Pete Kendall's Socio Times: A Socionomic Commentary

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Speed hating, a term described by it’s originator as a “low key dating event,” is the perfect night out for those looking for love but who enjoy a dose of cynicism with their romance. The brainchild of Carl Hill and Mike Thomas, better known as alter egos Leonard and Cliff, they are also responsible for bringing Feeling Gloomy (www.feelinggloomy.com), the world’s only club night devoted to melancholy music and The Miserablists, the world’s first indie air guitar band to the masses.

So what’s speed hating all about? In short, speed hating is for you if your idea of hell is having to make forced conversation with strangers until someone blows a whistle. As Carl says, “Speed hating is the antithesis of the traditional speed dating ritual. “

True, members of the opposite sex pair up and rotate but that’s where the similarities end. Speed hating is all about letting loose, venting anger and basically having a good old rant for a full minute. Then you swap and listen while the other person has a moan, followed by a minute of what you might call ‘normal’ chitchat. The saving grace being that you’re past the point of “So, what do you do?”

“It’ a great ice breaker, says Carl. “People can rant about any topic they want. Perhaps you’ll find some common ground over a shared hatred.”

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From Speed Dating to Hating, a "New Anger" Comes of Age
Category: NEWS
By: Pete Kendall, March 30, 2007
Anger sells in a bear market.
The Elliott Wave Theorist, March 2006

angry dudeThe key words here are “venting anger.” Bear markets breed anger and social forums that allow for its pain-free expression are actually quite beneficial. Bob Precther explained  in his original thesis social mood in 1985 (“Popular Culture and The Stock Market”):
A case could be made that musical, artistic, literary and sports expression of negative sentiments is a healthy release, as opposed to some possible alternatives. Negative-mood music and sports, for instance, do not exist to make the listener or watcher feel bad. If that were so, it wouldn't sell. On the contrary, it makes people feel good because it mirrors their feelings. Hearing a happy song when you feel angry is an annoyance. It can actually make you feel worse. An angry song says, 'Go ahead and feel your anger,' which probably helps dissipate it. Imagine how you would feel in a rigid society which only allowed elevator music. Would you really walk around all day with a bland smile on your face, or would you eventually want to lash out, screaming?

The article says the speed hating game has “only one rule, participants aren’t allowed to be rude to one another.” Originally, participants were supposed to “be rude and insult” each other but the organizers said direct confrontation didn’t work. Maybe, this because there is a difference between venting and attacking. People can’t bond with someone they they’ve just been personally attacked by. Or maybe that comes later when the bear market is really howling.

Speaking of anger, George Will offers up his assessment of its expanding role in his latest column, “Anger Is All The Rage:”
Americans are infatuated with anger. In this age that is proud of having achieved ‘the repeal of reticence,’ anger exhibitionism is pandemic.

There are the tantrums of talking heads on television or commentators writing in vitriol (Paul Krugman's incessant contempt, Ann Coulter's equally constant loathing). There is road rage (and parking lot rage when the Whole Foods Market parking lot is congested with expressive individualists driving Volvos and Priuses). The blogosphere often is, as one blogger joyfully says, "an electronic primal scream."

And everywhere there is the histrionic fury of ordinary people venting in everyday conversations. Many people who loathe George W. Bush have adopted what Peter Wood describes as "ecstatic anger as a mode of political action." Anger often is, Wood says, "a spectacle to be witnessed by an appreciative audience, not an attempt to win over the uncommitted."

Wood, an anthropologist and author of A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now, says the new anger "often has the look-at-me character of performance art." His book is a convincing, hence depressing, explanation of "anger chic" -- of why anger has become an all-purpose emotional stance. It has achieved prestige and become "a credential for group membership."

Wood notes that there is a "vagueness and elasticity of the grievances" that supposedly justify today's almost exuberant anger. And anger is more pervasive than merely political grievances would explain. Today's anger is a coping device for everyday life. Wood argues, however, that as anger becomes a gas polluting the social atmosphere, it becomes not a sign of personal uniqueness but of a herd impulse.

“A gas polluting the social atmosphere?” “A herd impulse?” Sounds like more evidence of a bear market in social mood to me.

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