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Alex Baer: Welcome to These Out-Rage-Us Times

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hissy fitWe've become a nation of fleeting snits and hissy fits.

We nurse along so many hurt feelings that we all get emergency Red Cross parcels, plus the thanks from a grateful nation, for our extensive enmity-nursing skills.  Our spending on pets last year was $61 billion -- and that's not even counting what we're willing to pay to keep our pet peeves alive.  We have so many kinds of hairy grudges, it's surprising none of them ever showed up in Dr. Suess books, all raspberry and lime.

But, none of these petty issues includes the stuff that really ignites us in some way, really toasts our scalps, like we've just grabbed hold of some stripped-bare 220 cables long enough to have Tilt or Free Game show up on our foreheads, or to start spitting little lightning bolts, in a sudden show of Looney Tunes solidarity.

We've pretty much painted ourselves into the corner in this society, and now, as adults, we're going to have to sleep in it.  Or on it. Something. The point is: We create constant distractions and attention-snaggers.  Some are cream puffs that melt on the tongue.  Others have hooks and barbs that feel like bottom dredgers scraping heavy equipment around on the floor of your skull.  Inside these raging jags?  Most are only single-burst fireworks, then flame out, once the phosphorous has scorched through a gross of tandem-stacked I-beams.

The oversupply of these conveyor-belted trivialities and hyperventilated escalations is likely due to the headlong, free-falling news-cycle churn -- the desire to launch alarming new tidbits every 10 seconds at your cerebral cortex in a fill-and-file blitzkrieg.  Why?  To attract the maximum number of ears and eyeballs, to spike ad revenue.  The moolah can then change hands, in a circular feeding frenzy, allowing practitioners to line up all around the money trough and sup away.  This also gives spreadsheets something to do in the off-season, until Christmas, when they can be fully revived.

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