Jackie Gleason & Two Kinds of Anger

By Bennett Cooperman

Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats in The Hustler (1961)
Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats in the 1961 film, The Hustler

Introductory note by Anne Fielding: Today in my blog I want people to know about this very important article by my colleague Bennett Cooperman, actor and Aesthetic Realism consultant, about of one of America’s cherished performers. We’ll also understand ourselves newly! His article was originally part of an Aesthetic Realism seminar on the subject of anger. 

Eli Siegel and Aesthetic Realism have explained something completely new about an emotion that troubles people very much—anger. We have two kinds of anger, one makes us strong and the other makes us weak. In The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known #188, Mr. Siegel writes:

Aesthetic Realism says that a good anger has like of the world in it, has respect for the world in it; and a bad or hurtful anger has dislike of the world in it, or contempt for the world in it….what differentiates a handsome anger from an ugly anger is whether the anger is narrowly personal, is all for the advancement of ego in its separation, or is for something beautiful and just, sustained by space, time, and history.

Aesthetic Realism teaches a person to distinguish between these two angers, and to criticize the “narrowly personal” anger that weakens us. And through this education, people learn what it means to have anger in behalf of respect for reality, making us proud and strong. That is what happened to me and it’s what now to teach men in Aesthetic Realism consultations.

I am going to speak about what I have learned, and about aspects of the life and work of one of America’s most loved entertainers, who, on The Honeymooners gave humorous form to a puffed up, narrow anger and also showed how much a person wants to change: Jackie Gleason. He was a true artist, but he suffered tremendously because of the unjust anger he had at the world and people….continued


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