A very interesting message to me on Instagram the other day from a reader who has been discussing with her friends, “the rage”. That is, a general formless anger that is bubbling away underneath our increasingly lined and fraught surfaces, that emerges at weird points.
Her excellent example was a full-on open-air row between two women: one had asked the other if she was “permitted” to be walking in this beauty spot. The other woman just exploded and called her names.
I am really sympathetic. I cannot stand the pass-agg stuff that the virus has brought out in people. A friend of mine discovered (in a roundabout way) that her neighbour had called the police because she (my friend) went out twice in one day.
My other, different, friend was berated for not keeping his distance in the open air from a pregnant woman, although he did not, he stresses, come within the designated safe area, he merely looked as though he might be about to.
Actually that isn’t pass-agg, that’s more just agg-agg. My friend was really quite shaken up by it, as I would have been.
I am not exactly exempt. I will very much snap at the next person who tells my children to keep away. These get-away-from-me people are always the type to be huddled off to the side, clutching their face mask to their mouths in horror, waving their hands in big arcs as if they expect you to take your children to walk, what, in the fucking street?.
I do really suspect that people who do that just hate children generally and are delighted to have good reason to treat them like germ-laded vermin. This virus has been a Trojan Horse for some really crappy behaviour.
See?? I am so mild-mannered normally, I am so nice – and this has all brought out a total monster in me.
(Although I must say I don’t know what it’s like where you are but round here there is a distinct lack of giving much of a shite about social distancing rules any more. The streets are pretty full, the Heath is rammed. There are people openly walking with three or four kids tumbling about who clearly aren’t siblings. Teenagers sit about smoking joints under trees. The government has lost control completely.)
Anyway how’s your rage? Being unreasonable yet?