Dan O'Brien: Upwardly mobile Ireland sees the bright side in 2017
Despite much angry noise, this nation is a happier place than most of our peer countries, writes Dan O'Brien
Angry venting is a vice of our age. Social media has given cranks and ranters a platform to do in public what they once did in private, or attempted to do at the end of a bar before being told where to go by those trying to enjoy a quiet drink. Much of the comment is shrill and unmeasured: the intemperate care little about facts and evidence.
This is a feature of the collective consciousness in the western world right now. Ireland is no different. But what marks public discourse out in this country are comments such as "only in Ireland" or "Ireland must be the worst country in the world for…"
When discussing problems such as homelessness and inadequacies in the health service, there is a tendency among the angry brigade to portray Ireland's failings as uniquely bad. One might get the impression from some of their comments that such problems do not exist at all elsewhere. Even more cerebral commentators have described Ireland as a "failed state", a description usually reserved for benighted places such as Afghanistan and Venezuela where the basic functions of government have broken down and violence is widespread.