The Slow Man’s Guide to Being as Angry as the Incredible Hulk

incredible hulk avengers marvel

by theslowman

Much like the rest of planet Earth, I saw “The Avengers” recently. I had a revelation in the midst of all the avenging, quipping, and smashing. SPOILER: it didn’t have to do with Scarlet Johannson’s badonk (we all knew about that already).

I finally understood a deeper reason why the Slow Man, since his nerdy youthful days of reading comics, has always liked the Hulk. Sure they both talk in third person, but there’s more to it than that.

See, the Hulk gets all green and smashy when his host Dr. Bruce Banner — played with understated, but palpable anxiety and internal intensity by Mark Ruffalo — gets angry. The common conception is that Banner loses control of his anger and unleashes the Hulk unwittingly on buildings, people, baddies, and mountain ranges.

But, the Avengers movie does something extremely interesting with the Banner-Hulk dynamic, something that made my own gamma ray induced brain go pop. POSSIBLY REAL SPOILER: Towards the end of the film, Banner turns to his brawny and bewildered buddies and tells them, “That’s my secret, Captain. I’m always angry.”

Hulk, Say What?!

Our image of the Hulk — and other Id fueled monsters of absolute destruction — is that they are the results of uncontrollable anger. This one line in this billion-dollar-movie takes that notion and wraps it in a Slow Man-approved flipped script.

This Hulk is awesome because he has anger inside of him all the time and chooses when to let it loose. In the movie it is always when it’s most useful to him.

But if he’s always pissed off inside why isn’t he a violent monster 100% of the time?

How You Can Be the Hulk (Without Destroying Property and Your Wardrobe)

I think there are a couple choices we face when it comes to anger. Counter-intuitively, we can learn about these choices from this nuanced Hulk of 2012:

1. Recognize that we all have anger.

Anger isn’t only for angry people. We all experience it. The problem is we usually hang onto it longer than we need to. Or beat ourselves up about it.

What a Hulk-controlling Banner has to do on a daily basis, minute by minute is take that anger and push it along and through himself. Some people do it through meditation, or exercise, or through giving something to others.

However you do it, the way to be Good Hulk is to realize that anger is completely normal, natural, and manageable. Recognize you have it — just like everyone else — and move on. Your anger ain’t nothing special. Recognize it, give yourself permission to feel that way, then let the rage go.

2. Use anger to smash the things that make you angry.

The Hulk has this down pretty pat. The difference for us non-green people is we can’t just go punch a flying alien living tank-thing (which was an awesome scene in the movie, by the way).

Non-superhero Hulks like us need to face down the things that make us angry and deal with them.

Most of us get mad for pretty tangible reasons, whether they are rational or not. Figure out what they might be, identify them — target them, to use that macho, combative language we love about superheroes — and smash them into dust.

The sooner we deal with the sources of our anger and distress, the quicker we can become calm, cool Banners again. And the quicker we can move on and stop holding onto the emotional detritus that keeps us feeling angry, fearful, and threatened.

In short: Become the Hulk to stop being the Hulk.

There are plenty of other reasons why the Hulk is incredible. And he stole the show in “The Avengers,” in my opinion. A lot of that has to do with the sheer, raw power that anger holds over us. What the Banner-Hulk complex teaches us is that controlled anger can save the day.

More Awesome Avengers Sh*t

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jerry Welch

Nice post. I thought that was an interesting point in the movie too, esp. since the Hulk stole the show.


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