Are Americans Angrier?
On CBS Morning, Tony Dokoupil’s lead question, “Are American’s angrier?” was in sync with conversations I’ve been having with family and friends. Almost all phone calls and table discussions end with rants about people’s misbehavior and world sanity.
Well, there is a lot to be angry about.
During my recent flight to Maine, a three- year -old strapped in a car seat, that, had been secured in the airplane window seat, attempted to remove his Covid mask and squirm out of his buckles.
His mother whispered, “Don’t do that,” and pointed to the glaring red seat belt sign. Her other hand held his face mask in place.
Once in flight, the struggle continued periodically until he was screaming his protest and when ignored, hit his mother. You can image my distress watching the insanity we now refer to as child safety.
“I’m angry and I’m not going to take this anymore,” a famous line from “Network” came to mind. My husband and I had watched the movie on TCM the previous evening.
It is a classic and still relevant today; especially when the terms: social media and fake news, are substituted.
The film came out two years after television news reporter Christine Chubbuck committed suicide on-screen in Sarasota, Florida. The anchorwoman was suffering from depression and loneliness, often emotionally distant from her co-workers, and shot herself on camera as stunned viewers watched on July 15, 1974.
This real life event was used in “Network,” in which the final scene shows the anchor killed, not by suicide but by staff because of low ratings. The scene might be responsible for the expression killer ratings.
Anyway, I paid close attention when Tony Dokoupil interviewed a parent about his recent outburst at a school board meeting and spoke with Dr. Ling, an expert in the field of anger.
Tony’s view of anger as an unhealthy changed and they discussed the following.
- Anger is a natural response that keeps us alive. Anger warns us of danger.
- Anger and Violence don’t go hand and hand.
- Anger can be appropriately channeled into good or change.
- Passion can be perceived as anger.
Many of us grew up with angry threats, i.e., “Do that again and I’ll kill you.” I believed my mother’s warning and did not do it again.
What I did, instead, is tidy up closets and scrub bathroom floors.
. . . just saying
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