Power grid went down in District 3 today just when I was connecting to the internet for a phone call. I gathered my things, packed up, and headed over to a cafe in D1 to make the call. My business partner there luckily had cleared two hours for the call, so we still covered everything.
I sat in this cafe for a while, but it was a little bit loud, so I decided to move to another cafe nearby. The place I moved was an American chain that serves weak coffee at high prices. Really, it's a bad choice of a cafe to go to for coffee's sake, but tends to be an excellent cafe for work environment. Normally there is quiet, ambient music playing, it's well lit, and there's plenty of space and power outlets.
So after I'd bought my expensive, weak coffee, and expensive, mediocre food, I headed upstairs to see some guys setting up audio equipment. Hmm.
One guy is testing some sort of mixing board or something, in short toot toot toots and feedback. This is a little bit annoying. I put some light music on so I can read, write, and do some work. The testing eventually stops and two guys come up with guitars.
They're playing and it's... not very good. They're all over the place, pretty uncohesive with their music. No transitions between songs or even genres. They played some Led Zeppelin, and then some country music, and then some Eric Clapton, and like, a lot of this is music I like, but you gotta transition through music for it to be decent.
Also, there's some feedback from the microphones, with some screeching. Fed up with it, I turn up the volume on my headphones and look for the music I've got on my computer that'd drown out almost anything and has enough feedback and distortion so as to blend anything out. What should I put on, hmm, okay here's Things Falling Apart by Nine Inch Nails. I haven't listened to this in years, but it should do the trick.
And it worked, for a while. But then a female singer came and joined the guys, and she was awful. Now, look, I'm sympathetic for artists who are learning their craft and making bad art. I know, cuz I've made bad art in my life. It happens. We all gotta start somewhere.
But she was bad, and loud. They started playing and singing "What's Up" by 4 Non Blonds.
Sound unfamiliar? Oh, you've heard it. It's shitty 90's earthy slightly ironic music, which is, y'know, a pretty bad era of music anyways, and this is a pretty bad rendition of a pretty bad song. So the lead singer is singing (screeching), "Heey heeeey heeeaaaay HEEEEY what's going on!!!"
It's drowning out loud electronic-remixed heavily distorted Nine Inch Nails. I mean, her singing (screeching) is that violent.
And I'm kind of getting pissed. This would be a stupid thing to get pissed about, except that I paid twice the money for worse quality coffee at this place, strictly because it's normally a good working environment. After a particularly loud screech, I quickly gather my things and head downstairs. I see two other groups of people leave as well.
On a tangential note, I think betrayal is an emotion. Well, there's two aspects of it. There's betray the verb, the action. But then there's also the feeling a person gets when they feel betrayed. It's a fairly unique feeling. Me, I think it's an emotion. It's a mix of anger at self and other person, and self-contempt and contempt-for-other, and feeling stupid. Betrayal is when a person feels that someone they trusted hurts them as a result of that trust. (This isn't even always rational - some people feel others have a duty to them when no such duty exists - but if that imagined "duty" is broken, they feel betrayed)
Anyways, silly as this, I'm feeling a mild form of betrayal. I left a perfectly fine cafe to come spend more money for a quiet atmosphere, and I wind up with this?! Now, the problem with feeling this way is if you're at all disciplined or perspectived, you start getting annoyed at yourself for feeling annoyed. Like, I should be better than this, and yet, here I am, aggravated at this whole situation... so I leave the upstairs in a bit of a huff. Not very poised of me.
Finally, the situation is resolved, I'm set up away from there, and I find a place to get my work together and do my thing. And I start reflecting. I don't get get ticked like this very often, and so I decide to reflect on it for a moment. And then I have a realization... I feel juiced, energized, ready to really do some stuff... any trace of low energy or tiredness is gone, I feel ready to go.
And I start reflecting more. I think about political leaders, and how they whip people into frenzies at "the enemy" followed by a strong call to action... fascinating...
...I think more. Religious people too. Heck, companies do it sometimes, setting up "us vs. them" dynamics... athletics too...
....is this a universal phenomenon? Does anger clear away tiredness, and get people energized and ready to break through barriers? I remember, maybe five years ago, when checking out what a disliked competitor was doing always fired me up to work really well... if it was 3AM and I was dragging on something that needed to be done by morning, I'd always go check out #1 in the market's communications about how well they were doing, and I'd be juiced and ready to work.
Something to chew on. I typically try to avoid anger - I like calm expectancy, discipline, focus, dedication, calm strength, consistency - I try to make these the basis of my emotions. But man, I feel awake and alive and ready to climb Mount Everest right now. And this is just over something silly and trivial, some bad screechy music in an expensive place I expected to be quiet and pleasant.
That observation is worth the $8 and unpleasant 20 minutes, maybe a hundred times over. Does anger universally spur people to action and energy? I think so. Still probably a bad thing. But what a fascinating insight, eh?
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to climb Mount Everest. Comments welcome.
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