The uncivil war in an angry society

We live in an increasingly hate-filled society. Violence lurks just below the surface.

This shocker from the Associated Press over the weekend in Louisa, Virginia:

A man involved in a dispute over property and belongings opened fire in a rural neighborhood in central Virginia, killing two people and wounding four others before police fatally shot him.

The gunman began shooting around 5 p.m. Sunday at a mobile home outside of the town of Louisa, said Louisa County sheriff’s Maj. Donnie Lowe.

The man had unleashed a pit bull on officers before he and his dog were then killed in a shootout, Lowe said. No officers were injured, he said.

Police said they had responded to a minor incident at the home earlier in the day.

“It appears that this is all a family-related matter,” said Sgt. Thomas Molnar, a state police spokesman.

Molnar said the victims’ identities weren’t immediately released.

The wounded, including one with life-threatening injuries, were transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Lowe said.

Police say domestic violence calls are up. Fights break out over politics and sports. A driver is pissed off because a car cuts him off and shoots the other driver.

A stranger approaches me on the street and throws a punch because of an article about Sarah Palin.  A drunk father of a teenager I wrote about gets in my face in a local restaurant and friends have to pull him away.

Obscene voice mails greet us when we get home. Threatening emails have become a way of life.

Where’s all this anger coming from?  What drives people to replace debate with threats and violence?

It seems we can’t even discuss anger with getting pissed.

At MSNBC, executives yanked a weeklong series on anger in America in the middle of its run because ego maniacal Keith Olbermann didn’t like the fact that he was cited as an example of news anchors who ferment anger and hate in today’s society.

Reports The New York Times:

A weeklong anchoring stint on MSNBC by Donny Deutsch  ended abruptly on Wednesday, and four people briefed on the decision said the cancellation stemmed from an unflattering mention of that channel’s No. 1 anchor, Keith Olbermann, a day earlier.

Mr. Deutsch had labeled his hour on MSNBC “America the Angry,” and Mr. Olbermann was shown briefly in a series of clips of media figures during a segment that pondered what role the media plays in fomenting the public’s anger. The four people briefed on MSNBC’s decision said Mr. Olbermann’s anger about the segment prompted the cancellation of the weeklong “America the Angry” series.

In other words, you can ferment anger and promote hate but you can’t talk about it.

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5 thoughts on “The uncivil war in an angry society”

  1. I’ve gotten to where I try to avoid conflict and confrontation at all costs. I don;t even advertise political support with yard signs or bumper stickers. The risk of vandalism or violence over something so innocuous is too great.

  2. I’ve been wondering lately if anger and rudeness have become socially acceptable and even encouraged by reality TV shows. I avoid that kind of television because their focus is either angry confrontation (see the so-called “Real Housewives” verbally duke it out) or heartless dismissal of “losers” (take your pick, starting with “Survivor” and on up to “Top Chefs” being told to pack their knives and go home). Statistically, these shows seem very popular but I’m afraid they’re a poor example of socialization.

  3. The anger on national news broadcasts has come from conservatives. They. have revealed themselves to be “sore losers” since 2008 — much more so than when Democrats (even if they weren’t especially liberal) lost elections.

  4. I should say that even the most liberal Democrats were not the “sore losers” that conservatives have shown themselves to be since 2008. Where were they when our constitutional rights were being violated during the George W. Bush administration?

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