Thinking Your Way Through a Labyrinth of Contemporary Issues
Why is it that when I watch Al Pacino ‘lose his shit’ my brain screams YESSSS! THAT’S RIGHT! GET THEM TOLD! Yet this sort of spontaneous fit of rage seems increasingly frowned upon in todays’ career-driven society.
For me, the feeling seems a natural one. I sometimes feel a pulsing anger building up and want to shout at the top of my voice. Once it’s done I feel relieved and fulfilled in a certain sense. I don’t see it as a sign that I have ‘issues’ or an anger problem, although I can imagine many who would. I see it as an expression of passion and a release of pent-up energy, much of which is probably induced through dealing with day-to-day issues, living in a Twenty first Century large urban environment. The stress associated with traffic, mobile phones, computers and the constant pressure to make something of your life or risk being labelled feckless, a lay-about or just plain lazy, I believe all has an effect on our state of mind and potential to get angry.
Obviously circumstance matters. Losing your cool at a funeral wouldn’t be too savvy, and obviously shouting around small children, the frail and the elderly is just not on.
We all get these moments, it can be pure ignorance, incompetence, injustice or arrogance from others which just pushes us that bit too far. Some keep it under control, some fly off the handle over the slightest criticism and some can keep cool, yet they choose to ‘pop the cork’ and just let fire.
Personally I would say I was between the type who loses it completely without control, and the type who has the ability to stay calm under immense provocation. I think it’s important to make a quick judgement whether the issue at hand is a serious injustice, or just a petty, trivial matter.
This attitude does not go down well in certain arenas, for example at job interviews, in the workplace or on social media. However, anger is related to passion and passion is seen mostly in a positive light.
Passionate expression of feeling is lacking in Twenty first Century Britain. We do associate it more with Latin peoples. For example, famous movie stars like Al Pacino, as I mentioned earlier, ‘loses his rag’ in such a theatrical and passionate way in almost every film he stars in, and we love him for it! The passion associated with Latin football teams such as Italy, Argentina, Spain, Brazil and Portugal is appealing and attractive. We often witness the press bemoaning the lack-lustre of passion and intensity of the English national team at every major Tournament (if we qualify).
In the political arena, there seems to be a constant outcry from the public about the need for politicians to show more passion and genuine sincerity. The persona of the public relations robot is cold, unfeeling and viewed as devious and untrustworthy.
Reagan seemed to kick off this professional PR political era, although one curious and valued characteristic of Reagan was that he had a charm about him, something which Blair might have had to some extent as the ‘young pretender’, yet our current era of Cameron, Clegg, Miliband & co seem to be playing the same card, but without this injection of sincere passion. However hard they try, it doesn’t work for them. Staged photos of them with their children and the recent trend of the slightly unbuttoned shirt with sleeves rolled up, just doesn’t ‘cut the mustard’ with the British electorate. What is it about Americans? Obama seems to do better in this respect. Do we, as Brits, automatically hold some sort of halo over the heads of American presidents or is this American charm a firmer sense of sincerity and ability to naturally relate with ordinary voters?
Ed Miliband is beginning to look more sincere and showing passion as the 2015 election campaign ploughs ahead, it does seem to pay off, however the charm and charisma is vital aswell, and it’s these which Ed may be lacking.
The question which Labour should be asking themselves right now is
“Are the UK electorate going to vote for Ed because of his values and will they see past his non-charismatic persona?”
Do the UK electorate require a charismatic figure in charge of the country, and is this the type of electorate we have become? If so, then something needs to change if politicians want to appeal to the public.
A bit of anger and passion will certainly help Ed Miliband and Labour’s cause for the coming election battle. We already witnessed, after a belated positive result for Ed in the first TV debate, a showing of passion against Jeremy Paxman, which risked a lot, but paid off in popularity terms. He was seen as the geeky man standing up for himself in a ring of over-confident tormentors. And of course the people like an under-dog, in that sense.
His passion and anger have to be genuine, not ‘look’ genuine, but actually come from the heart. The public are sick of PR politics and will see through any hints of falseness, which once discovered will be paid for dramatically I sense in the current political atmosphere.
Tom Bone, 2015 – Editor for Consensus44