Before he went all whimsical-Mary-Poppins-kitsch with his London Olympics opening ceremony, Danny Boyle directed the darkly disturbing zombie flick, 28 Days Later.

Just take a deep breath, and… Pic: Supplied

In the film the highly contagious Rage virus cascades through society, turning everyone it touches into raving angry psychotics in a matter of seconds.

You’d be forgiven for seeing it as a commentary on modern society, with so much furious spittle flying from mindless mouths. A quick database search of the nation’s major newspapers brings up 609 stories on angry people. It’s not very scientific, but it does show that our community tends to be infuriated quite a bit.

They’re lashing out at the government, at delays in anything and everything, on roads, in hospitals, on the street. They’re angry about prices, and money and jobs. They’re frothing at the mouth about asylum seekers, they’re having conniptions over the carbon tax.

Former Howard Minister Amanda Vanstone told political journalist Laura Tingle that she had “always thought Australians had an inbuilt angry streak” because we have a sense of entitlement and a constant feeling of being ripped off.

But are we actually getting angrier, as a society?

It’s impossible to tell, really. What has changed, though, is how we express our fury. Any veneer of politeness seems to have been stripped away. Rather than underground sewers of bubbling rage, we have open drains, with fetid vapours constantly rising. And the smell makes people even more prone to hissy fits.

Dr Helen Cameron, an expert in anger and aggression from the University of SA’s School of Psychology, says anger has always been around – but anger is the emotion, and it’s the behaviour that’s changed. People are more likely to lash out now.

Online, of course, anonymity lets people rant and threaten and explode at the slightest provocation. Children swim around in that pool of unfettered fury, where cyber bullying is rife and people can abuse others with impunity. Where immediate reaction is everything. And we wonder why there’s a problem with youth violence on the streets.

Dr Cameron says cars also offer a semi-anonymous screen. Emails, social media, telephones, cars - they all offer us ways to vent without feeling personally responsible for the outcome. And alcohol, which is a factor in most violence, offers another sort of protective haze.

Then, the more anger you express freely, the more it becomes just a normal stench, part of everyday existence that children grow up with.

Tingle, in her Quarterly Essay piece Great Expectations: Government, entitlement and an angry nation, sheets much of the blame home to our ‘shouty’ politicians, and voters who are all at sea because the government has over promised and under delivered – and certainly the political acrimony is part of why we are an angry mob. But it’s far from being the only reason.

Parents are ‘teaching’ their kids in the way that they scream on sidelines; at players, referees, coaches.  And many schools are stretching just to teach kids literacy and numeracy, let alone how to deal with frustration, and prevent anger turning into aggression. Pop culture is full of angry stars, seething heroes, and there’s rage on Rage.

When we react strongly to something, we automatically switch the dial to pique instead of passion, and lash out personally, attack the individual in the other car or on the end of the phone line or on Twitter, rather than taking a moment to consider whether anger is the best response.

This is not some uncontrollable epidemic, passing from human to human in the blink of an eye, but it is infectious. We can all – and of course that includes the media – pause for thought before our next spray.

You can yell at Tory on Twitter: @ToryShepherd

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114 comments

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    • Bertrand says:

      06:26am | 31/07/12

      There is nothing wrong with being angry ; it is a normal human emotion. The problem lies with how we manage it. I’m not convinced that more people manage their anger inappropriately now than in the past. Haven’t crime rates decreased over the past few decades.

      I note that the role of the media wasn’t mentioned. Fear and its twin, anger, sells.

    • Chris L says:

      08:45am | 31/07/12

      True Bertrand, but news outlets wouldn’t be selling fear and anger if people weren’t buying it. I suspect that a lot of people specifically desire something to be upset about, judging by how quickly people will make mountains out of molehills. Things like that tribute to the Jackson family on Hey Hey It’s Saturday, considered racist and a source of outrage simply because of the makeup they wore.

      What people are failing to realise is that the more outrage they express, the more they cry “we’re rooned!” the less impact it has and the less anyone else listens to them.

      Nothing like a satisfying dose of outrage.

    • eRon says:

      08:58am | 31/07/12

      Great comment Bertrand!
      You’ve expressed (in typically far less angry terms) exactly what was on my mind.
      There is a reference to the media however, in the last sentence, practically qualifying it as an afterthought. Funny, that.

    • Carl Farnsworth says:

      09:04am | 31/07/12

      Bertrand: This is an anecdotal example, but an example nonetheless.

      A little while ago, a man and woman were standing on the road at Town Hall, in the lanes/direction that had right of way. I had motioned and called to them to get off the road, in case they were oblivious to the stream of taxis coming towards them. They dismissed that, and when two taxis drove past them blowing their horns as a warning to get off the road.

      After they moved on to the footpath, the man exclaimed “Why the f**k did that d**khead blow his f**kin horn?!”, and turned to me for explanation. I simply said “Because you were on the road and it was unsafe to be there at the time”. I then received a tirade of expletives because he didn’t give a damn what was safe and what wasn’t and if he was going to stand in the road, he would.

      That doesn’t sound like the best way to manage anger, and is only one example I’ve got from many, many years of living in Sydney.

      Even more so, if you bump into someone (or they bump in to you) while traversing one of the more busy (pedestrian wise) streets, just wait for the other person to start yelling at you. I’ve absolutely no idea what is possessing people to do this.

      (Again, nothing scientific, purely anecdotal, but examples of people losing their cool at what should be harmless incidents)

    • Expat Ozzie says:

      09:04am | 31/07/12

      Bertrand: I agree with you. I believe there has been no real rise in violence rather we are far more aware of it then ever before. In this age when an incident happens it is reported around the country in an instant.
      I remember as a kid in the 80’s travelling from Brisbane to Melbourne to visit the relies it always seemed like we had gone to another country. The news was different. We heard about what was happening in Melbourne and nothing about Brisbane. Now, you here every detail about every city or town with a local thug roaming it.

