The Age of Rage, part two

My column, published on Sunday, about the free-floating rage that seems to be prevalent these days created quite a response. In case you missed, read it here.
Among those comments were those cracking on me for leaving my shopping cart in the aisle:
“If you had done that to me I would have scattered your groceries on the floor of the store and left your cart upside down( but off to the side)!”
On the other hand:
“I enjoyed reading this article this morning and found much truth to it.”
On the other other hand:
“You deserved to be yelled at. I’d of done it too.”
Back to the first hand:
“I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head. ”
Then, on the other hand (I’m running out of hands):
“Wallace, stick to entertainment reviews. You’re in over your head with anything else.”
And, of course, the bottom line:
“Wow. Looks like most of the people here are out to prove Wallace’s point!”
If you’ve got a strong stomach, wade into the debate.


9 thoughts on “The Age of Rage, part two

  1. And I thought it was just me everyone was rude to, Wallace, you highlight very well a sad and prevelant problem here in SC. I have experienced extreme meanness at both Trader Joes, (One women screaming down the aisle to fast ran into me, hurt my leg, and yelled at me for standing in her way when in fact I was not near her had she been polite and moving slowly like normal. More extreme then what you speak of at almost every store in the county has this occured to me. At Costco I have been hit with carts, pushed out of the way,and ridiculded for just picking my own grocries off the shelf. Lets not start on the teenagers and 20 somethings that wait on us and their special brand of insanly rude behavior. The low mentality school yard eye rolling and engaging the customer behind you in mocking you for no apparent reason. I do believe it is a subculture of this “Me” culture we are living in and the “Better Best, Faster, more expensive mentality that many people have adopted. I think they were raised with no common morals and no guidence. Common politeness appears to have gone to the wayside. But the level of meanness, and hate that I experience in stores and everywhere in Santa Cruz County, has me shopping only late at night and after these insane people are gone. I simply refuse now to attend any group events, or crowd scenes in SC, and will not go to any store during the daytime hours or early evening. I do not go to movies unless its 1st show during the week and rarely that. I am a professional nicely dressed white 50 something person,who is polite to a fault to all people and pateint yet I am harassed, abused and tormented everywhere I go in SC. I have developed a dislike of everything SC and stay inside unless its late at night to Safeway or a like grocery store. Having a elderly parent, that I must take places, I see it escalate in how people treat her even with me standing with her. Its shocking how cruel people are when I am out with her in Longs, and grocery stores. Its alarming and the standard these people have are so low along with their pea size mentality that they have no clue what common kindness is.
    The parking lot scene you describe, occurs to me daily. I drive a enviornmental correct small car and am driven off the road, cut off , tailgated and harassed if I drive anywhere in SC. The parking lots are so scary that I park far away and walk, fearing damage to my car and harassment by the ever crazy SUV drivers that appear to be on drugs or just Bil Polar driver types. Its a level so frightening that I hardly drive anymore here. I take my car out only one or two days a week and stick to back roads. I recently went to Santa Barbara on vacation, and spent two lovely weeks with no mean people. I was treated with respect, spoke to with polite kindness everywhere I went. On the trip back I stopped at Big Sur and Carmel, and did not experience this, nor in Monterey where I stayed for three days. This level of mean treatment of people, perhaps it is so rampent in SC becuase people are vicious and do not care about others. That is apparent. Thank you for a very good picture of what occurs to many of us on a daily basis here in SC. Its a frightening place. If this is how our young people are being raised, to disrespect all people, we have no hope.

  2. And Wallce, one wonders, how these people that are rushing, hurrying to the point of mean treatment of others, driving insane and going out of their way to harass others, what is their point? Do they gain satisfaction from hurting others and ruining our day? I think they do, I think its intentional and made to hurt others. Scotts Valley has its own level,with the elitist yuppies that treat the reast of us like dirt. Forget a cup of coffee, or grocery shopping up there, you will be tormented. Its a sad and sick little community. One yuppie SV Mom let her kid out in a parking area of Nob Hill to skateboard, and the little rat immediatly skateboarded into the front of my car, when I honked at him, she screamed at me, and he spat at me, cursed and gave me the finger. My God, what is this county going to be like in another 5 years? Very frightening. I often go to San Jose or Salinas to shop as I am not bothered there and am finding the store clerks are polite and the customer service actually exists.

