Am I The Only One Around Here Who Gives A Shit About The Rules? (Anger Management)

Almost two years ago, I wrote a post entitled The Secret Genius (Attitude is Everything).

It was a Wisdom Wednesday topic I wanted to broach about the importance of both vision AND application in becoming the “you” that you want to be in life. And yes, factors of genetics, ambition, effort, personality and environment are all to be considered when you decide to change your attitude and become the master of your destiny.

Without regurgitating the entire article, I’ll simply state that genius can be cultivated, and geniuses cultivate their curiosity by learning new things, visiting unfamiliar territory, and asking a lot of questions. Or to put it in Dean Keith Simonton’s words – geniuses tend to be open to experience, introverted, hostile, driven and ambitious. Also, geniuses can find patterns where others won’t (Erika Andersen on Malcolm Cowley).

It’s a compelling argument, and something about taking ownership of your life and putting together the pieces, is very appealing to me on a personal level. But there is some required reading in-between the lines too here. In order to be a successful “genius” a positive attitude is essential in relation to your personal motivation and when communicating your ideas. But what I didn’t discuss in that article I wrote two years ago, is that controlling your emotions is just as important of a component when you finally decide to commit to the house rules.

Don’t Look Back In Anger

It can be difficult to admit when you are lacking in a quality. I myself struggle with my emotions, daily. I’m not an emotive person by nature, but I am an emotional person. I feel things deeply and though I operate from a place of analysis, knowledge, and conceptualization, my second-most dominant motivator in life is meaning, significance and compassion.

What this has meant for me is that as I grew into adulthood, I learned to communicate through the lens of my own experience, but often accomplished it by either denying my feelings or holding them at arms length.

In reality I still had the emotions, and when they did surface, they would often come out as anger. I cannot begin to describe all of the reasons why I believe anger is the emotion I gravitate towards in expressing myself, but even more frustrating is the impact it can have on my loved ones. While I may not truly feel angry at the time I am addressing my emotions, it doesn’t mean those people don’t feel the heat from my internal process, and more often then not, those feelings come from a place of victimization.

As I wrestle with my feelings, I go through the entire emotional gamut, often landing at a place of compassion and understanding. But the emotional violence that I and my audience endure is difficult to wrestle with.

Last night Mysticque and I had a good long chat about the way I process new information, my emotional reactions, and how it effects her, and I came to the realization (with her help), that I do this so often, that I am not even aware of it’s impact on my life – I want to be clear that I while I start off this way, it never finishes with the same feelings, because I do process the feelings.

However, I have decided to make a conscious effort to become better in touch with my emotions and express them in a more balanced and moderate manner.

Which is why I am going to take responsibility for my anger going forward.

Anger Is As Anger Does

In a world where anger is often seen as a negative characteristic, it can be difficult to see it for what it is – potential unfulfilled.

We can channel anger into productivity, and we can use it as a source of personal power. But that means recognizing you have anger, and that you are not a master of it. Yet.

If you move through your feelings, you can prevent emotional toxic buildup, but anger needs an output to be constructive, just like any other dangerous tool. Proceed with caution! Exercise, meditation, creative writing, art making, and even driving can become major contributors to releasing anger; because they give the anger purpose and focus it.

Additionally, your mental head space needs to be receptive to change. If you can identify the source of the anger and why you were triggered, you can begin to separate yourself from your emotions and choose when to engage them. By looking at your past history with key events, people, and topics, as an outsider looking in (by literally viewing it as a story) you can learn how to let go and focus on the present.

And one other thought – it is completely up to you to make this change. No one can do it for you, because this is a paradigm shift. Yes, YOU can learn to access and express your anger in a healthy way. Yes, YOU can choose to see that anger doesn’t have to be a destructive force, but a warning signal that something is wrong when you feel it, and also a tool for appropriate self-defence when expressed.

theories Summarized

I still have a long way to go in my mastery over anger. But even the smallest act of saying out loud to someone I trust that this is a challenge in my life, means that I can move forward and look at the situation differently. Anger is a tool to be used in both recognition and implementation, just like any other dangerous object.

