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Culture, Music

Anger Is An Energy

by David Chislett / 18.03.2010

Anger is not a popular emotion anymore really, is it? Anger management courses, confrontation techniques and seeking peaceful resolution are the order of the day. All the fire and brimstone from the music of the 70’s punks, and other revolutionaries, has been diluted into formulas where the form rules miles above the actual content.

Quietly expectant Generation Y kids now want everything now, with the minimum of fuss and definitely no fisticuffs. This leaves their Generation X predecessors foaming at the mouth and really, REALLY wanting to administer a good beating to an EMO fringe or 3. But, not even they are up to the challenge of actually acting out that anger.

However, there is one man out there who, in his own words, wakes up with his middle finger raised, shouting that we do indeed still have a lot to be angry about. Henry Rollins. He snuck into SA last year to deliver one of his high octane performances and is due back again in May. This is early warning to those of you who also think the world needs a good spanking.

What Henry Rollins says is true. The oil companies are still ripping us off and killing our environment. Various governments, in various locations, around the world are still committing genocides, of one shape or form, and, even right here in our own back yard, corruption, crime, ignorance and prejudice still seem to be the breakfast of the majority of people.

Let's get the moerin

He is right to be angry, because great evil is possible when good men do nothing. While you may believe in peace, love and conflict resolution, others, less principled, are pillaging, raping and taking what should belong to your children. It seems to me, a little anger would go a long way, right here, in South Africa, let alone the rest of the world. And I don’t mean the kind of limp wrested, armchair rantings such as the one I am currently conducting.

The amazing thing about Henry Rollins is that he has actually been to these places and checked it out. His is not an American voice force fed media and government corporate agendas (can you tell the difference?) . This is a man who has been to Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Africa and Iran. We could learn a lot from him.

His is not the anger of the “smash and grab and damn the future” kind. His is a simmering rage at the way the world preserves its own ignorance in order to continue to perpetuate horrors. Much like we could be beginning to see here.

So, don’t stay at home in May, book yourself a ticket and come and meet the angry man. You may be pleasantly surprised at the amount of light and peace you hear, but trust me, you might get angry too. And then maybe, just maybe, you’ll do something too.


Henry Rollins: “Frequent Flyer”
Thursday 6th May at The State Theatre in Pretoria at 8pm
Friday 7th May at The Bassline in Newton at 8pm
Saturday 8th May at the Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town at 8pm.
Tickets cost R278.50 (including all charges) via Computicket or 083 915 8000. Please note the show has a PG16 rating.

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