      I’ve roamed the world without fearing being mugged on ever corner. If you believed the media it’s not safe to leave your house these days.

    • Jason Todd says:

      09:24am | 31/07/12

      I can recommend Steven Pinker’s book “The Better Angels of our Nature.” He looks at levels of violence (not necessarily anger, but linked) throughout our history, and makes a compelling case that we are living in the least violent time in our history, despite what certain segments of society would have us believe.

    • I hate pies says:

      09:33am | 31/07/12

      “Online, of course, anonymity lets people rant and threaten and explode at the slightest provocation” - yes, the Punch is part of the problem

    • subotic says:

      09:41am | 31/07/12

      As a half-famous Pommy by the name of John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon once said - Anger is an Energy.

      Use it or lose it.

      All them birds on your electronic devices can’t be wrong….

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      09:45am | 31/07/12

      Australians have plenty to be angry about.

      - the cost of living (3rd most expensive country)
      - unchecked high dollar (Thanks Swan)
      - unregulated Banks (no Rate cut benefits)
      - decline in jobs (creation of the Part time nation)
      - carbon tax con (used to buy votes and Industry leaders)
      - House prices and stamp duty (no regulation first time buyer)
      - Sale of 12pc Aussie Farmland to China India
      - Urban sprawl onto farmland (how are our kids going to feed?)
      - destruction of the suburbs (ugly tower blocks, parking issues)
      - increasing road tolls
      - public monies rorting (HSU Labor Unions)
      - overcrowded roads
      - overcrowded trains
      - every increasing immigration figures (1300 per week every city)
      - Asylum seeker debarcle (deaths stain a nations hands)
      - Decline in the ethical code of our leaders (Thomson protection)
      - wasted public funds ($300 mill to Afghanistan, $1 billion Indonesia, $34 million car industry)

      - total waste of the best Resources boom the world has ever seen.

      If Australians are not angry, that’s because they are either Zombies and don’t understand what’s getting destroyed here, or they are dead and past caring.

    • Tory Shepherd

      Tory Shepherd says:

      10:17am | 31/07/12

      Totally agree re. media, Bertrand, which is why I finished on it:

      This is not some uncontrollable epidemic, passing from human to human in the blink of an eye, but it is infectious. We can all – and of course that includes the media – pause for thought before our next spray.

    • M says:

      10:43am | 31/07/12

      “destruction of the suburbs (ugly tower blocks, parking issues)”


      Quater acre blocks are unsustainable.

    • Bertrand says:

      10:54am | 31/07/12

      Oops my bad. Looks like I need to read a bit more carefully. Sorry. smile

    • Expat Ozzie says:

      11:15am | 31/07/12

      Babylon: You forgot to mention one of the best standards of living in the world but continue to believe it’s all doom and gloom.

      “unchecked high dollar” are you saying we should regulate the dollar again? Surly not.

    • Ohcomeon says:

      11:44am | 31/07/12

      BIC, what a whinger you are. Try travelling the world and see what most people have to deal with.

    • Wendy says:

      11:49am | 31/07/12

      I think a lot of people don’t understand that the emotions they feel are theirs. The emotions they feel are their response to circumstance and it is up to them how they see the world and how they respond to it. Why are they angry?....if they bothered to think about it, it would generally be for their own reason and not about someone else. It’s just so much easier to blame and lash out rather than take a look at ourselves and actually take action for our own lives. Also, society is a fabric created of all of us, it is up to us to tend to it…it won’t just keep itself healthy. It is a living, breathing collective.

    • Emma says:

      11:58am | 31/07/12

      Babylon

      I see that the list you have compiled is definitely correct from purely Australian point of view. And of course it is terrible when things are getting worse in your own country. But if I was to compare the standards on your list with how it looks like in most other places (and I am only talking comparable developed countries) then I would count my blessings in Australia. People dont migrate here for nothing. I certainly why I did. The quality of living is outstanding. A traffic jam is not a traffic jam if youre not standing on one spot for 1,5 hours every morning in your car on your way to work, the housing is average in quality, but more generous in size. My flat in Europe had less than 35 sqm. And as we know Australia does not take on that many asylum seekers in relation to other nations, its just blown up to be more than it is. And I wouldnt want to compare the unemployment rate to Europe at the moment.

      Of course me saying “youre better off than most” doesnt help you at all and doesnt change that the situation here might have worsened. I just dont think it is possible to have such an isolated view as quite a few of your points are related or caused by a global influence.

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      12:09pm | 31/07/12

      - Yes we should regulate the dollar referencing the UK approach.
      The pound is attractive because of the volatile nations using the Euro, but the Bank of England has kept the pound low aiding exports. Done properly it’s the right thing to do. Aussie exports are on there knees.

      - Best standard of living is questionable these days.(review list)
      A recent parity study found that an equivalent basket of goods costing $100 dollars cost $165 in Australia. People are doing without, watching their pennies, cutting the holidays and needing government subsidies despite having a job. People are worried about there jobs.

      Remember Gillard is fighting climate change by compensating the living costs of 70 percent if Australians.

      How can a Dependancy on benefits translate into a ‘better standard of living.’

      - Quater acre blocks are unsustainable
      Only because we have mass migration to ‘make the most of the mining boom’ does it seem that the Aussie block is unsustainable.

      Start controlled immigration and you cut Australia’s carbon footprint.

      The suburban gardens are the lungs of the inner city high rise dwellers.

      Planting trees that take in CO2 is cited as a way of tackling climate change. The green tree canopies of suburban Australian cities are disappearing in preference for condensed apartment blocks that are a detriment to the environment. We know have 4 families living on a concrete block where once there was one surrounded by trees.

      Thought Australia was targeting a reversal in global warming?

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      12:21pm | 31/07/12

      Point taken Emma, but Australia is on its way to being like every other overcrowded European city.

      Except we’ll be worse. No proper transport and city infrastructures designed for populations of 2.5 million

      High unemployment will kill us because we are kilometres away from anyone in a tricky time one.

