Did you miss me? Did ya? Thought not. I’ve had a lot to ponder during my time off from the blogosphere (not that I contributed a great deal), though most of it is far too personal and fluffy to share on an outlet as manly as this. I did decide however, that it’s time to reassess the objective of me starting this. I started out to hate, that failed. I had a vain attempt at saving it last time, that also basically failed, so instead I’ve decided to focus on the name.
The Angry Indian. What does it mean? Well “The” is fairly self explanatory, I’d reconsider my mental status if I couldn’t grasp that, “Indian” too is fairly straightforward. I, as a person, originate from the nation of India/Bharat/Hindustan, whatever you want to call it. The middle word, “Angry,” it too seems fairly straightforward, and it is. I started my first post with a dictionary definition, so here’s another one for you:
1. Feeling or showing anger; incensed or enraged: angry at a rude neighbor; angry with a salesclerk.
2. Indicative of or resulting from anger: an angry silence.
3. Having a menacing aspect; threatening: angry clouds on the horizon.
The first definition is the most obvious, feeling or showing anger, and boy do I do this a lot. The first act is that of feeling anger, and I’ve always found “feel” to be a strange word to use with emotions. ‘Feel’ in my head suggests something physical, you feel a piece of wood (haw haw), you feel wetness on your…head, you feel pain when you cut yourself, but emotions? Emotions are intangible (except for when you cry like a sissy), so how does one feel sad? Feel happy? Happy isn’t a shagpile rug you can roll around on, and neither is sadness a big bowl of, cold porridge, or whatever physical sight makes you sad. A broken guitar perhaps… I need a moment.
So now we come to anger, how do we feel anger? The physical form of anger in my mind is like a cricket ball made of barbed wire being bowled at you by Lasith Malinga while you’re naked and your bat’s on fire. That’s not particularly poetic, I know, but it just about sums up how destructive a force anger can be, sending the stumps of your life flying across the cricket pitch of existence.
There are many famous quotes from famous people denouncing anger, Gandhi said “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of understanding,” Einstein declared that “Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools,” and he should know, he was a clever man.
So why then, is anger so important to us? Why can’t we as a society exist without ever present amounts of white hot rage directed at each other? I’ll tell you why, because we need it.
Everyone claims to want to be happy all the time, and yes it’s largely true. I would love to feel that feeling of elation I get every time I see a gif of some kittens playing, when a girl smiles at me and makes me feel for a fleeting second like Ryan Gosling with his shirt off, the sheer joy, of coming home to your mum’s cooking after two months of instant noodles and coffee. These feelings are irreplaceable, irreproducible (it’s a word), infectious and brief. That’s why they’re so special, these feelings never last, they’re there for a few hours at most and then we’re brought crashing back down to normality from the happy clouds by something and go on as we were. That, is why anger is necessary. Not just anger, but sadness, grief, confusion, embarrassment, every negative emotion you can think of, they’re there to keep us in check.
Permanent happiness is an ideal we all aspire to, but it’s a lot like a doughnut (bear with me on this). When I eat a doughnut I’m transported to a state of pure nirvana, (if Krispey Kreme are reading this next bit then I expect some form of payment for the free advertising). The first bite of an original glazed, the crisp exterior revealing a fluffy interior that melts in your mouth, the zing of the lemon meringue hitting your tongue, setting of electric bolts of flavour, the unctuous ganache lurking inside a chocolate dreamcake, ready to transform your mouth into an orgy of cocoa and sugar. Happiness is like these moments, gone in a few bites (but without the fatty guilt afterwards). But, as much as I love doughnuts, after three or four, I have to stop. My mind is willing, but the body says no, not today tubbs, this stomach can’t handle any more, and it’s the same with feelings.
Just as my belly can only handle four doughnuts at a time, so too can my mind and soul only handle happiness in small chunks. We need the sugar comedown, we need anger and sadness and bitterness in between the bites of happiness to remind us just how good we really have it. I can’t complain about my life, while children starve in Africa I have a delicious looking pizza sat in the fridge ready for cooking, I have nice clothes, I have three guitars (I swear I need them all), I have parents that love me and, did I mention the guitars? But if I was permanently happy about these things then I would probably be mistaken for a drug addict, or a mormon.
Just as art imitates life so to does our world mirror our inner feelings, we weren’t happy with the press, so we angrily call for a review. The Syrian people were not happy with their government, so they fought back. The Americans weren’t happy with regular sized meals, so they invented supersize. Our world revolves around and reflects our need to feel sadness and anger, which we need in order for happiness to be anything special. Why did Game of Thrones show Robb Stark being brutally murdered? To make us sad and angry at the Lannisters, yes, but also to make the sight of Danaerys being lofted atop a sea of freed slaves all the sweeter.
So, at the end of this not particularly academic and largely voodoo meditation on anger, I put to you dear reader, a simple question.
Do you really want to be happy all the time?