This morning I arrived back to London after a month away. I had been traveling for 48 hours straight. I was a little tired to say the least. I turned on my phone; it was like welcoming an old friend (an old friend that had been relegated to an occasional acquaintance for the last 4 weeks due to international roaming charges). A call came through almost immediately.
Road rage, car rage, plane rage. There seems to be a rage for everything these days! Rarely a week goes by without some report of someone who has 'lost it' as the red mist descended. The reasons are, in my view, twofold; on the one hand our expectations have risen steadily and on the other hand, so have our stress levels.
It's one of the emotions that causes the most physical response, with quickening heart rate, a rising body temperature and a flash of rage all too common symptoms of anger. Yet despite its strong physical effect on the body, anger remains one of the most poorly handled emotions, with many people prone either to bury it or to lash out.
I don't make heavy metal music. I guess if I had to label what I do in my band, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, it would be with something wince-inducing like 'progressive ambient pop' written in a tasteful calligraphic hand on expensive washi paper and tied with jute cord to a bonsai tree, probably by a vegetarian.
I am half Greek and so come from a very fiery lineage. My dad had a lot of passion in him - it was mostly positive, he would laugh his head off with friends, influence clients and surround us with oodles of love. But on occasion it came out as anger - mostly about little things, an overly zealous parking attendant or a noisy neighbour - but it didn't do him any good.