      I do not think we can say ‘ah we’re not as crappy as Europe yet so lets continue with the self destruction a little more’. Think we need to stop now given what we wish to achieve.

      - reduce Australias carbon footprint
      - have money to invest in Renewable Energy

    • Knemon says:

      12:26pm | 31/07/12

      You must live an extremely miserable life babble on, dinner parties must be an absolute hoot at your place!

    • Chris L says:

      12:54pm | 31/07/12

      Maybe Babylon is just providing us with an example of what the article is actually about. Either that or bringing partisan political comments in an unrelated article.

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      01:04pm | 31/07/12

      Not at all Knemon. I’m an excellent cook and I rarely talk politics.

      On Punch I’m not falling for “happy people are those that swallow Gillard Government rhetoric.”

      Lefties and Greenies of my acquaintance always enjoy rare occasions when I bring up the Gillard Government. Because it gives them an opportunity to talk about an over exaggerated story concerning my run in with Gillard in a coffee shop and what happened in the Bakery after.

      They like to expound theories the like of ‘she was supposed to be there, we weren’t, ‘BiC’s Gillards toy boy’ and ‘what would she say on that day if she knew my opinions’.

    • M says:

      02:51pm | 31/07/12

      Quater acre blocks are unsustainable. They require massive infrasturcture spending, not to mention resultant congestion and pollution from people traveling to work from ever more far flung suburbs.

      High density housing around existing public transport nodes and expansion of rail infrastructure to accomodate more high density development is the way to go. Unless you want to be forever stuck in traffic on an increasingly choked road network.

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      03:50pm | 31/07/12

      M

      Thought you wanted to save the planet? Most suburbs are purely served by transport. Yet the Apartment tower block cometh.

      We cannot continue to use the wishes of Developers and Estate Agents to shape our cities and country.

      Queue sustainable controlled immigration.

      Pref from within Asia Pac as that is where our future lies.

    • Expat Ozzie says:

      05:33pm | 31/07/12

      Babylon: “People are doing without, watching their pennies, cutting the holidays and needing government subsidies despite having a job.”

      I think that’s a complete load of crap. Australians have little idea just how good their lives are in comparison to most people in the world. Even on the dole they’re richer then a large chunk or the worlds population. I’m tired of hearing Australians whine about there poor lives with their first world problems.

    • Klak says:

      06:34am | 31/07/12

      Chill out Tory… Bit of a leap to compare people whingeing to 28 days later mayhem.

      Write this article when a face eating incident occurs down here. That was 28 days later!

    • Troy Flynn says:

      09:46am | 31/07/12

      Nah, the new zombie benchmark is AMC’s The Walking Dead. Can’t wait for October.

    • James1 says:

      11:02am | 31/07/12

      The tv show has nothing on the comics.

    • Ohcomeon says:

      11:32am | 31/07/12

      The TV show has been a disaster. Theres been about 3 good episodes and about 12 fillers. Its easy to see that AMC pulled all the money out of it to spend on Mad Men. It has little of the pathos or action of the comics.

      The British mini-series Dead Set is the benchmark for zombie TV. Do yourself a favour if you havent seen it.

    • Troy Flynn says:

      11:59am | 31/07/12

      True James1, but it’s a bit hard to watch a comic. Same can be said for the Game of Thrones books.

    • James1 says:

      12:25pm | 31/07/12

      I live in hope that the next season will be more true to “The Governor” storyline from the comics, Troy.  There is hope.

    • Chris L says:

      12:58pm | 31/07/12

      I’ve been enjoying the show as much as the comic. Robert Kirkman is very involved in the television series and, when asked about the divergence in the show from the comic, he said “Why would I write the same story twice?”.

      I think he had a good point. I feel much the same way about the Lord Of The Rings movies (except for where the ghost army was misused in a blatantly Hollywood moment, but I guess I can forgive PJ for that one moment of weakness).

    • Troy Flynn says:

      01:30pm | 31/07/12

      @Ohcomeon, Thanks I’ll check it out but it looks like (according to epguides) that it only did 5 episodes and originally aired in 2008. I like series which are longer lasting than that.
      @James1, unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to check out the comics, my collection has been put on hiatus for the last year as I try to pay off a campervan loan. If you’ve seen season 3 trailer I’m guessing that they will be incorporating “the Govenor” judging by the clips. I’m assuming he runs the fortified town seen in the season 3 preveiw.

    • James1 says:

      02:23pm | 31/07/12

      Close, Troy.  I won’t say any more though, because I don’t want to ruin it for you when you start again on the comics.

    • M says:

      07:13am | 31/07/12

      Placate and control.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      07:44am | 31/07/12

      I think the issue is that everyone is me me me and nobody else matters.  Some etiquette specialist was saying a couple of weeks ago was saying it starts with children learning please and thank you.  I know when I go to a shop I’m surprised that adults and children alike seem to rarely use please and thank you.

      Bringing up my kids with my ex wife we always taught them to say please and thank you, not just when they were out but in the home as well. They are all polite and respectful young adults now. I’ve noticed with my current wife and her family they rarely say please when asking for something at home and I’m continually reminding them to say please when asking something of eachother and I have noticed they get quite angry at external real or perceived slights.

      So maybe there is something in ensuring that the basics are adhered to.

    • Emma says:

      08:11am | 31/07/12

      To me its the opposite. I experience people in AUS and NZ to be far more friendly, welcoming and helpful than anywhere I have ever been.

    • Kika says:

      09:58am | 31/07/12

      Try going to Asia and see where please, thank you and queuing goes… that isn’t the solution because they don’t seem to be as violent with each other as we are.

    • Kika says:

      10:48am | 31/07/12

      @Emma - Really? I think people in the UK are the most friendly helpful people on the planet. I couldn’t believe how nice they were compared to people here. However,  I think people in Melbourne are friendlier than us in Brisbane and those in Sydney though.

