In Dan Greenburg's "Sound and Fury" a decent point is made from looking at a situation that could possibly become violent. The narrator suggests that people carry a large amount of "free-floating anger," which generates within them, ready for use at any point in time; waiting for the slightest hint of incitement.
Lee, a stand-up comedian, is first introduced by the narrator, who tags along with Lee where he will be the "emcee" of the night, but right before he is to go on stage a group of drunk young guys chants for a comedian they feel is the greatest, Rusty. Before he even got up to the stage, the young men were ready to cheer on for Rusty, and despite all the exertion he finally gave it up.
As the narrator begins to talk with him and soothe the ailments of his suffrage some of the "inebriated young men" began to trickle in and eventually noticed Lee. As events heightened a young man thought that he would want to do something about their chanting and later stepped forward closer to Lee.
The total focus started to rest entirely upon the two men "going through the motion, doing the dance," while also the bar's energy of aggression steadily increased with the engagement itself.
It was from a simple measure of conversation that the situation was disabled. When Lee asked how "the guy" of his well-being it initiated a broad topic capable of going anywhere. Then Lee nonchalantly asks what the young man was in town for, and gets an everyday answer that it was his birthday. So Lee after thinking about it threw out his hand and told him "Happy birthday." The situation that was once so potentially volatile now was resolved completely by choice avoiding a confrontation and ending.
Simple acts lead up to other acts and build on themselves and eventually turn into a large scale incident. Somehow though, all the increasing and flaring of the situation based on a small act can abruptly stop. It seems as if it hits a brick wall...