So, I think it’s pretty clear that I’m an Angry Individual. Bitter and twisted are two other words, but let’s stick with the anger for now.
I get outraged, indignant, astonished, and that low heavy weight in your stomach that feels a lot like pure evil. And I relish it.
I respect angry people. I love nothing more than watching or reading Charlie Brooker as he annihilates fairly mundane people by making hilarious comparisons (the genius is clearly in a good similie). I cackle with glee watching old recordings of Bill Hicks tearing down the imbeciles who tried to mock him and failed (the genius is clearly in the pure spirit of belief). And me, well, I quite enjoy tearing down and moaning, ranting and raving about ridiculously unimportant things, like coffee (the genius is clearly in the desperate and frequent use of the word ‘fuck’).
Therefore, in the wake of the London Riots, where the ‘Youth of Today’/ ‘Chavtastic cliches who cannot possibly actually define the ‘Youth of Today’’ are tearing stuff down left, right and Croydon, I thought I’d give you an expert’s guide on how to be angry- the middle class way.
You know what’s better than a swear word? A run-together-jumble-of-swearwords that don’t make any sense but sound like you’re rapping. Bonus points if you’re super posh. Be original, all this ‘fingers up for the camera’ business is for wussies.
Calling a camera man a ‘cock-junking-hipflask-turd’? Well, you’ll get on TV for more than stealing a pair of JD trainers, won’t you?
2. Pen of Rage
If we’re delving into class politics, we might consider that an angry middle-class person will not be out on the streets stealing TVs. They’ll probably be at home, knocking back an expensive bottle of whisky with some prescribed medication and fetching their stationery. Because they’ll be writing a letter. It’ll include phrases like ‘I was appalled to find…’ or ‘I shall not be subject to such abominable treatment!’ and be full of indignation and carefully measured anger.
Anger can get you free stuff in most cases. Yes, you can go to the massive effort of smashing in a shop window, hanging out with enraged maniacs who probably want that same car stereo you’ve walked out with…or you can write a letter, or simply complain in person.
Use long words and treat people like they’re scum, and you too can get free stuff. Well, it works in the coffee industry anyway.
3. Angry Talk
This is not the same as swearing. This is saving up all the anger you have collected through your day, the ignorant customers, the irate and condescending boss, the irritating colleague who hits on you. The man behind you on the tube who was clearly wanking. The woman who was breathing too loudly on the escalator. People on mobile phones having meaningless conversations about meaningless conversations, which make you question whether there is any point to life at all.
All this stuff that builds up through the day, and we save it. Why do we save it? So we can take it out on our partners when we get home. Oh, no really. There’s nothing better than saving up everything that’s made you feel like shit, and throwing it at someone you love when they’re simply enquiring as to how your day was. I find sarcasm, a raised voice, and a sense of superiority works much better than moaning and asking for pity.
You don’t want them to comfort you, remember, you want to make them feel even more shit than you do. That’s what they’re there for.
4. Fists of Fury
Hell yeah, we like to beat stuff up. We all want that dramatic ‘throw shit across a room’ scene to express how enraged we are, just like in the movies. Because we’re passionate, we have a point, we have a message. And that message is ‘I feel shit, so I want to break stuff’. I am destructive force, hear me roar.
Might I suggest staying away from public property, and destroying your own stuff instead (or possibly the belongings of your loved ones – see above). It’s less hassle, you don’t have the police questioning your motives, and hey, you can always buy a new one anyway, right? I suggest buying some very heavy plates, possibly with a disgustingly happy floral pattern, and smashing those bastards something good.
You could even drink some Ouzo whilst doing this and consider it a cultural exercise. Another option would be to take up a sport that involves beating the shit out of people, like becoming a boxer, or a bailiff. I believe that particular profession will be on the rise very soon.
5. Appearing Normal
You think anyone comes looking for the dead bodies hidden under my porch? Nope. Not yet, anyway. And you know why that is? Because the average schmuck I meet on the street thinks I’m a sweet and innocent person. Because I speak well, can make dull conversation about the weather and have a job (regardless of how pointless or badly paid it is).
The key is to let people underestimate you. You think when people meet bankers at society parties, they think ‘oh, he’s that money-grabbing-wife-beating-coke-snorting-cheating-lying-arse who never pays tax and has made my life miserable’? No. Well, not until the whole world suddenly hated bankers.
The point? Hide who you are. Hide your anger at anything but the most minuscule and unimportant things. Like coffee.
Just to note, the ‘norms’ appear to be:
-have a job
-come from a two-parent family (no more, no less)
-don’t wear tracksuits (unless they’re from Juicy Couture or Stella McCartney’s Adidas range)
– Don’t live on an estate, in a flat or anywhere that may be affordable to a person who earns under 20 grand a year
-Do not wear hats or hoods, unless designed by Gucci or Dolce and Gabbana
Do middle-class people get angry? Yes. Do they riot on the streets? No.
So, really, there’s a way to getting away with all that anger. And it’s called repression. Yes, having money, and a nice home, and a secure education for your children tends to dull the anger a bit. But it comes back again when they see someone getting something for free. Which makes it hilarious.
There are people earning four to five times more than the rioters who are indignant, not because there’s violence and destruction, but because those people are getting something for nothing, and they’re not.
I’ll admit, the riots made me angry. They made me feel like someone was taking my city from me, and that there wasn’t even a point to it. It made me feel like the people are bigger than the government, but it’s a power that can’t be harnessed when it comes to real issues. It, basically, as a tax-payer and student and proud owner of a crummy job, made me feel like someone was shitting all over my lifestyle.
But perhaps, if we’re thinking about getting stuff for free, we should consider how the rich live, the tax breaks afforded by a Tory government who have rushed through this ‘period of austerity’ when most didn’t have much to begin with. Is that perhaps a quiet and less shouty-breaky riot of its own? Wasn’t the phrase used to describe the recent banking fiasco ‘letting bankers run riot’? Hmmm. One’s a lot more visual, I’ll give you that, but perhaps the other is a lot more long term.
So should we be angry? Yes, yes we should. These people were dumb and ignorant and I’m not going to feel sorry for them. But maybe, just maybe, we should look to the rich twats in government, and get angry about the fact that it takes a smashed-up Ladbrokes to prove that something’s rotten in London.
Yes, I’m angry, and I’m (somewhat) middle-class. So what do I do about it? Well, I write about it, of course.