    • Emma says:

      11:40am | 31/07/12

      Kika

      Its all personal experience of course but I studied in the UK and as “foreign wealthy student” I have been robbed, my car has been smashed to bits, our house has been attacked and my fellow student has been raped on the way to uni. All because we were the foreign students in the neighbourhood. Thats not very polite.
      I am not setting foot on UK soil ever again.

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      03:57pm | 31/07/12

      Emma

      Where were you in the UK?

    • Emma says:

      04:36pm | 31/07/12

      Babylon

      I studied in Durham.

    • Mahhrat says:

      08:05am | 31/07/12

      I think something Acotrel said yesterday bears considering - we don’t have a “vent”.  We’re so politically correct - so risk averse - that we’ve lost the vents for our imperfections in the names of safety and tolerance.

      We’re all affected by it, and if you’re a normal, red-blooded human, you’ve got emotions you need to let out.  I suspect the “lashing out” is more an issue for us boys, largely because we do more physical damage to others and ourselves.

      We need an outlet.  Currently, the internet is that, and lo and behold most Western governments are doing everything they can to limit our freedoms there too.

      As a people we need to get over this idea that we have some entitlement to not be offended by things.

    • Chris L says:

      08:53am | 31/07/12

      While I think that’s true and we’ve basically hamstrung ourselves in regards to creative and emotional outlets, I also think people are choosing against self control.

      In reality the accusation of “you made me do it” is bullshit. Nobody can force someone to be angry, that person chooses to become angry. Anger cannot force someone to acts of violence, that person chooses to get violent.

      Apart from a limited playing field to find emotional relief, there is also a relinquishing of personal responsibility.

    • M says:

      09:02am | 31/07/12

      In the past few days I’ve been noticing feeds on my facebook page of people posting nasty things to some page about dead baby jokes. Do they not understand the concept of black humour?

    • eRon says:

      09:09am | 31/07/12

      There is always exercise.
      And political correctness is an invention of the left to discredit and or quell dissenting points of view. I’m truly surprised that alcotrel would rail against one of his own central philosophies. But then again, unless the topic of Tony Abbott arises, consistency has never been one of his strong points.

    • Ohcomeon says:

      09:52am | 31/07/12

      Strongly disagree. If someone chooses to live their life watching commercial tv or sport, instead of spending time on creative hobbies, or fitness, or music or reading, then I can understand why they are frustrated. Political Correctness doesnt enter into it. Its a puerile existence, and their soul rebels even if they dont realise it.

      People put themselves in the little box they live in, no one else.

    • Ohcomeon says:

      10:20am | 31/07/12

      eRon says: 09:09am | 31/07/12
      And political correctness is an invention of the left to discredit and or quell dissenting points of view

      Political Correctness is a concept created by bogans who are threatened by the loss of the power privilege to the white male hegemony.

      No-one else seems to care about it.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      10:38am | 31/07/12

      @eRon, wow, got caught in a bit of a tough spot there huh? You agree with Alcotrel but didn’t want to admit it? You sir have shown that any comments you make are of little worth as rather than engaging in the topic you are attacking a single person.

      @Mahhrat, I think the issue for us mere males is that we are taught a particular way to behave, which is getting more and more strict, given that now you are unable to even yell to get your frustrations out. Women tend not to have this restriction, sure they are expected to behave like ladies, but nobody thrusts the “not allowed to get angry” line down their throat.

      @Chris, actually there are times when the actions of one or more people can result in people losing any level of control over their emotions. Based on your comment this would mean that when we say “a clown made me laugh” what we actually mean is we chose to laugh. You are also suggesting that victims of crime are in fact choosing to feel any emotions they feel as a result of that crime.

      External influences do in fact impact on our emotions and our ability to control them.

    • James1 says:

      10:58am | 31/07/12

      I disagree about the venting.  We don’t need to vent, as such, we just need to learn how to manage our emotions of all kinds more effectively.

      The Stoic philosophers offer some excellent advice in this regard.

    • eRon says:

      12:43pm | 31/07/12

      Psycho….
      No, I don’t agree with maharat, or alcotrel. If you’d bothered to read before succumbing to sanctimony you might have figured that out. My fundamental disagreement with alcotrel is borne out in pretty much everything the bloke puts forward as comment. It’s not the same with everyone, and (unlike many here, including you) I don’t automatically start by looking to reinforce my own prejudices. If alcotrel EVER posted anything I could relate positively to, after picking myself up off the floor, I would happily say so.
      Also, third comment down from the top of the page pretty much covers my view on this article. Other than, of course, my comment here about looking to more friendly, constructive means of dealing with pent up aggression.
      Unlike you, I don’t need a thousand blurted words of pointless navel-gazing to reach a reasoned opinion, and express it.

    • Chris L says:

      01:16pm | 31/07/12

      Actually, PsychoHyena, that is what I’m suggesting.

      I don’t tend to laugh at clowns as I seldom find their art funny (other people do, and thus laugh).

      I’ve been beaten up by thugs and ended up unimpressed by the experience. I realised that being upset that it happened would do nothing for me, and if I let fear or anger change the way I live then I’m just taking on more wounds than they originally inflicted.

      I realise this is not so simple for many situations. I’ve never been raped, nor known anyone who was murdered, and I certainly don’t wish to test myself under such circumstances. I still think, however, that our response is up to us.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      08:16am | 31/07/12

      The middle class family welfare crack must not be pacifying the population…..

    • Chris L says:

      08:38am | 31/07/12

      “You’d be forgiven for seeing it as a commentary on modern society”

      It is. Since Romero invented the genre in 1968 zombie movies have been a commentary on different aspects of modern society (at least, the good ones are).

    • Tchom says:

      09:35am | 31/07/12

      Exhibit A: Dawn of The Dead. Great satire on consumer culture. His original intended ending sounded a lot better than the one that actually made it in to the film

    • Chris L says:

      01:33pm | 31/07/12

      Yeah, but you wouldn’t get the hero running through zombie hordes with what sounds like the theme from the A-Team. That alone was worth the change.

