I keep asking other people if they’ve noticed, and a lot of people have.

Not just road rage (though god knows, there’s plenty of that), but sidewalk rage, like the thirty something well-dressed woman who — when I bumped into her by mistake — turned to me and hissed ‘BITCH.’

Bitch?  Really?

Or the dog walker who said he nudged the car in front while parking, at which the woman got out of her car, walked over and punched him.

Punched him?

It’s the economy, someone suggested. Everyone’s worried about disappearing jobs, education and national health service cutbacks, that awful droning voice emerging from government saying we all have to make sacrifices, when it’s mainly the people who rely on government services who are screwed — the un-rich, who can’t afford private school and private health care and private 24-hour nursing for handicapped children or aged parents.

Maybe that’s why Senator Bernie Sanders’ (Independent, Vermont) statement to the Senate Budget Committee last week went viral. It strikes a chord.  Here’s what he said:

“This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem. But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars — unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. It was caused by a recession as a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the causes of the deficit, I will be damned if we’re going to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That’s wrong.”

 

I’m guessing that the wrong people are hissing at each other.  More probably we should be directing our ire at the crazy tax breaks, the offshore accounts, the havens and hiding places favoured by the rich — and the governments who sanction them.

In the meantime, I hear knitting helps.

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13 thoughts on “Anger Management

    1. Meg Rosoff 5 years ago

      Thanks for that Mik. You have to read Treasure Islands by Nicholas Shaxon. It’s an incredible eye-opener.

  1. kokorako 5 years ago

    The wrong people always seem to hiss at the wrong people. If only we could teach history and geography and manners in ways that inspire, and are learnable from. There are certain possessions that cause a lot of problems – children, cars, dogs – everyone thinks they manage them better, or that you don’t manage them right (not the same thing!). Obviously this should not be a punching matter. A big fat dose of humour – keep calm and sew something – is a perfect antidote. Tnx. Nicola homemadekids.wordpress.com

  2. Mieke Zamora-Mackay 5 years ago

    Yes. Knitting does help…. When all else fails, you’ll be able to keep your family warm.

  3. Lynne Harris 5 years ago

    BUT I CAN”T KNIT!! And I find that soooooo stessful!! 🙁

  4. Jessica 5 years ago

    I had the exact same convo with my bf two nights ago. He cycles to work in Ldn. That morning he overtook a perfectly normal-looking man perfectly safely on the canal – the man cycled after him and PUNCHED him in the back! Something’s definitely going on.

  5. ayse 5 years ago

    It still makes you wonder though how people in the past in equally stressful, if not more difficult times did not go round biting eachother’s heads off – but then again people used to knit a lot more back then I suppose????

    1. Meg Rosoff 5 years ago

      Apparently there’s far less violence now than there was 100 years ago. So maybe knitting isn’t the answer?

  6. Catdownunder 5 years ago

    Knitting IS the answer. Knitting is soothing, rhythmic, calming, clothes the kids, keeps your feet warm, boosts the economy. What is more a sufficiently skilled knitter can knit and read a book at the same time…something all authors should surely consider?
    We wil ignore talk of dropped stitches and difficult patterns but, should you want to laugh, look at a book of cartoons called “It itches.”

  7. Peter Bryenton 5 years ago

    A deficit of civility methinks. Social graces lubricate the gears of the machine we call society. My perception is that manners are more apparent in France and Italy.

  8. Helen 5 years ago

    oo-er. The other day I was walking down my nice suburban road at around 11 at night. A couple with a pushchair were coming in the other direction. They asked me if the “yellow newsagent” was round the corner. I said “er, yes, but I think it’ll be closed by now.”

    To which their response was “well SOMEONE’S got a fucking attitude problem.” “Yeah we were JUST ASKING A QUESTION, we just want to FIND OUT HOUSE. Jesus!”

    Which made me want to swear at them in reply, but by that time I was scared of them and decided it was safest to stick up a finger at their backs and get home fast.

  9. Kirsten Baron 5 years ago

    I think all this random aggression is a portent. Probably a sign of the coming apocalypse.

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