Americans have been hanging on by a thread for a while now. But this was…
Lately, everyone seems to be mad — all the time. There’s a lot to be angry about in the world, sure, but some crucial layer of emotional regulation has disappeared. It’s as if our collective gears have been stripped by the isolation and unspooling of the last few years. Now, every little slight or irritation or insult or frustration has become occasion for a temper tantrum. Maybe it’s a sent-back, an improperly-egged omelet at the New York establishment Balthazar, or banning the person who tracks your private jet from the social network you own– and the whole world pays attention to the petty grievance and reaction for a few days. (A fixation that suggests that there’s a societal fascination — equal parts envious and despising — with unfettered expressions of rage.)
But this new anger has infused our private lives as well. At work, at home, in our DMs and our social media feeds, changing our marriages and friendships and even our bodies. This was a year in which the collective mood was shaped by a steady hum of rage. We’ve set out to explore what that meant for our culture, and our relationships. There’s even a quiz about what gets you riled up. If you don’t like the results, try not to get mad.
Design and development by Shannon Lin. Art direction by Tonya Douraghy and Elana Schlenker. Illustrations by Daniele Castellano.