    • Eleanor says:

      09:14am | 31/07/12

      So I’m a pretty angry person. Yet when I get behind the wheel, I try my hardest to be a safe driver. It could be really tempting to flash my high beams at the driver who forgot to dip theirs, or to sit right up the arse of someone pootling along at 75 in a 100 zone, but that kind of behaviour increases the risk of a crash.

      Venting my aggression is not worth potentially maiming or killing someone else. So I save it up for the boxing ring instead wink

    • PsychoHyena says:

      10:49am | 31/07/12

      @Eleanor and how many of those travelling at 75 are Learners or Provisional required to do a maximum of 80?

      I know it’s frustrating being stuck behind a Learner or Provisional but is there really any need for the level of road-rage thrown at them?

    • Eleanor says:

      12:00pm | 31/07/12

      I live in Victoria, so L and P platers can drive at the signed speed limit.

      And where I am, it’s more likely to be Farmer John in his clapped-out old farm ute towing a trailer or carting some bales of hay. raspberry

      Point still stands, though. When you’re on the road, the safety of others is your responsibility. Risk-taking behaviour, especially to piss off someone else, is just not bloody well worth it.

    • Nyani says:

      09:41am | 31/07/12

      Yes, yes & yes, anger is natural & control is also. There are also many other factors, such as self respect & civility. These can all be negated when drugs enter the equation, my little thought is that this is the main cause.
      Smoking it, sniffing/injecting/ingesting/drinking these are the reason for the zombie breed in our midst, AND the acceptance of them.

    • subotic says:

      09:43am | 31/07/12

      It’s funny how many overseas countries are quick to attribute all Australian males as being hot-blooded and quick tempered, but I’ve yet to see the carnage and brutality of other countries displayed here.

      Interestingly, the high-end violence we do see here is often perpetrated by individuals who were not born here. Just sayin….

    • Eleanor says:

      10:26am | 31/07/12

      What I take away from this is that humanity is only two hot meals away from complete and utter anarchy at any given time.

    • subotic says:

      11:09am | 31/07/12

      humanity is only two hot meals away from complete and utter anarchy at any given time

      Oh god woman, let’s hope so. Any change is a good change!

    • Steve says:

      09:44am | 31/07/12

      Our culture since the 60’s has not given any value at all to self-restraint or self-control. Denial of our impulses and emotions was seen as something out of the Victorian era.

      Over several years this has become more obvious as older generations -raised with clearer and stricter ideas of expected public behaviour - have died off, altering the balance of the culture towards those who prize immediate self-expression, so to speak.

    • che says:

      09:49am | 31/07/12

      I don’t think people are getting angrier, but the veneer of anonymity on the internet, or behind the wheel of a car makes them feel they can express it with no retribution. In real life situations though, seeing pain in your loved ones eyes as you yell and throw things is enough for most people to stop and take a good look at themselves.

      The media and politicians also seem to play on people’s fears, trying to stir up attention. This seems like a very simple and effective way of winning votes/clicks on a website.

    • Kika says:

      09:49am | 31/07/12

      I reckon since we live such insular lives we have become increasingly selfish. We’re busy, we have 1000 things to do everyday and to top it all off, our sense of community has disappeared in a lot of places. When you don’t see yourself as living WITH everyone else in your community and you are all part of an in group lookingout for each other, then there’s little wonder we’re taking to disrespecting and being angry with each other when we see our ‘in group’ as me, I and myself and everyone else as being in the out group.

      Speaking of violence - Aussies have to get over the passive acceptance of violence. Like WTF is with the outpouring of sympathy for Nick D’Arcy? My issue with this is what if he had killed Simon Cowley? We all know one Punch can Kill. Would we be more sympathetic to poor Nick and his struggles to get back on his feet again? Not only did he get a chance to swim (Simon hasn’t) he skipped out on his debt and is having a great time.  Are we going to turn around and feel sorry for the kid who killed the Kelly kid at Kings Cross one day because of XYZ? Unlikely because his victim is dead.

      WE are the blame for these issues. It seems like as long as the person doesn’t die it’s ok to go around bashing up other people. Get a grip Australia. Violence is wrong regardless of how it ends.

      P.S. Maybe Nick should consider a boxing for Rio?

    • Troy Flynn says:

      11:48am | 31/07/12

      Funny how you say violence is wrong regardless of how it ends. Then suggest that Nick consider boxing.
      To me, boxing is just sanctioned assualt and things like UFC have alot to answer for. School playgrounds are full of kids emulating these thugs every day.

    • M says:

      12:20pm | 31/07/12

      Boxing and UFC are great sports.

    • St. Michael says:

      01:47pm | 31/07/12

      You used the wrong five letter word, M.  It should’ve said ‘blood’.

    • St. Michael says:

      01:47pm | 31/07/12

      You used the wrong five letter word, M.  It should’ve said ‘blood’.

    • M says:

      02:56pm | 31/07/12

      Limp wristed pseudo man.

    • yokahontas says:

      04:42pm | 31/07/12

      Simon Cowley did get a chance to swim, he had already retired when the incident with D’Arcy occurred. He was a breaststroker who won a number of Commonwealth and Pan Pacific titles during the late 90s.

      I’ve seen a number of people in the pro-D’Arcy camp throw around insults like ‘what did Cowley ever achieve in swimming?’ - firstly, I don’t see how it’s relevant to the assault anyway, and as a former swimmer who has followed the sport pretty closely over a long period of time, people making those comments are really showing their ignorance.

      Agree with everything else you have said regarding D’Arcy though - and it’s not like this was the only incident of violence he has perpetrated. Don’t know how he’d go at boxing though - your opponent tends to hit back pretty hard and you lose the element of surprise if the person you’re hitting knows what’s coming. Not really his style.

