I'm shouting more often. It's one of the advantages of living alone.
I'm shouting more at the television. When Simon Cowell appears and says something fatuous, I shout at him. When the continuity announcer reads something smarmy and condescending from a script, I jeer. When yet another Christmas commercial kicks off featuring some Fortnum-fed celebrity prancing round a snow-covered supermarket, I yell "humbug". It's easy to shout at the television because it can't shout back.
I'm shouting more at the television news. When Tiger Woods' mother-in-law is deemed more important than 112 deaths in Iraq, I screech. When apportioning blame trumps real news, following some Daily Mail agenda, I shriek. When some politician spouts forth opinion as fact, and pours scorn on her opponent for doubting, I thunder. When the same 12-second video snippet is played twice in three minutes, I wail. Whenever some lazy journalist spins out a press release into a full two minute feature, I despair. Every time a TV reporter appears in Wootton Bassett High Street and starts talking to camera, I howl. It's easy to shout at the TV news because it never reports the world quite the way I would. I can't change the presentation, but shouting at the screen makes me feel better.
I'm shouting more at blogs. When bloggers flaunt their politics assuming everybody else is wrong, I hiss. When persistent trolls who should know better hurl nasty insults out of pure spite, I bellow. When I read 90% of comments on any newspaper website anywhere on the internet, I roar. Whenever I see the content of a PR email I received yesterday recycled into a post elsewhere, I shout. I know that shouting doesn't change anything, and it would be easier not to look in the first place, but I shout anyway.
I'm shouting more at people who can't hear me. When my neighbours leave a cigarette smoking on their balcony, I audibly curse. When an automatic loans-robot rings my telephone to offer me a stilted deal, I scream at the leech who programmed it. When someone schedules a delivery for a day I'm not at home, and refuses to change it, they get a distant earful. I'm not changing anyone's behaviour here because I'm never directly confrontational, but shouting helps me vent.
I'm shouting more at inanimate objects. When I stub my toe on the edge of the bed, the bed gets shouted at. When my laptop stalls and an hourglass freezes the screen, I cry out in despair. When what's left of a bottle of milk smells strangely foul and I'm in dire need of a cup of tea, I yell at the fridge. Pointless, I know, but the louder I shout the better I feel.
It's OK, my walls are fairly thick. It's OK, I don't have stress or anger issues or serious intolerance or anything. But I'm shouting more than I used to. Has the world changed, or is it me?