This “pissed-off JFK swearing” tape emerged a couple of years ago. It reminds me that there’s nothing quite as funny or fascinating or revealing as listening to a famous person lose his or her temper. You never learn anything when people are calm and composed, but anger tears all that down and tells you who they are and what they’re really about. It reveals stress, of course, but also values, core convictions, the truth.
We’ve all seen or heard Christian Bale and David O. Russell lose their tempers, but these episodes led some people to think, “Oh, well…that’s because those guys have cranked-up personalities.” The truth is that it’s a very rare person who doesn’t let go with at least a flash of temper every so often, and sometimes with a bit more. An any case Bale and Russell are old hat. We need new recordings. I would pay serious money to hear a recording of one of the placid mild-mannered smoothies — Ron Howard or Tom Hanks or George Clooney or Steven Spielberg — haul back and rip someone’s head off.