You often see people/memes saying that anger is a bad thing. Anger is negative. Nothing good ever comes from anger. Bollocks! If you replace “anger” with the word “violence” then I agree, but most of the time people seem to confuse the two. Perhaps you could replace “anger” with “frustration” but only up to a point.
So, what am I angry about? Well, not everything – I think – but a lot. I’m angry at me, at the world, at people, sometime, maybe, possibly, even you. I am angry that we are not doing more to stop destroying the planet. I’m angry about equality. I am angry with organised religion for exploiting people. I’m angry at banks and governments … for exploiting people. OK, I’m angry at anyone exploiting people. I also get angry at people driving cars with headphones on, or who change the settings on the toaster. Mostly, I’m angry about people accepting this as the way it has to be. I’m angry with people for not being angry enough!
If you care about the world and the people around you, you should be angry. If your not angry, I’ll assume that you don’t care.
As an artist there is nothing worse than hearing someone say your work is “nice” or something equally bland. You want to evoke an emotional response, and preferably a strong one. You want them to either love it or hate it. These are passionate, heart-felt responses. And so it should be for the important things in life. As a human, I don’t see why such passionate responses should be derided and avoided. I also love a great many things – as you can probably imagine they are somewhat the opposite of my previous list of things that make me angry. If I see someone or some organisation-thing going in a direction that I don’t like, then I will rail against them. If I don’t, I’ll be angry with myself!
I’ve been angry for a long time, certainly more than 30 years. I can still sleep at night. Well, not so well, if I’m angry with myself. Despite this, perhaps because of it, I am also an incredibly calm person. When I rail against you, it will be done in a polite manner and with as much respect as can be mustered. It doesn’t have to end in violence, physical, verbal, or other. It never does.
So if someone tells you to stop being angry, certainly given the current state of the world we live in, perhaps the most appropriate response should be – Why aren’t you angry?