T Nation

Everyone's on Edge

Saw a report today that a man ran in his truck into a Chic-Fil-A because they fucked up his order. He then got out and started punching a soda machine inside the place before being shot and killed by an undercover cop.

I’ve been saying this for the last 3 or 4 years but it seems like every dude in the United States is on edge.

I have my own theories on way this may be, but I’m wondering what some others think is going on because surely everyone here has noticed it as well, right?

It’s the ability to see that it’s going on. Violent crime is still amount the lowest rates of either of our lifetimes.

And this is in the world of surveillance and camera phones and morons with twitter stories. You can’t get away with shit anymore. Rates still record low.


Agreed on constant news and exposure.
And crack in late 80s - 90s - bad juju, making for a lot of crime.

Abundantly more talkin smack now - albeit anonymously on the net.



Sure, yeah I knew that. But I’m not just talking about crimes. The dude going nuts because of his order is extreme… I’m talking about the general feeling of everyone on edge.

Just from day to day interactions with people.

Overplayed. It’s because we “know” how so many people think. And it’s easier to be on edge or think things are worse than ever because we have information that tells us about every possible bad thing that could happen. 25 years ago you wouldn’t have any idea this even happened unless you lived in the town. Now anytime someone does something unique everyone knows about it and it leads people to think that bad times are somehow unique to the present.

But crimes, wars, other data etc don’t back up the idea that we’re in some awful time. And that’s more important than what the dudes you’re around are telling you even though I know you’re a fan of what you’ve heard.

When you have knowledge of every bad thing happening ever it makes sense to think it’s all bad. But you have to look at history and you also have to realize that those are the types of things people want to read about. We’re more likely to click and consume content like what you described than local 4 H group raises thousands of dollars for cancer.

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I worked in fast food through high school. Part of it at a Subway inside Walmart. Trust me it’s been like this forever.

People have always needed triggers. Public triggers used to happen way more often. Now it’s just pushed by the media so people think things are getting worse.

damn. that’s brutal.

I’m not going to google it right now but I’d assume fast food is one of the first jobs for a lot of US teens or at least a lot of people say 20 and down.

Unless you were talking about the subway part. Our closest wal mart has one. You can’t find a cashier but you can get Subway.


That’s a serious jump from a man to every dude. I know you’re prone to hyperbole but damn man … dial it back a bit will ya hahah

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I think it’s a great example of how optics can run completely opposite to reality.

People even thinking things like violence/etc is in any way not at record breaking lows is impressive tbh. The age of the internet allows that to be hilariously debunked in like 3 clicks and a google

For sure … the sum up part of one of my favorite books (which I mention any chance I fucking get in the hopes more people read the damn thing) “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, “what you see is all there is.” This phrase, to me, succinctly communicates confirmation and/or availability bias ALL OF US are subject to.

Something also I think it helps communicate is we tend to not ignore that which we focus most of our attention on and tend to think some of these phenomena are more common than they actually are. I get that that may be the case FOR ANY ONE PERSON, but as a whole may not reflect most people’s experience.

Again, doesn’t mean it’s not a problem, but for who is it a problem and who ought to address it…which is one of the reasons I’m a big fan of decentralized control (not to diverge from the topic at hand) as it allows communities, with exceptions, to shift available resources to address problems more efficiently than when control is decentralized and/or in some far away part of the world…

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I guess this is part of my point… for how well things actually are it seems people are more angry for no reason.

Just the people I come across, guys, always on ‘edge’. Doesn’t mean they’ll act out on violent acts but people seem pissed off all the time.

Haven’t experienced this in the least bit.

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This encapsulates “what you see is all there is” … Again, I’m not saying you’re wrong, I get what you’re saying. I’m not sure it’s any worse, in reality, now than some other time (any other time) in the past, except it seems to be amplified more frequently nowadays due to technology…

this just may be a skewed sample and since this seems to be a main social outlet for you, may amplify this particular phenomenon for you.

On the flip side, I was angrier and “edgier” when I was younger, then I did things, made choices, that slowly improved my lot…point being this may not be a long term state of being for these guys depending on what they do/actions they take. Of course, it could stay the same or worse…

In a lot of ways like travels with like. Not ripping on you, just something to think about.

If someone came to me always talking about how bad xyz (women, celibacy) was I might nod and listen a couple of times but if they only live in the problems and not solutions I’d have to tell dude that his problems aren’t my problems.

I used to party with my partying buddies. I go fishing and talk about fishing with my fishing buddies. I lift and talk about lifting with my lifting buddies. I go to meetings and stay sober with my sobriety buddies. Of course there is a lot of overlap in people, subjects and activities, but I think you get the point.

So who are you hanging with and why?

Most of my friends in HONGKONG are pretty chill despite the shit going down over there. US society is not going to crumble.

Everyone else’s point is going to be that you’re using your very limited experience and the general public is the polar opposite.

I totally get why people are stuck in that mentality, but they’re just as wrong regardless of if people understand why they’re wrong.

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Your facts are wrong, it was not an undercover cop but an BNSF special agent in uniform.
here is an updated story in case you need to fact check

Ruh roh. Looks like this is turning into another spotlight on the mentally ill.

Or was he in with some weird people and there really was a final mission?

I think there is an element(though not the entire story) of how men in particular are expected to bottle everything up, and just take shit and put up with it. Whether its toxic masculinity pushed by the media, increased competition for jobs and resources due to immigration/ industrialisation/ computerisation, industries going offshore, people are under relatively more stress than in the past. Add to that high rate of divorce(80% initiated by women), custody/alimony which usually favours women it can get even worse.
When a guy bottles this shit up continually and when he’s told to just suck it up and don’t complain its not surprising that if(when) he snaps something bad is going to happen. It could be suicide or it could be some other violent outward expression to various degrees of seriousness.
Suicide, everyone afterwards says its a tragedy, why didn’t people do something to help the guy before it came to this, but nothing ever changes. Rinse repeat.

Violent inappropriate behaviour, many times the guys pleas for help have fallen on deaf ears.
Sometimes its due to acute mental health episodes. Even family members or healthcare professionals haven’t been willing or able to help(beds in mental hospital wards all full).
Then sometimes a guy is just a plain evil cunt, and it wouldn’t matter what you do, he’s going to do some seriously bad shit, to innocent people who haven’t done him any wrong.

I’m willing to accept rates per capita haven’t increased. But because populations have increased you hear about this shit going on more times than in the past.