Beeb News: Confrontation Culture

The BBC has a “Magazine” feature on Confrontation Culture - the apparently peculiarly British phenomenon of public shouting matches:

It’s an everyday scene. I’m in a supermarket and without explanation or apparent provocation, there’s suddenly shouting. A woman and a man, both adults, are bawling at each other.

The insults begin at the extreme end of the verbal spectrum and then get worse. It’s hand-on-the-hip, finger-wagging abuse taken to the level of performance art.

This is the Jerry Springer Show live from the cooked-meat counter.

They take comments from the public, and two separate postings link the observation that those responsible are middle-aged women and the recent survey showing that teenagers today are better behaved than those of the 1980s (i.e. these middle-aged women were those teenagers in the 1980s). I remember being expected as a shop worker in the early 1990s to arbitrate between two women, both well old enough to be my mother, over who was there first; but then, those women definitely weren’t teenagers in the 1980s.

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