I think it's the weather and the added stress. I personally am about to get mid-term comments in school, preparing for the PSAT, trying to figure out this mess of what I can do for jumping lessons, dealing with my horse who gets crazy in the cold/wet weather, not being able to ride because my horse has stomach ulcers and thus having to care for them/ the stress of worry.
Fall is a very busy time for most people, and I think animals (including people) get higher-strung in the winter.
Personally I don't see anything out of control. There are some heated debates and some feelings hurt, but I don't see anything extremely hurtful or innappropriate atleast compared to the debates that happen at my barn. A lot of people (who are more high-strung from the winter) who say something that sounds rude don't mean it, if they are feeling worse then their words will have more of a negative tone then they intended.