A theory to consider, at the very least.

Tim!

Pretty To Look At, But No One Is Manning The Chair (Kingsman: The Golden Circle review)

What do you do with a drunken sailor? What do you do with a drunken sailor? What do you do with a drunken sailor, early on the morning?

You kick him to the curb and tell him to sober up. Geez. It’s not that difficult people.

 

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal
Director: Matthew Vaughn
released on blu-ray December 12, 2017
***** 4/10

IMDB: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 51%, Audience Score 68%
The Guardian: */*****

Matthew Allard de Vere Drummond, better known as Matthew Vaughn, is an English director, writer and producer. He is best known for directing Layer Cake, Stardust, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service and most recently, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. A pretty good track record if I do say so myself. Given that I own all of those movies, almost all of them are well rated, and I also like most of them. Unfortunately, The Golden Circle is the odd man out in this case – ironic, given the reason that the first Kingsman movie did so well.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

A year has passed since Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) and the secret organisation Kingsman saved the world from Richmond Valentine’s neurological wave broadcast. He has since taken his late mentor Harry Hart’s (Colin Firth) title of Galahad and lives with Crown Princess Tilde (Hanna Alstrom) of Sweden. On his way home from the tailor shop, he is ambushed by Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft), a former Kingsman trainee who lost his arm and vocal cords during the Valentine incident. Eggsy evades Charlie with his henchmen in a car chase across London, but Charlie’s severed cybernetic arm hacks into the Kingsman servers through the car’s computer system. While Eggsy is away in Sweden, a volley of missiles destroy the Kingsman headquarters and wipe out all of the agents in Britain, including Eggsy’s best friend Roxy. Brandon, a non-Kingsman friend of Eggsy’s, is also killed in the attack.

Being the only surviving agents, Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) follow the Doomsday protocol, which leads them to Statesman, a secret American organisation posing as a Bourbon whiskey distillery in Kentucky. There, they discover that Harry survived Valentine’s gunshot a year earlier, but is suffering from amnesia. Eggsy and Merlin are briefed by Statesman head Champagne (Jeff Bridges) about a secret terrorist organisation called The Golden Circle. They begin their mission by following Charlie’s ex-girlfriend Clara Von Gluckfberg (Poppy Delevingne). When Statesman agent Tequila (Channing Tatum) develops a blue rash, he is replaced by agent Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) as Eggsy’s partner. Eggsy manages to plant a tracking device on Clara during an encounter, but his revelation of the mission to Princess Tilde strains their relationship. After several failed attempts to cure Harry’s amnesia, Eggsy triggers Harry’s memories by threatening to shoot a Cairn Terrier that resembles Harry’s late dog.

Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), head of the world’s largest drug cartel, broadcasts a message telling the world about a toxin she laced within every recreational drug available, which causes users to develop blue rashes before progressing through mania, paralysis, and ultimately, death. She also demonstrates the antidote on a captive Elton John and offers it to the world if the President of the United States ends his country’s War on drugs and offers her organisation immunity. The President decides to have every affected user quarantined, including his Chief of Staff, Fox, with the intention of letting them all die and therefore ending Poppy’s career. Eggsy, Harry, and Whiskey head to the antidote factory in Italy after intercepting a phone call to Charlie by Clara. Eggsy manages to steal an antidote sample, but it is broken by Whiskey during an ambush by The Golden Circle’s henchmen. During the gunfight, Harry shoots Whiskey in the head, as he suspects that Whiskey is playing both sides, but Eggsy saves him with the same alpha-gel that Statesman had used to save Harry. Princess Tilde calls Eggsy in a state of mania, revealing that she has been affected by the blue rash. Eggsy, Harry, and Merlin discover the location of Poppy’s hideout, “Poppy Land”, in Cambodia and fly there to steal the remote control which deploys the antidote drones.

