So other than dressing up like a giant bat and punching crime in the face, how in fuck do we let that natural anger out?
There are a lot of different ways, and everyone has to find what works for them. Some types of anger are momentary and impulsive, other types of anger are more lower level, but move up or down in that chemical hierarchy in your body – so it’s good to find several different ways to move and feel with your body.
*A tough workout – vigorous physical exercise gets at the way our bodies chemisty was made to be used. Our fight or flight instincts can be utilized for intense brutal workouts that leave you so spent you simply have no anger left in you afterward. It’s my #1 method, but I know it’s not everyone, and should not be used everyday. Everyday workouts should be lighter, or go hard on a punching bag for a short time and you won’t be fatigued for your everyday responsibilities
*Writing and Song – Some of the best hip hop music on the planet was made by some people genuinely angry at circumstances of their own lives, or the society they live in, for damnm good reasons. It’s not an easy route, but it’s a valid one. If writing seems soft and gentle to you, well its fucking difficult and I say go listen to some George Carlin or Chuck D if you have that erroneous idea. Writing your thoughts and ideas down, or speaking them aloud is a way to not let them to take you over, to become a master of the magic of words is not for everyone, but songs are a kind of magic, they weave a spell for good or bad over those whom would be influenced by them. Minstrels are not to be fucked with, so don’t call them soft.
*Peaceful Protest Groups – Some nutters take it too far, but I’m all for the principle of standing up for what you believe in (provided it’s married to the common good, and not hurting poeple). I do not approve of dangerous or stupid stunts to get attention. I dont approve of asshole groups who piggyback their agenda onto someone else or hijack their protest to be public nuisances. I do approve of organized peaceful purposeful action, the INTELLIGENT kind that Dr King spoke of and utilized so eloquently.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King
I do approve of focused sustained efforts for real world change. Long intelligent ruthless campaigns, not foolish nieve skirmishes. There is great strength in inner peace, and succumbing to your most base actions, inflicting violence on others in the name of “peace” is the ultimate hypocrisy and the stupidest of human actions possible.
*Clubs, groups and hobby activities – Joining a hobby oriented group that gets you out and about, meeting like minded others can be a productive way of using up energy that otherwise can fester into anger.
*Therapy – Therapy or the “talking cure” can do a lot of good for some people. It can also potentially make some people worse or just not work (such as Sociopaths). It has proven results at helping people if not resolve their deep seated anger, but at least identifying it, seeing it coming and developing strategies on how to address it and channel it rather than be used up by it. There are good therapists, and shit ones. Shop around.
*Seated Meditation and Moving Meditation – When I’m worked up the last thing in the fucking world I want to do is Meditate. I mean FUCK OFF! However…. it can be used a preventer, and I have to say that once learned Medtiation is VERY EFFECTIVE at Preventing outbursts of rage, and helps you regulate all those fun happy chemicals running around inside your body all day. A moving meditation such as slow walking and counting your steps, can also be effective, but mostly if i am that worked up I would rather run, punch a bag, swing a sledgehammer at some rocks or lift something heavy…. and do something relaxing later on.
*Find what works FOR YOU. I don’t know any magic formula. I’ve worked some things out in life by trying a lot of different things and figuring out that I really don’t like most things. From there I simplify down to the essentials. But first you have to at try some new activities, new ways of being to get out of your old habits and break into new ones. And it’s uncomfortable as hell!
THE DEVIL INSIDE
We all have the same two hands – love and hate, good and evil, the same natures in each of us. Those who would pretend otherwise are nieve fools too afraid to look into their own existential abyss and witness the eternal unforgiving blackness within themselves, that left unchecked can consume you like a deep ocean vortex.
We all have the good and evil left hand right hand available to us at any time. I’m a left hander, so I’m fucked right out of the gate.
Inside of each of us are these two polarities. It’s not just a matter of how we use the energy each day, but how we combine the two polarities into a unified whole.
You can’t deny any part of your nature and expect to still be human. We can transcend and include our most base instincts, but they are always with us and they are NECESSARY parts of our condition.
We learn to be more like Batman by acknowledging rather than denying our true nature, by discipling and training ourselves to be smarter, stronger and more cunning today, than we were yesterday. If we fight a war, it’s a bitter campaign against our own ignorance, and if we have the Will of the Bat, we can beat back our own individual and collective stupidity one Bat Punch, one Bat Step at time.
“Batman is a metaphor for the alchemy of our own soul. He symbolises how to integrate and transform our darkest impulses and direct them toward our highest good.” – JOHN SORENSEN