Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

13 March 2009


It was Ernest Hemingway who coined the term "grace under pressure." Exhibiting grace under pressure means you don't walk through life in a perpetually defensive stance. Instead you dance, you make it look easy, you smile like a good sport in the face of an enemy. You shake hands.

We don't carry spears anymore and we can't run through forests half-naked, our faces streaked with paint. Our armor now is pinstriped, and our weapons subtle: words, gestures; a raised eyebrow, a slow smile.

Some of us would have been perfectly happy in the jungle, our bodies slicked with sweat as we moved and killed and ripped flesh apart, the heads of enemies swinging haphazardly from our white-knuckled fists. But today is different and one must adapt: we wipe away the blood, the sweat, the war paint, and the stray hair hanging in our faces. We pull on the suit and straighten the lapels. We look in the mirror and practice our clean-slate poker faces, our ready smiles. And we go out into the world and play a survival game as savage as the one we left behind.

But restrict your reflex to kill in heat. Grace under pressure means different steps for the same pastime: it's Assassin, but the guerilla is dead. Nobody's behind the bushes, waiting in the dark for you to approach your threshold. The best assassin is the one you never expect.

The kill is slow; you only know it's happened when you close your eyes.