Upon their arrival at Poppy Land, Eggsy steps on a land mine, but is saved by Merlin, who sacrifices himself while taking the lair’s guards with him. Eggsy and Harry storm through the lair and Eggsy kills Charlie while Harry destroys Poppy’s robotic attack dogs with the help of Elton. They secure the briefcase with the access code to the drones and inject Poppy with a more potent dose of her toxin. She gives them the password before succumbing to an overdose. Before they can activate the drones they are stopped by Whiskey, who, having previously lost his pregnant wife to a crossfire from two methamphetamine users, is revealed to be working alone to ensure that all drug users are eliminated. Eggsy and Harry battle and brutally kill Whiskey in a fight. They release the antidote drones, saving millions of lives around the world.

In the aftermath, Chief of Staff Fox has the President impeached for conspiring to commit genocide on the drug victims. Champ announces that Statesman has acquired a distillery in Scotland to help rebuild Kingsman. To avoid the confusion of two Kingsman agents using the codename “Galahad”, Champagne offers either Eggsy or Harry the agent title of Whiskey, but they decline. Instead, Statesman tech support agent Ginger Ale (Halle Berry) steps in to take the role. Eggsy marries Princess Tilde, and Tequila moves to London to work for Kingsman.

There is a lot going on in this movie, and that is not necessarily a good thing. The plot remained unfocused throughout much of the journey, and given that it clocks in at just over two and half hours, it makes it difficult to even sit through. Some critics are saying that the movie is more conservative others are saying its more bombastic, and both are correct. The movie takes more of the ridiculousness of the first film and amps it up immeasurably, but at the same time, all of the interest in dissecting the spy genre, challenging why we like these movies in the first place, and reinvigorating our interest in the broad strokes… none of that is present.

I’m tired of watching movies that pretend to be a new take on an old formula, and then refuse to deliver the goods. Just because you use a sexual encounter in a weird context (in this context a spy needs to seduce a henchman’s girlfriend to find the henchman. Because obviously the tracker only works if it’s attached to the mucus membrane, and so into the vagina it goes. And to top it off Egerton then argues with his Swedish princess girlfriend for five minutes before he can proceed.

It’s not edgy, it’s not funny, and quite frankly it’s offensive to anyone who cares about monogamous relationships and/or gender equality.

Pros: It’s entertaining to watch this star-studded cast use CGI to beat each other up. Colin Firth, Pedro Pascal, and Mark Strong do a lot to to bolster the audience and engage with the story, heck even though most of the other performances are phoned in, you can tell everyone had fun interacting with each other and pretending to be spies.

Cons: On top of all of the incredible misogyny, that Vaughn claims is a subversion of James Bond cliches, Taron Egerton cannot act to save his life. And unfortunately for us, he is the main protagonist of this film. What makes it worse is that it’s a long film, which takes less chances, and lampoons almost everything to ill effect.

Runtime: 2 hours 21 minutes

Points of Interest: This is the first sequel that Matthew Vaughn has directed. Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Colin Firth, and Elton John are all Oscar award winners. The movie originally had a runtime of 3 hours and 40 minutes, and it was suggested to split the movie into two parts, which didn’t happen. But there is a third Kingsman movie planned, with a Statesman movie spin-off in talks.

I think one of the biggest challenges of this movie that I haven’t addressed yet is the size of it’s ensemble. The first film had a fairly tight group of actors all working together to ground the story, despite the surrealistic nature of its tale. The Golden Circle is so encumbered by cameos, code names, and robotic canines, that it loses so much of it’s charm. It chokes on it’s own chutzpah.

But enough with the C word alliteration.

theories Summarized

The big question I still have is, is this movie worth watching? I would argue that for many people, it’s a great pop corn flick with lots of CGI and silliness. But if you expect more from your cinema, ie stories with a good plot, thought provoking themes, and interesting characters, then you can probably leave Kingsman: The Golden Circle on the shelf to age a few more years, theory or no.

That said, I can absolutely, and with 100% confidence recommend you check out Get Out. This early 2017 horror from first-time director Jordan Peele is everything that Kingsman: The Golden Circle is not, and then some. Please please watch this movie, it deserves awards!

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Tim!