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.
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.