    • Borderer says:

      10:20am | 31/07/12

      Working as a crowd contoller a few years back I copped a fair amount of rage from people, sure some were drunk, some had enough chemicals in their system to qualify as a toxic spill but others were just rude a-holes. Some people have entitelment complexes and are rude to people in service industries.

      Manners aren’t just big houses in the country, and they cost a lot less.

      Others had raging superority complexes, I remember two 1st year grad students telling me and a colleague (in security) that they were so much smarter than us and that we we’re dumb apes. We thought it was hilarious as we we’re both working nights to pay for our degrees, I was into my third year and he was completing his masters. It also must have slipped their minds how dumb it is being mouthy to two very large men who were more than capable of snapping them in half (not that we would). Their comments were meaningless, we’d have to consider their opinions to have value to become angry about it.
      Maturity helps teach you that anger clouds judgement and costs you focus it means you make poor decisions.

    • M says:

      11:24am | 31/07/12

      You weren’t working in Sydney by any chance were you?

    • Ian1 says:

      03:20pm | 31/07/12

      “Maturity helps teach you that anger clouds judgement and costs you focus it means you make poor decisions.”

      Well put.  You’re not Stan Longinidis by chance?

    • Borderer says:

      03:58pm | 31/07/12

      M
      No, Brisbane though I lived in Sydney for some time, there are plenty of private school boys (and girls) up here with super inflated egos as well.

      Ian1
      Not “Stan the Man”, he was a great champion though I never favoured kickboxing myself, it’s hard staying on the right side of the law roundhouse kicking someone in the head.

    • P. Darvio says:

      10:29am | 31/07/12

      This website is called “The Punch”........

      Seems ironic when the media is calling for calm on the streets…….

      Maybe its time to rename it ?

      “The Anger Management” ?
      “The Have your Say but be quiet about it” ?
      “The Calm Down and write about it” ?

    • M says:

      11:38am | 31/07/12

      Hard hitting opinion is lost on you huh?

    • subotic loses it says:

      11:53am | 31/07/12

      Damn you P. Darvio for posting the smartarse comment I should have done….

    • amy says:

      11:01am | 31/07/12

      I only get angrey when I read some of the insanity peopel say on the internet…

    • subotic's gra'ma is a Nazi says:

      11:55am | 31/07/12

      I olny get anrgy wehn people catn splel on teh interten

    • Grant says:

      11:06am | 31/07/12

      Watching parts of our community descend into a moral panic madness, stoked by an eager media is quite amusing.

      Ready to report on every minor crime to influence the views of the community about violent crimes, to amplify their impact and skew numbers.

      This is understandable, shock value grabs attention and drives narratives and creates stories.

    • M says:

      11:58am | 31/07/12

      The D’Arcy gun thing comes to mind. Media tells public to be outraged, some of them actually were.

    • Grant says:

      11:07am | 31/07/12

      Watching parts of our community descend into a moral panic madness, stoked by an eager media is quite amusing.

      Ready to report on every minor crime to influence the views of the community about violent crimes, to amplify their impact and skew numbers.

      This is understandable, shock value grabs attention and drives narratives and creates stories.

    • Gladys says:

      12:07pm | 31/07/12

      We’re going through renovations at the moment. It’s not fun.

      On day one, my hubby left me to clear out the room to be renovated, and he left a few things in there. The child was at ‘peak whinge’ for some reason, and the frustration and anger i felt was at ‘high’.

      By the evening bath - hubby was at State of Origin in some sort of corporate thing with lots of good food and free beer - I was at peak anger and threw a stupid bathmat across the room.

      I upset my daughter who cried in fear.

      I am deeply ashamed of my anger for what it did to her and I had to tell her that mummy was being very silly and was cross at the world, not her.

      I had to apologise to her and cuddle her.

      We’re almost through the renos now. Almost, just the painting to be done and it’s finished.

      But not without a cost.

    • Hasil says:

      12:25pm | 31/07/12

      I live in SE Asia and have done for a number of years. When I return home to Australia for visits I can’t believe the depressing gloom that the country is shrouded in. There is constant carping and moaning, fear of this and that, constant discussion that leads off with “What I want…”, usually another property, more gadgets, more money, and on and on.

      As an expat I am between two worlds and see in a different way to many. I do believe that Australians have become a hard, highly critical, negative and angry people. I see it in myself, some days at work a colleague will say, “Why you so angry. Very angry.” I’m actually one of the more placid personalities, probably what many Australians would call ‘soft’, so if it is coming out of me…

      Australians need to travel more with open eyes, then realise what you have there. Where I live, children as young as 5 wander the streets all day and into the night selling lottery tickets, for a cut of 10 cents. I have seen dead beggars in the streets of Phnom Penh. In the same city I have been approached by 5 year olds negotiating sex. This and a lot more has seen me essentially give up on humanity. When you have seen this, the troubles and moaning of those in the Lucky Country tend to fade into the background.

    • AdamC says:

      01:31pm | 31/07/12

      Hasil, your comment seems a little all over the place. You complain about Aussies complaining, which is fair enough, then declare that you have ‘given up on humanity’. That is a pretty negative and moany sentiment, if you ask me.

      Personally, I sometimes want to give up on humanity. Or at least give up reaing Tory’s more vacuous bits of copy, like this ‘effort’. (There’s a minute I will never get back.)

      It doesn’t make me angry, though.

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      12:26pm | 31/07/12

      In our politically correct, feminised, and thus grossly unequal, society where the strong are punished and the weak elevated, anger is the natural response of those who deserve reward and meet only restraint. Think of it as evolution’s little hint no one puts Übermensch in the corner.

    • James1 says:

      12:42pm | 31/07/12

      I often find that is an issue of self-perception.  That is, those who consider themselves Ubermensch are often deluded. If they really were so superior, they would be able to use their superior intelligence to understand how to work these feminised systems to their advantage, surely?  Instead, they find themselves unable to cope and failing at life, and turn to anger in order to externalise their failure and blame others for their own shortcomings.

