Is it my imagination, or are people quicker to get angry these days? I saw a story yesterday about an unbelievable incident in Brazil:
Enraged spectators invaded a football field, stoned the referee to death and quartered his body after he stabbed a player to death.
The Public Safety Department of the state of Maranhao, in Brazil, said in a statement that the horrific incident began when referee Otavio da Silva, 20, sent off 30-year-old Josenir Abreu.
The two got into a fist fight, during which Silva took out a knife and stabbed Abreu, who died on his way to the hospital.
The statement issued this week says Abreu’s friends and relatives immediately ‘rushed into the field, stoned the referee to death and quartered his body.
Local news media say the spectators also decapitated Silva and stuck his head on a stake in the middle of the field.
I can’t even imagine getting that pissed off about a game that you would kill and dismember someone over it, and what the hell was up with the referee that he stabbed a player?
Also yesterday, I stepped out on my stoop to water the plants and heard a hard, sharp bang. A man had just thrown a rock at the driver’s door on a pickup truck parked in the next lot (weekend customers at the restaurant across the street often park there). Meanwhile, his three friends were gathering more rocks from the base of the hedge that runs along the sidewalk next to the inclined ramp that leads to my door.
Without thinking, I said, “What are you doing?”
Given the climate these days, where people erupt for little or no reason, I should have ducked back inside and locked my door, but nope, I saw something bad happening and wanted to put a stop to it if I could. It never occurred to me they might have a gun and decide to shoot me. Or maybe run over and beat the shit out of me.
Instead of calling me names or flinging expletives at me, they stopped, ducked their heads, and left. Later, I realized this was to keep me from being able to identify them to the cops. Because yeah, three squads showed up, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
A couple guys and a woman exited the restaurant, and something about their stance told me to wait, see if they were the truck owners. Turns out they were. I told them what happened. That’s when the cops were called.
Side note: these people didn’t thank me. Didn’t their parents teach them manners? A stranger stops vandalism in progress and then stays to tell them what occurred, and no thanks? Uh-huh. I don’t think it’s my imagination that people are getting ruder, too.
The people involved in this incident were adults, not teens or young boys. I’m dismayed by the idea that they thought they had no other recourse than to pitch rocks at someone’s truck to indicate displeasure over something. What ever happened to talking to people? What ever happened to working things out through discussion?
Apparently, these days, violent recourse is the reaction of choice. Someone took that parking place you had your eye on? Whip out a gun and shoot them. You’re having a bad day at work? Run down to the local theater and blast everyone in sight.
I suspect part of the problem is that people are out of work or underemployed. They don’t have enough money to support themselves. They have too much time on their hands. Instead of kicking back with a six pack on Friday night, they’re roaming the streets looking for a reason to get crazy.
I only wish they’d direct that anger at the people who are causing their unhappiness, i.e., the politicians, the corporations that control them, and the wealthy “I don’t give a fuck about you” one percent instead of taking their frustration out on their own.
I think we are going to see a spike in crime as things worsen in this country. I think a lot of us are going to experience this firsthand by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I got lucky today. They weren’t packing and they had apparently been in enough trouble that they knew to walk the hell away immediately rather than stay and cause me grief.
But what about next time?