  3. Alexa, Please take a deep breath. This crap occurs everywhere (not just in Scotts Valley, but in all cities/states/countries). It’s up to you to UNDERSTAND it and then deal with it. Barry

  4. Hi. Well timed observations. There is a definite meaness in the self entitled air in Santa Cruz. There is some thing happening to people, quick personal judgements are being made without benefit of the Golden Rule or even simple compassion. I got loudly scolded, berated publically for parking in a disabled parking space by some busy body who threatened Police and fines if I did not move my vehicle immediately. How dare I? Easy. I have Permanent Disabled License plates, not a windshield Placard, that they did not think to check. I have been pushed and shoved in SC stores by uncontrolled children who have so much as tripped over my cane. I wonder how the Liquor sales and family therapists are doing? I bet business is brisk.

  5. Mr. Baine, your article put me in mind of a couple of Twilight Zone scripts, written by Rod Serling: “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street” and “The Shelter.” The point being that the veneer of civilization is very thin and seems to require only a mere scratch to reveal something that is fairly primal and ugly underneath.

    Since these periods of societal fraying seem to come along fairly regularly, usually long enough after the previous one that most people have forgotten or never experienced the earlier episode, I have to wonder how much of the phenomenon is just the expression of a natural cycle, and how much is caused or even planned by people. The Serling scripts touch on such questions, also. If I were trying to pull the nation’s strings, using a deliberately engineered period of hard times as a tool, for example, I would certainly want nobody to be able to trace the calamity back to me, and would prefer they think of their misfortune as the result of random chance or forces of nature. Their impotent rage at circumstances they could neither understand nor change would be directed at each other soon enough — which DOES seem to be consistent with what we are seeing now.

  6. I’m fore warning all drivers that we have a cell phone law now on the books and I’m seeing mostly women talking while driving and I will be taking down license numbers . You will be pulled over soon. LAWS ARE LAWS lets abide by the rules. HEADS UP you Law breakers!

  7. Barry Its for you to understand that this does not occur everwhere, I have been lucky enough to live and visit many other places then SC. I also spend time in Cupertino, Santa Clara and San Jose as well as Southern California and Santa Barbara. Its time you wake up and realize, you live in a area of self entitlement, where the rude behavior is out of control. What you propose is that I deal with it ? If you read my blog, you would not have made that statement,I already deal with SC and its vicious mentality types, by not spending any money here and not visiting any SC public places at all. Deal with it indeed, you seem to be part of the problem we are e discussing here.

    Rex said it well when he noted that it is definitly in the air here, the self entitlement, the insane meanness and the vicious mentality that surpasses common sense as well as the ever forgotten golden rule. One thing that floored me of late, I was shoping with my elderly Mom and while we were checkng out at Longs, we were being polite and asking the clerk how she was today. The over manicured, bleached bimbo in back of us, laughed out loud and said who cares how she is, hurry it up ! At that point we were not holidng up a line. I find that normal polite conversation, is not every permitted anywhere in SC. without riducule. Its a sad and sick society that SC has become. And to the manic SUV drivers, running people down is not a life, endangering others is not living a life,your life is not more important then mine,put down the phone, driving is a privlege not a right. Respect the road and the other drivers.

  8. Rex well said, in addition I was grocery shopping for my elderly Mom and checking out,at Safeway(never again will I cross their doors) while the clerk was ringing up the purchase, the women in back of me loudly proclaimed I must not need all that food and what business did I have shopping for all that food when I was alone! I asked her, what possibly makes you think I am alone and not shopping for others? She was making a scene and encourgaging the person in back of her to ridicule me, for some unknown reason. Making comments about my being a big eater! (I am a small person) I said, I am shopping for a family of three, and she loudly ridiculed me, not married hu? Single Mom! Ha,loudly, as if that made her bad behavior excusable even though its not true, the low mentality types we have to deal with are frightening. If I did not care for an elderly parent and sick brother here in SC, I would never leave the house until the day I am done caring for family so I can finally move away. lets not even get started on Costco, which I refuse to enter except twice a year, and Traders, with its frenzied Yuppie kooks with the racing carts . Apparently they have a quota in Traders that they get upon entering, you must be rude and hit people with your cart. We were brought up to be polite and kind to all people, and respect the rights of all people. This simple golden rule has now been left out of parenting for the last two generations, and we are suffering the result of the bad parenting and lack of morals.

  9. I wonder how much we bring on to ourselves.

    People can “transmit” an attitude without even knowing it.

    As for rude and crude, I don’t run into it very often in the Santa Cruz area, although I will admit I do see it a New Leaf via the employees on occasion.

    But, my point is that you can simply ignore people that are irritating or rude. You could move to another line or simply smile pleasantly at the person who is directing “rude and crude” at you.

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