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      01:40pm | 31/07/12

      You don’t have to fail at life to realise the person beside you is totally incompetent for the role you excel at and have been artificially placed there via society’s wet-blanket idealism. All it takes is a fully functional brain. Anger is the natural reaction and motivator of someone witnessing widespread inequality and receiving nothing but lies, blame shifts and obfuscation in return.

      I find the counter view to be mostly motivated by fear of questioning the herd and a general gift for self deception. A coward works the angles of an unjust and unequal system. An Übermensch seeks revolution.

    • AdamC says:

      02:05pm | 31/07/12

      SSR, what is this ‘widespread inequality’ you are talking about?

      I agree that there are certain aspects of society and its institutions which are less than entirely fair. However, it is by no means the norm. You sound like you have a persecution complex.

    • James1 says:

      02:14pm | 31/07/12

      I said “often” it “is an issue of self-perception”.  Not always.  Obviously the case you present is one of the exceptions implied by my use of “often”.  You really should read and digest peoples’ words before allowing the anger to take control and responding on that basis.

      Also, by the standards set in your second paragraph, the feminists should be your heroes.

    • Bee says:

      02:15pm | 31/07/12

      You don’t own any automatic weapons, do you, Sad sad? If so, could I have a list of shopping centres and cinemas you frequent, so i can avoid them?

    • M says:

      02:16pm | 31/07/12

      SSR, have you considered starting a blog?

    • James1 says:

      02:28pm | 31/07/12

      I said “often” it “is an issue of self-perception”.  Not always.  Obviously the case you present is one of the exceptions implied by my use of “often”.  You really should read and digest peoples’ words before allowing the anger to take control and responding on that basis.  I would still maintain that, in most cases, people fail because they are not very good at what they do, and just don’t realise this.  Occam’s Razor, and all that.  But you are entitled to think it is actually a conspiracy against people who are really good at what they do, lead by feminists or whatever.  Hey, as I recognise above, you are probably even right when it comes to a couple of cases. 

      Also, by the standards set in your second paragraph, the feminists should be your heroes.

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      03:09pm | 31/07/12

      @Adam C. I’m referring to any government, legal or employment system, structure or reward that unfairly benefits a select group at the expense of the rest of us. Equality is equality of opportunity not equality of outcome. I’d argue this type of inequality is the rule rather than the exception in Australia.

      @James1. I took your ‘often’ for the weasel word it was in that sentence. A lame attempt at guilt by association with complete deniability. What was I saying about cowardice? Feminism is a system that distorts equality to such a degree, inequality is fundamental. What are gendered employment quotas but the definition of unequal? Hardly a system someone interested in meritocracy and equality would applaud.

      @Bee. [Insert standard sarcasm to counter standard lame, humourless shaming tactic.] *yawn*

      @M. Behind enemy lines is more exciting terrain.

    • James1 says:

      04:06pm | 31/07/12

      So you assert. As I say, in some cases I am sure you are right.  In most cases, and this applies to both men and women, there is an issue of self perception at play. When a person fails, or doesn’t get a job, instead of looking at what they have done wrong, they find it easier on their fragile egos to instead blame external factors, and turn their rage on these factors.  Sometimes (and usually in the case of females, in my anecdotal experience), it takes the form of personal abuse - although you seem particularly keen to call me names and impugn my character for disagreeing with you.  In other cases, they blame the “system”, as do dole bludgers for their fundamental failures as human beings.  In most cases, it is misdirected, and not part of a vast female plot to subjugate men.  It is the individual themselves that is lacking in some respect.

      Also, the words I use have only one meaning, and as such I use the word “often” to convey the meaning of the word “often”: that is, there are exclusions.  Nice attempt to backtrack, but your original failure to grasp my meaning stands.

      BTW, I hate gender and race quotas as much as anyone else.  That is why I seek out organisations that promote on merit.  Do you have any evidence that this inequality is systemic?  For instance, is it borne out in employment statistics?  Do women occupy senior positions at a percentage that is higher than their prevalence in the population?

    • Bee says:

      04:52pm | 31/07/12

      Sad sad - I’m serious

    • AdamC says:

      05:05pm | 31/07/12

      SSR, I just don’t see it.

      I have said a few times that the Family Court seems, intentionally or otherwise, to be systematically anti-man. I have also argued that legally-enforced political correctness stifles criticism of well-connected minorities and chills freedom of expression. These are criticisms based on actual obervations that I can point to. I feel it is important that I can do this to give my opinion credibility.

      Indeed, I am quite scornful of people who assert that the ‘system’ is unfair and that outcomes, seemingly based on people’s choices and the vagaries of fortune are actually down to invisible forces like ‘patriarchy’, ‘one world government’ or the all-puropose Jewish conspiracy.  If you cannot see or observe something, how do you know it is really there?

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      05:42pm | 31/07/12

      @James1. I apologise. I was a little harsh. I see what you are saying. And I agree some people join bandwagons that have no merit. I mean, I know feminism exists. And I agree there is no vast female plot to subjugate males. There is however a vast female plot to benefit females which, as the system is zero sum, punishes men by default.

      You’re looking at the problem from the wrong perspective. It doesn’t matter what percentage of a group within society is represented in a position and whether that percentage matches their representation in the general population, what matters is why and how they got there. If people excel, they should be rewarded.   

      I’ve worked with a stack of different organisations as a part of my job and I can assure you most had fundamentally corrupt hiring and promotion policies in place.

    • Hubert J Farnsworth says:

      12:47pm | 31/07/12

      If anyone needs me I’ll be in the angry dome!

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      12:50pm | 31/07/12

      Australians aren’t angry, never really have been.

      Compare our protests to America, South America, Middle East, Asia and they don’t compare.

      Look at the carbon tax rally flop, the best they could do is a few hundred pensioners and this carbon tax caused so much anger within Australia. Now go to America and see Obama health care bill and the protests their with the Tea Party etc, just not on the same scale.

      Not even our rent a lefty protest crowd can compare to their European/American cohorts.

