New York The western world seems not just unhappy, but intoxicated with anger. It is the kind of anger that feeds on itself. Offence is not just taken but relished, and multiplied as in a hall of mirrors. I have a name for this kind of anger. A few years ago, in a book about how Americans had learned to brush aside their old ethic of self-control and plunge into the delights of sneering and rage, I christened it the ‘new anger’. It was as if the snarling John McEnroe at Wimbledon in 1981 had become the embodiment of national ideals. Of course, it wasn’t entirely new. The emotionally flamboyant have always attracted notice, and a certain type has always wanted to out-Herod Herod. The difference is that we used to think that habitual and unbridled choler was a fault.