The 2010s: the great epidemic of global rabies
Want to break everything? You are not alone. During the 2010s, the whole world came out of its hinges. Portrait of an epidemic of global rabies.
T he years 2010 ended with the vogue for Yoga Rage. At each session, the apprentices “yogis” howl their anger and they multiply the fingers of honor, against a background of heavy metal music. 1 Too bad if the crossover between yoga and rabies seems as improbable as a vision of Donald Trump giving baby Yoda a bottle.
If yoga rage is not working, you still have the release room, another hobby that is going up. 2 Equipped with a nail bar, a hammer or a baseball bat, the client is released loose in a room where he can break everything. The more he pays, the more objects he is given to destroy.
In Los Angeles, Rage Ground offers the overkill package, the ultimate in relaxation. For the modest sum of $ 300, the distinguished clientele breaks a hundred objects, notably televisions, bottles of wine and printers. For a small fee, it can also bring its own widgets to be demolished.
Should you crumble the computer that buggy all the time or the face of the Bonhomme Carnival in toothpick assembled by your ex? That depends on you. According to the owners, customers sometimes cry in the middle of the carnage … 3
The company Rage Ground offers the overkill package, the ultimate in relaxation.
There is no shortage of reasons to have a crisis. Inaction in the face of global warming. Corruption. Impunity for sexual assailants. Tax evasion. Or is it an image of Syria, captured by satellites, in 2015? It showed that the light emitting from the territory during the night had decreased by 83% since the start of the war in 2011. A whole country wiped out. Sprayed. 4
Most often, rage arises from the feeling of helplessness, the impression of being left behind. We end up resenting the whole world. In the United States, 24% of citizens would like their society to be “reduced to ashes”, to start all over again. 5 And a third of the employees experience intense satisfaction after having martyred a voodoo doll like a superior. 6
Almost everywhere, the world cracks for strong mouths. Those who promise to punish THE culprit, real or imagined. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte is proud to have thrown prisoners from the top of a helicopter in flight. He also dreams of eating the liver of Islamist terrorists “with salt and vinegar”. In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro sings of the benefits of torture. He repeats that if Jesus had owned a gun, he would not have hesitated to use it…
In this pantheon of angry, Donald Trump occupies a special place. In 2016, he boasted that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue without losing a single voter.7 More recently, he has done better. One of his lawyers clarified that the president cannot be brought to justice, even if he murders someone on 5th Avenue. According to him, the emperor has an unlimited rabies license. 8
In Hong Kong, on Christmas Eve, protesters confront the police amid a cloud of tear gas.
Doctor is it serious? Even psychology does not hide its concern. In books and written documents, shrinks have calculated that the use of words like “love”, “patience”, “loyalty” or “kindness” has decreased by 50%. 9 Stop humming “All You Need is Love”. Instead, sing: “All You Need is Gloves”.
On social networks, rabies becomes contagious. We’re looking for the adrenaline rush it brings. Even if it means becoming addicted. After studying millions of messages, researchers at Peking University found that anger was the most influential emotion. And by far. It spreads more easily than sadness or joy, for example. 10
Before, no one imagined that “road rage” could take on the proportions of an epidemic. This is what happened in the spring of 2018, in Great Britain. The agency that manages the highways had to beg drivers to calm down. She had just recorded 3446 incidents in which a rabid motorist had rushed to a road construction site by reversing everything in its path. 11
Welcome to the 2010s. If you are not furious, you do not seem completely normal. One wonders if you did not take “the blue pill”, in reference to the tablet that allows people to forget reality, in the film La Matrice (1999). No wonder the most popular game of the decade is called Angry Birds. Released in late 2009, it has been downloaded over a billion times.
In summary, Angry Birds consists in using birds as projectiles, to demolish structures sheltering more or less greenish pigs. A mini virtual release room. The angry bird is you. Greenish pigs? It depends on your imagination …
Young activist Greta Thunberg on yet another day of climate strike outside the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm on December 20.
With hindsight, the 2008 financial crisis is often accused of having started everything. In the United States, for example, the Treasury has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to save finance. But for ordinary people, the lifelines have been less generous. As of the end of 2017, as many as 4.4 million Americans were still stuck with a mortgage greater than the value of their homes. 12
A Time Magazine columnist sums it up. According to him, people have ceased to find it normal “that billionaires make the most money by paying as little as possible in taxes and salaries, and then pay crumbs to social causes that restore their image”. In the same way, they no longer accept “that the bankers shake up the economy with speculation, and then become part of the minority which survives unscathed after the crisis”. 13
A joke ended up translating the bitterness engendered by the crisis. “This week, our leaders announced that they no longer laughed at the economic crimes committed by the leaders of banks or big companies. They talked about heavy prison terms. They insisted that the offenders would be held in very hard establishments.
Promised, juror, there will only be nine holes of golf, instead of a full course. ”
The too much dance of the Paris Opera participated in the demonstration against the reform of the pension systems.
The decade of 2010 ends with a series of social explosions around the world. Algeria. Hong Kong. Iraq. France. Iran. Lebanon. Often, a small event is enough to set the powder on fire. In Lebanon, it is a tax levied on calls made with the WhatsApp messaging platform. In Iran, everything started from an increase in the price of gasoline.
In Chile, the popular uprising was triggered by an increase of 30 pesos in the metro ticket in Santiago, the capital. About five Canadian pennies. On the streets, graffiti sums up the years of deprivation that caused the outburst of anger. It reads: “It is not because of the 30 pesos. It’s because of the past 30 years. ” 14
“Those who make peaceful revolutions impossible make violent revolutions inevitable,” said President John F. Kennedy. But it was a very long time ago. Prehistory. A time when trolls were still fairytale characters.
Soon, the 2010s will be behind us. Good riddance. Even the humor there developed a questionable aftertaste, as evidenced by this sample.
“One evening, an elderly couple are chatting quietly by the fire.
– My darling, I’m sorry I got mad at you so often. How do you keep calm, despite my mood swings?
– It’s easy. I will clean the toilet when it happens.
– And … is it really effective?
“Yes, as long as I use your toothbrush.”
(1) Rage Yoga Uses Screaming, Swearing on Path to Better Health, CBC News, February 29, 2016.
(2) Release room: when hitting is good, the more the more crazy, the more one reads, Radio Canada, November 21, 2018.
(3) Rage Rooms: Why Recreational Smashing Could Be Good for Your Mental Health, USA Today, November 11, 2018.
(4) In Syria, the four years of war put out the lights, Le Figaro, March 12, 2015.
(5) A “Need for Chaos” and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies, Denmark’s Aarhus University and Temple University, August 2018.
(6) Righting a Wrong: Retaliation on a Voodoo Doll Symbolizing an Abusive Supervisor Restores Justice, The Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 29, No 4, August 2018.
(7) To see the video: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=iTACH1eVIaA
(8) Trump Couldn’t Be Prosecuted If He Shot Someone on Fifth Avenue, Lawyer Claim, The Guardian, October 23, 2019.
(9) The Moral Decline in the Words We Use, The Atlantic, August 24, 2012.
w (10) The Rage Flu: Why All This Anger Is Contagious and Making us Sick, Time Magazine, June 29, 2017.
(11) Why Are We Living in an Age of Anger – Is It Because of the 50-Year Rage Cycle? The Guardian, May 16, 2018.
(12) A Guide to the Financial Crisis – 10 Years Later, The Washington Post, September 10, 2018.
(13) How the Elites Lost Their Grip, Time, 2/9 December 2019.
(14) Chile: “For the moment, the state of emergency is above all social”, Liberation, October 22, 2019.