Maybe life really was this savage in America when I was growing up, and I just missed it.
However, I can't help but believe society is more coarse, rude, confrontational and angry......, and therefore more dangerous.
The dangerous part is that a large part of our society is very liable simply to attack and/or kill you. Savagery is a bedfellow of just plain raw ignorance and stupidity, and we have whole elements of society which are appallingly stupid, ignorant, untrained, unrestrained and have no idea how to resolve anything without belligerence, shouting, and physical attacks. They grew up this way, and that is all they know.
Flipped off drivers become folks chasing you down and beating you to death, arguments over parking spaces become having your brains smashed out by a brick, having the wrong political bumper stickers becomes a pivot point for a physical attack, getting your car keyed or tires slashed.
"It is the glory of man to overlook an insult, but a fool shows his anger at once."
Mock if you like. I don't want to stir up trouble, but I go armed almost everywhere I go, although you would never know it. It is the knowledge that I am that actually helps me back away from situations that could escalate quickly. Better to just give in and let them have it than fill out a 28 page report on why deadly force was necessary over a parking space.
Off-duty police detective killed over parking space dispute - CNN.com