Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thoughtless people ...

Even though I'm on the road in our annual chase vacation, I have a "down" day and thought I'd put this one out, because it's fresh on my mind. We recently stayed at a Super-8 motel in Dodge City, KS our first night out. The next morning, I went to check out and when I completed that task, I discovered that we couldn't go out the way we wanted to because of some self-centered prick. "Why not?" you might ask. You know those covered entrances in front of the lobby doors at many of the yuppie motels ? They typically have room for two vehicles side-by-side, right? This thoughtless shithead had parked his fat-ass SUV right in the middle, so that no one else could get by on either side! Outside of this covered thingy, there was another lane and a half - but dipshit #2 in his fat-ass pickup had blocked that passage, as well.

Asshole #1 then came out and got into his vehicle ... and proceeded to sit there motionless for several minutes while we waited for him to remove his mobile roadblock. We finally gave up and backed out through the parking lot the way we came, and went out the other end. Only to see brainless bozo #1 finally pulling out!! It sure seemed as if this bastard sat there and waited, to force us to back out of there. He certainly never seemed to care that we were waiting for him to get out of the way.

I recently returned from China, and I have to say that I love the Chinese people, for the most part. But I was astounded at the frequency I encountered folks who would want to have a conversation while blocking the aisles in a crowded Beijing store. Or would stop suddenly on a crowded sidewalk and start gabbing with a friend. Or would walk 3-4 abreast, making it necessary to detour around them. Perhaps this is not uniquely Chinese (You think?), but it just seemed as if I encountered it way more frequently there than at home. Perhaps big city people are just more thoughtless, in general. I was raised differently ... to think about someone besides myself from time to time.

It's a pet peeve of mine that I see people acting as if there's no one else in the world other than them. Their needs, their convenience, their concerns simply trump those of everyone around them. If they even notice anyone else!! Never a thought to get out of the way. Never a moment spent worrying about how their actions might create difficulties for someone else. Is this self-centeredness a learned behavior, or is it something some people are born with and never seem to outgrow?

They're the same dickheads who leave shopping carts right in the middle of parking spots throughout the Wal-Mart parking lot. They're the same careless assholes who deposit their trash everywhere in a state or national park. They're the same mindless idiots who watch blankly from inside the elevator as the doors close right in front you as you're obviously hurrying to get there.

If there's an afterlife with something resembling hell, I hope there's an especially hot place reserved for these M-Fers!!


Heather said...

You know... this annoys the SHIT out of me too. It's becoming so prevalent in our society though that I found myself getting upset several times a day by the same kind of behavior until I realized that they simply do not THINK, and that is the problem.

I just blow it off now with a "His/her life is obviously more important than mine (ours)." Believing in karmic retribution, I'm pretty sure they'll be paid back in full (and then some).

Steve said...


I don't really think it's people purposely being assholes. I truly think we are seeing the manifestation of 3 generations of societal evolution. Parents quit teaching manners. That role has been largely ceded to the public schools, who generally fail miserably at the task. The people to whom you refer likely have never even been exposed to the sort of small-town ethos to which you refer. And that's a tragedy.

Certainly some are jerks by nature, and certainly others are just plain, old-fashioned stupid. But I think the vast majority are just unschooled in the ways of polite society.

BTW, I never worry about shopping carts at Wal Mart. I rarely visit America's retail hog-trough. Ironically, since we eschewed Wal Mart, our personal financial bottom line has improved drastically. I only shop Wal Mart when I am looking for a particular item, and I know that their price is SUBSTANTIALLY lower (>15%) than anywhere else. My finances, blood pressure, and general outlook on life have all improved as a result.

Weaver Communications said...

Dr. Doswell,

I am a policeman, and I have often thought the thought that the world would have much less use for me and my colleagues if people would just have a little consideration for each other.

I could not even begin to describe how many fewer problems that I would have to deal with (and how many fewer cops we would need) if we could increase the percentage of the population who were not self-centered pricks.

I am not even talking about serious crimes, as that motivation is much more psychologically serious serious than just a mere disregard of one's fellow humans.

What I am talking about are the same issues that you were, and some others:

- Wrecks caused by assholes on cellphones or texting.
- Wrecks caused by careless driving. (DWHUA - Driving With Head Up Ass)
- Litter and illegal dumping of all stripes in all places.
- Talking on the phone in public places to the obvious annoyance of everyone around.
- Driving slow in the passing lane on the highway. (This is related to pacing the guy next to you on the highway, preventing those who actually have a destination in mind from reaching it.)

I have no idea if there is karma in this world, but it certainly gives me hope to think that there could be!

And I would much prefer a world where the bulk of my time was taken up with assisting motorists and giving directions. As it is, the rat bastards and dickheads of the world give me MUCH more to do.

Chuck Doswell said...

Is it Officer Weaver? Thanks for your perspective. I often feel the same way - that many problems would be avoided if folks didn't (1) act without any thought regarding anyone besides themselves, and/or (2) deliberately do things to annoy others. Ironic you mention driving slowly in the passing lane, since someone just today passed me and then slowed down to pace me, while we both overtook a slower vehicle in the right lane. I had to brake, and then pull in behind Ms. Thoughtless ... if she did it deliberately, I can't say, but it was pretty annoying.

Perhaps my daughter is right - I should just not let these things bother me, but - they do.

Being thoughtless, Steve, is not necessarily intentional - I agree. But I think I was raised to think about others. Perhaps that is disappearing, but I certainly hope not.

Weaver Communications said...

Yes, it sure is Officer Weaver. (Actually, First Sergeant Weaver at this point.)

Two comments:

1. If you have never heard it, spend 99 cents and listen to Mark Lemhouse's song "You're a Bastard." ( The song is a hoot, and it describes a lot of this sort of behavior.

2. The lack of situational awareness in many people is appalling. That is how tornadoes "sneak up" on folks, criminals find easy pickings in oblivious stick-up victims, and people get killed in a variety of interesting ways. (Including the ever-present "I didn't see the motorcycle" excuse after a car driver kills one of my biker brethren.) Maybe that is some of it, instead of bastardy being entirely made up of intentional actions.

But if it is, it merely indicates a different problem, not the absence of a problem!

Scott said...

Why didn't you say something? I think that part of the problem is that people are generally reluctant to say anything when something like this happens. A little negative feedback may make them think in the future. You could get your ass kicked but I doubt it in most cases.

bc said...

Robert Heinlein wrote, "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."

I believe this to be true. When society finally sheds itself of any meaningful recourse to the law (sometime after 1/1/11), those of us who hold to our guns and religion will do better, relatively speaking, than those nihilistic, self-centered vampires sucking the blood of western civilization dry. Chuck, you shouldn't be surprised at any of this; when we cannot, as a society, call muslim terrorists jihadists, when we cannot call those people who enter this country illegally criminals, and when we celebrate the depraved while ignoring the deprived, hell, we've not just lost or moral compass, we've flushed it down the shitter. Those who will survive the coming storm will possess some sense of morality -- if nothing more than the Golden Rule -- and the means to defend it, with deadly force if necessary, from those elements of society who produce nothing and consume everything.

A pandemic, socio-economic collapse, NBC war, or something is needed IMO to restore natural selection to this species. One will be taken and one will be left. Let's hope and pray that those who are left will reflect what's best in mankind.

Chuck Doswell said...

Scott ... in my experience, speaking to them is a waste of time. The get all defensive and resentful and some may react with guns, these days!

BC ... an armed society is a violent society, not a polite one - Afghanistan is a perfect example. If we have the apocalyptic war, I won't want to be a survivor. I've written about this in my Web essays.