      As Bertrand said above the media have a huge part to play in this, only have to look at the Daily Terrorgraph on a daily basis to see them whip up some standard bogan outrage ACA or Today Tonight style.

    • Dave Charlesworth says:

      01:06pm | 31/07/12

      It’s because we have people like Dr Helen Cameron, an expert in anger and aggression from the University of SA’s School of Psychology, that so many people are angry today.

    • Dr Bruce Banner says:

      01:20pm | 31/07/12

      Don’t make me angry…...you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…..

    • Wilma J Craig says:

      01:33pm | 31/07/12

      It is what makes people angry that seems so pointless today.
      Someone, with whom others have no connection whatsoever, fails to win some silly medal & people, couch-potatoes? start carrying on as if the end of the world was nigh. Their outrage is palpable for they indulge in verbally abusing that someone for losing. I would like to see any of these loud-mouthed critics, including arrogant, know-it-all, past and/or failed self-styled “sports” men & women get out there & do better!
      People get into a rage because someone gets into the parking space they wanted - never mind that there are 100s of other vacant parking spaces within a few metres!
      People’s anger shows in their (feigned) out-rage that someone dares to criticise them.
      What about the anger expressed by people who think someone else has said or made a decision which that person deems to be “racist” - this we have seen at the run-up to that farce going on in London. They did not get selected & despite there being others who have been performing better for the past year they throw a childish tantrum & claim they have been omitted because they belong to a different ethnic background to the selectors. Nothing raises the ire & media coverage better than a claim of Racism.
      We have become so Politically Correct no-one is allowed to say anything about another person, race, nationality, their looks, size, how they dress without some precious little number flying into a rage & thence to Court demanding Compensation! You can’t even pay someone a Compliment today for fear you will be accused by some small-minded twit screaming “Discrimination”, “Sexism”, “Gender Bias”. You are being condescending.
      If someone says something about me which I find offensive, untrue or just plain nasty, my response is either the raised middle finger or the suggestion they go & get what they probably haven’t had for years & is responsible for their bile!
      I simply don’t care.
      Of course, as we have seen, the Media adores it when some poor, wee, wee-minded, precious little (male/female) bastard goes crying to them like some kindy brat as to how “so&so; was nasty to me”. The kindy brat gets a great big fee from the media, maybe even gets paid for an article in some trashy mag.

    • George says:

      01:35pm | 31/07/12

      This is what you get when bad is considered good and people don’t have to suffer for being bad. Entropy, right through all levels of society.

      You’ve also got the globalisation race to the bottom. I so want to live like shit because my people didn’t breed like flies and others did. Can I? Oh please!

    • Bee says:

      02:18pm | 31/07/12

      I work with someone who gets so angry her hair sticks out and her eyes go red. It happens all the time over the smallest things. It used to scare me, but now I just find it really interesting

    • M says:

      03:01pm | 31/07/12

      A mates girlfriend is constantly riding the emotional roller coaster, working up the little things in her life till she explodes all over facebook in a fit of first world rage. It’s hilarious to watch.

    • James1 says:

      04:22pm | 31/07/12

      My sister in law is exactly the same.  She is hilarious.  The funniest part is the way she invariably blames other people for it.

      We it be bad of me to say that rage has its place when it gives us entertainment?

    • James1 says:

      04:22pm | 31/07/12

      My sister in law is exactly the same.  She is hilarious.  The funniest part is the way she invariably blames other people for it.

      Would it be bad of me to say that rage has its place when it gives us entertainment?

    • Bee says:

      05:08pm | 31/07/12

      James1 - that probably would be bad, I don’t want to ridicule her., although i know it sounds like I am. She isn’t happy in her personal life and I am, so it would be pretty shitty to have a go at her because she’s uptight. I think that’s a key to this anger thing too. It’s a mask for deep unhappiness and insecurity most of the time, an inability to deal with difficult emotions.

    • Ian1 says:

      03:04pm | 31/07/12

      What makes me angry?  Forms of passive-aggression which continually slip under the “abusive” radar.  That they aren’t even included in the discourse surrounding abuse and violence in society grinds my gears, gets my goat and flogs my dead horse.

    • Utopia Boy says:

      05:13pm | 31/07/12

      I liked the comparison of the car driver. I have a lot to do with post licence driver training, and I teach that you should not treat another car like a piece of anonymous metal, but remember there is at least one person inside, and you should be courteous and if possible, make eye contact with the other driver.

      That little piece of thoughtfulness has sparked more debate during my presentations and discussions than anything else. Most often, the retort is “What if he / she has cut me off or didn’t indicate before merging into my lane etc?” That is the mentality. It never fails to disturb me.


      Referring back to article - I don’t think Australians have a sense of entitlement beyond what we know to be true.
      Citing some of the examples - we don’t think illegal immigrants should be kept at tax payers expense. We expect to be able to collect the dole if we lose our jobs and are very entitled to be pissed off about people who rip that system off. We are being ripped off with regards to fuel prices, telecommunications charges, education, insurance, taxes, police revenue raising, selling off of government (our) assets, cost of energy and the old favourite, banking.  All these things are slammed down our throats regularly, while every industry besides mining collapses in a heap under the weight of high running costs.
      Australians generally receive nothing of any tangible value from the mining boom, which is the only thing keeping the country afloat. When it goes bust we will be told to tighten our belts again. Most people have already stuck a few new holes in the old trouser holder upper.

      The only real entitlement Australians have is to be angry - because it’s the only entitlement that’s free.

    • James Mathews says:

      05:14pm | 31/07/12

      Well Anger is a good thing, We all need it but the one thing that angers me most is the current lack of investment into infrastructure projects that are ready and raring to go but haven’t because governments aren’t willing to fund them.

      Twitter: BigJamesMathews

    • Elizabeth1 says:

      11:34pm | 31/07/12

      I think Aristotle had it right. “Anyone can be angry - that’s easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way - this is not easy”. The Nicomachean Ethics.

 

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