In Belfast last night:
Yes, it's as bad as it looks.
When we were there a year ago, the occasional "RIRA" graffiti in Ulster cities and reports of UVF thuggery could be dismissed hopefully as the work of low-level hooligans using centuries of conflict as an excuse for what they would do anyway. After all, street crime is endemic to modern urban societies, isn't it?
Hope remains that this does not escalate, but the anxiety is ramping up.
UPDATE: Good background piece on the current state of affairs in Short Strand. The comments are illuminating, too.