HANG ON: Why all the anger about the promotion of The Everest on the Sydney Opera House sails when it’s been done before? Picture: AAP Image/Brendan EspositoSatirist Ambrose Bierce once said:“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
Without a doubt, my favourite superhero is the Incredible Hulk.
He’s such a paradox.You’ve got to respect someone who can turn a vice like anger into a virtue, and even a superpower!
Still, anger is a vice and an ugly vice that, if not checked, can lead to dreadful consequences.
How many murders have been committed out of anger?Most, maybe almost all.
I have many vices … see, I’ve just displayed one – lying.
However, I have been blessed with a gentle nature. Even so, I lose my temper sometimes, for there is no person who never gets angry.
However, the better person – which is what we are all striving to be, I hope– keepstheir cool, for we all respect someone who can keep their cool, especially in a crisis.
People with a bad temper often blame their parents.
“I inherited my mother’s bad temper!”No, you’re choosing to copy her bad example.
Or worse,they blame Jesus: “Jesus lost his temper in the temple at those people selling cattle,” they’ll say.
Jesus did this to emphasise the loss of sacred space,which I think is always the first sign and place a society’s peace is slipping away.
But this action of Jesus was an extremely rare situation and his predominant personality trait was gentleness.
Jesus said of himself: “Learn from me because I am gentle and humble of heart.”
Moses, perhaps the greatest figure in the Jewish faith, also lost his temper and said things that were rash.
Again, this was a rare occurrence and the Jewish scriptures state:“Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.”
It’s over now, so I hope people have calmed down, but look at the public outpouring of anger over the advertising of The Everest horse race on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
This event showed just how paradoxical anger can become.
I would have thought that in Australia – where we are proud of having the reputation around the world of betting on two flies crawling up a wall – that we would take pride in having the world’s richest horse race on turf in our backyard.
“Yeah, but not on the sails of the Sydney Opera House,” some might say.
Well, there’s a problem there. In 2015, it was OK to advertise the Australian Wallabies across every sail of the Opera House during the Rugby World Cup.
And there was nothing but pride earlier this year when the sails were lit up in rainbow colours to advertise the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Perhaps the greatest paradox in all this anger towards the advertising of gambling across the sails of the Opera House is that gambling indeed gave birth to the Opera House.
Have we forgotten that the $102 million cost to build the Sydney Opera House was mostly paid for by a state lottery?
The paradox of anger was also recently revealed in the protests against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as a judge on the USSupreme Court.
After perhaps one of the most wicked smear campaigns you are ever likely to witness –and no less than six FBI background investigations into his private life – Kavanaugh came out squeaky clean.
Even so, the angry mobs claimed he was still unworthy of his nomination.
Why? Because he understandably lost his temper at his hearing when his good life and family were being publicly dragged through the mud.
It may beold fashioned, but for a very long timeperhaps the best compliment that you could give a woman was to say that she was a lady, and the best compliment you could give a man was to say that he was a gentleman.
I think this belief is still not too far from people’s hearts.
Nothing can destroy this faster than a good old fashioned meltdown.