Tuesday, 7 October 2008

How to solve the world's problems with one simple personality bug-fix.

I am seriously beginning to think that one of the biggest problems with the world today is the "I don't, so why should you?" mentality, also known as the "I do, so you bloody well will as well!" mentality. Can be referred to as the "I refuse to live and let live, because I'm a nosy, self-righteous, biggoted prick" mentality as well.

There are no shortage of examples:
  • Homophobes who try and get homosexuality outlawed or branded.
  • "Right-to-life" activists who refuse to honour the right of abortion clinic doctors to life.
  • Any door-to-door evangelist.
  • Any evangelist, actually.
  • Pretty much anybody who ever uses the phrase "family values" to justify anything.
  • And so on.
But nowhere, surely, is this illustrated in such a petty fashion as in a quote at the bottom of this article: iPod use causes rage amongst fellow commuters. (Courier Mail)

Although the title might suggest that too much sound leaking out is pissing people off, the actual point of the article is far more bafflingly WTF than that:

" "The non-users in this study, while understanding the need to 'escape'... seem to resent or take issue with this use because the PMD user fails to communally experience the aural soundscape," Mr Walsh said."

(Personal Music Device, in case you were wondering)

Communally... experience... aural... soundscape... YOU FECKING WHAT???

Now, honestly, apart from the tautology of "aural soundscape", are you seriously saying that people are annoyed because they're sitting on public transport and somebody doesn't want to listen to their conversation? I don't know if I'm experiencing more incredulous bafflement or depressing doom-of-the-human-race disappointment.

Commuter was quoted:

"I don't want to have a couple of things welded to my f---ing ears (so) that I can't hear anything else that's going on."

Fair enough, sir, that's your opinion and clearly you are a man of opinions at least as strong as my own, but... Your point?

You don't want to be cut off from everyone else, so iPods shit you, but this is relevant to everyone else how?

If someone started to groove along to the music and elbowed me in the floating ribs, I would be ticked off. If they started singing along, I may be moved to express an opinion on that point. If I could hear their personal choice and didn't agree with it, I would be annoyed if it was loud enough to be inescapable, but my first choice would be to grab my own headphones.

But being annoyed because somebody is sitting down, by themselves, and chooses to tune out? That's just petty.

This is, I strongly suspect, illustrative of why ideologies, predominantly religions but with a strong recent showing from anti-theistic political belief systems, have tried so very hard to fuck up the planet for the rest of us.

Link to Courier Mail article

N.B.: None of this is to be confused with anti-smoking or pro-helmet laws. These are based upon public health debate, not private interests.

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