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.'
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.
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.