Our New Dark Age of Rage


When it comes to emotions driving so much of our public discourse and individual decision making these days, rage seems to be all the rage. Anger and vitriol expressed face-to-face and online are often overcoming calmer, kinder, more reasoned voices, sometimes with harsh and even tragic consequences.

Last month, security officers at the Cincinnati Zoo had to kill a beloved gorilla after a young boy had found his way into the animal’s living space. Angry public outcry emerged from certain circles, with some even claiming that the animal should’ve been spared at the expense of the boy.

On June 12, a man apparently fueled by both homophobia and ISIS-inspired rage killed 49 people and injured 53 others at an Orlando nightclub.

Last week, a slight majority of British voters, many of whom were stoked by angry resentment toward immigrants and outsiders, voted for their country to leave the European Union. Now that the predictable and unsettling tidal wave of consequences has been triggered, many of the “leave” voters are asking themselves, what did I do? 

And, of course, there are Donald Trump’s ongoing outbursts, which are calculated to whip up resentment and anger. They are the major reasons why this is the ugliest, most vulgar U.S. presidential campaign in memory.

Folks, it appears that the virulent anger we often see expressed in the comments sections of online news articles and commentary is now coming out from behind the keyboard and manifesting itself in very ugly ways.  How ironic that all of our whiz bang technology is helping to take us back into a New Dark Age of humanity. We can and must do better than this.


5 responses

  1. Very well stated! I don’t like seeing/hearing/being around the rage of others. Rage is threatening and automatically affects both our behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and behavioral approach system (BAS), resulting in physiological change within — particularly a suppression of our immune system and stress on our vital organs. We also don’t think clearly and have a stronger tendency to stereotype and take things at face value rather than pursue more deeply. The reference to the Dark Ages is most appropriate…..

  2. I would be interested to hear how you would resolve all of the issues facing our nation and world, ie…ISIS, Christians being killed and being silenced, homosexuality, transgender, Hillary scandals, Trump’s climbing as the next GOP nominee????

    • My post is about the underlying emotions driving too much of our public dialogue; it is not an attempt to solve all the world’s problems. I’ll stand by that overarching concern, as I strongly believe that this rage and anger are poisoning our human connections.

  3. “It’s been a hard day’s night” and clearly there is a lot of rage and anger in society today. Sometimes you do not have to do much more than walk out your front door to see it; let’s not even mention get behind the wheel! Some of the rage you speak about online is done with artificial “names”, reflecting the bully/coward relationship. In discourse there is a sharing of perspectives, but what we see mostly online is a need for everyone to agree, or else they receive a tirade of insults ( ie: Justin Timberlake’s recent tweet about all human’s being similar- if one can imagine that as controversial!) The rage and anger is boiling on the surface and obviously palpable, as you suggest, in many online postings. Hi, my name is Torii, and I have participated in online raging. Full disclosure.

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