AUSTRALIA. WHY SO ANGRY?
Australia. Why so angry? Where does the rage come from?
An all-too-common occurence… road rage. Photograph via Ted Szukalski.
That’s the question Dr Gordion Fulde, Head of Emergency Department at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, is asking us.
He’s the one who deals with the shocking fallout of street violence on the mean streets of Sydney and he is in no doubt that there’s something sick at the heart of our culture.
“We’ve become a more angry, violent, vicious society,” Dr Fulde told the ABC’s Radio National host, Fran Kelly yesterday.
“OK, we’ve been drinking and fighting since whenever… but it’s the randomness now. You have parking rage, people get into a rage over a trolley over a supermarket and it’s both genders. It’s not just the boys.
“Trying to catch a taxi – they fight about it. A war over a taxi!
“Were just nastier to each other for the smallest reason.”
And, apart from the obvious rampant drinking and drug culture in Australian society, Dr Fulde is largely at a loss to say why we are like this.
Last night hundreds of people crammed into the Sydney Town Hall to discuss ways to curb violence in the notorious Kings Cross strip with a panel including politicians, police, crime experts and liquor industry representatives. At the meeting, the NSW assistant police commissioner Mark Murdoch said it was the availability and abuse of alcohol that was the problem. As he was speaking, inspectors were carrying out a major compliance audit of every licensed venue on the nightclub strip.
The move follows the death of Tom Kelly, who died after a violent assault at the Cross 11 days ago. The 18-year-old trainee accountant was talking on his phone when he was punched in the head in an unprovoked attack by an assailant who has yet to be identified. He collapsed instantly, hitting his head.
Mr and Mrs Kelly made the heartbreaking decision to switch off his life support.
Then there’s the incident involving ex-League player Craig Field who has been charged with murder after the death of a man on the NSW North Coast at the weekend. The death came after a fight in a pub carpark.
Dr Fulde also cited the 2004 death of former cricket star, David Hookes who died after an altercation with a bouncer outside the Beaconsfield Hotel in Melbourne’s St Kilda.
So violence is nothing new, of course.
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