Sunday, September 30, 2007

Anger Rethought

A long time ago I wrote a post on Anger, dealing with the play Equus by Peter Schaffer. In that, I said that anger was something that a person could own, it was the result of the culmination of experiences that he or she had during life. And that anger, while it could be suppressed, controlled, even eliminated through the help of religion, physcology, and drugs, is not something that should be altogether gotten rid of. There is a purpose behind that anger, a passion that one must feel in order to live life, to have the power to change things, to make things better for the people living around them.

But now, I wonder, is there not another type of anger that has developed within the youths' psyche today that has nothing to do with the experiences that they have gone through? Certainly the loss of innocence, at such an early age, would produce a certain amount of dissatisfaction in a life. The loss of beliefs once held as dear to a child, like the loss of Santa, or the realization that their parents aren't perfect, would create some sore feelings. But I wonder, how much of those feelings are expressed in the music, art, fashion of today's youths? I hear the lyrics of today's hip-hop and heavy metal bands, and I wonder at the unchecked anger that comes from them. Where does that anger come from, and is it something that is truly felt, or is it something that is portrayed as a vehicle to sell music. When does it become anger for anger's sake? I'm not sure, to tell you the truth. While I can relate the Goth movement back to certain feelings of anger and passion that have been taken up by people as far back as literature and art can show us, I do not understand the overwhelming negativity that is portrayed by those people. I do know that even today's youth, who are certainly not children anymore (see previous blogs), have the experiences necessary to feel quite a bit of pain and anger at the world. But is that perception of the world captured by a movement that seeks to profit off of it? Is Hot Topics formed because of the desire to rebel against the society of their parents (which is ironic because the conservative, capitalist parents are actually handing down their ideas to their children, who are using them to profit using the very free-wheeling rebellion that is against that idea.) For instance, System of a Down (a rock band) has an album that basically calls for the public to steal it (in reference to the P2P revolution currently taking place.) The rebellion that the album title calls for is ironic because System of a Down, who by all accounts is against the current system, relies on it for profit and continuance of their craft.

But back to the personal side of this. When the enhancement of those rebellious feelings is caused by free enterprise, the effect is often enhanced on a psychological level. Feelings of hatred, mistrust of authority figures, and missing opportunities of advancement given to youth by those authority figures, are all negative symptoms of a basic fight for independence that has been taken in recent times to a more extreme rebellion than in the olden times, when kids ran away to join the circus. When those rebellious feelings destroy the potential in a person, keeping them from becoming the person that they were meant to be, then we have a most definite problem. Someone who likes Goth, and wears black and grows their hair out long, but still is able to harness the potential and opportunities that society gives them, that can use that sense of independence to further their own being, should be commended in being able to preserve uniqueness while still taking advantage of society. But the forces that would tear an individual apart, whether it be from some supernatural, religious being, or from the Consumerist society that can benefit from such self-destruction, do not make it easy for a teenager, with the sudden freedom and power that they have, to take advantage of society in this manner. Most of the time, they are sucked into the emotions that they feel, and the potential that is there is wiped away. I feel sad for those people, and will work hard to see that the people that I care about do not follow down those roads. Anger should be owned and harnessed, but not be the owner and the destroyer.

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