Has anger become the rage? For decades it seemed more contained, whether the private matter of a domestic dispute or a bar fight or a screaming fit in a boardroom. Of course there have always been protests and picket lines and road rage, but now we have more outlets and platforms to express. To not be judicious about one’s anger is to be childish. Uncontrolled anger is a sign of deeper issues requiring therapy; maybe a drug or alcohol problem. A year in lockdown was provoking, no doubt, but more people are short-fused and flying off the handle. I believe we all carry a little rage inside of us, though, either from being personally slighted or feeling it on behalf of a defenseless child or wounded animal.
We have surpassed these curricula and are now such a spoiled society, more people seek out reasons to be offended or feel chastised. We now see people sitting in their cars recording themselves screaming into their phones. It would then make sense that such selfishness would come up with Rage Rooms. These contained spaces are their own service, often housed within another form of arcadia used for joy and pleasure. They can also be standalone retail spaces, cozied in between your bodega and dry cleaner. This is literally a room you pay to step inside of and destroy shit. They are outfitted with a stock of empty glass bottles, old electronics, and discarded wooden furniture. They may even exactly replicate a kitchen or living room. You then pay for the privilege of taking a bat or a sledgehammer to throw yourself into a frenzy destroying everything. You beat the shit till your heart’s content. Till you exhaust yourself. Apparently.
When rockstars used to really trash hotel rooms, was it not just a drug-induced situation, but also an outlet; a private space they could afford to destroy? Possibly. All eyes were on them all the time, minus these moments.
I was relaying the existence of these rooms to my mother’s best friend. She seemed unperturbed by it. Back when my grandmother managed apartment complexes, most occupants left behind a bunch of junk. Moving sucks enough; why carry it with you? My grandmother would have my mom and her friend go haul this stuff to the city dump. Without any prior discussion, each item they threw-out got a vigorous arm throw or two-handed slam down. They relished this with gusto. They’d scream at the top of their lungs and cuss to high heaven. Anger was expressed; steam was blown off. It was so obviously over-the-top that it would set them to laughing hysterically, too.
We all need a healthy outlet. Some days can feel like they’re only held together by a needle and a thread. Some days, something’s gotta give -even if you don’t have a soundproof room to go scream in -even if it’s not so maniacal.
To consider this in the context of social media is to be reminded how we are only ever seeing the highlight reel, in most cases. You never know what another person is privately dealing with.