From riots to Olympics: an emotional spasm?
My colleague Mark Easton, the BBC's Home Editor, has written a thought-provoking piece today in which he reflects on the very different national mood from a year ago, when several English towns and cities were engulfed in riots.
In his words, we've moved on "from national soul-searching to national celebration in exactly 12 months; from Broken Britain to Team GB."
So how come? Are we the same people, burning down shops in the High Street one minute, then cheering on Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Bradley Wiggins, plus our rowers and jumpers and gymnasts, the next?
A couple of random thoughts for you: first, wouldn't it be interesting to track down some of the rioters from a year ago and ask them if they're as swept up by Olympic-mania as the rest of us?
And second, perhaps we're a nation of teenagers, subject to extreme mood swings. One moment, it's all: "I hate you, you've ruined my life"; then it's "I love you to bits, you're the best."
We wept over the death of Princess Di; we cheered the wedding of Wills and Kate; then we did a spot of rioting, and now we're glued to the telly-box marvelling at the achievements of Team GB.
Emotional spasms, or a nation so diverse in its make-up that it encompasses all the above, and more?