Thursday 4 January 2018

Essential Snobbery 101: Devoid of Perception

He walked away from danger
This is a blog I started almost two months ago but never got to finish because like some blogs that I have posted before, the ideas might be pertinent though the time and occasion is not ripe for publication.
A tweet I read this morning allows me the opportunity to finish this blog and hopefully get to post it. The tweet concerns a man who suggests he nearly just got killed by a cop. He was returning from the gym and he entered a shop to buy some things before he was accosted by the police with guns drawn shouting at him to respond to some commands.

He did not hear the commotion surrounding and directed at him because he had noise-cancelling headphones on, it was a matter of luck and fortitude, if not some restraint from the cops that meant that he walked away from that encounter unharmed.
Shutting out the world
It transpired that the shop assistant had called the police about some criminal activity going on in the shop and somehow that was read to be an armed robbery with this man the supposed perpetrator. There is much to comment on about this, but that is of no particular concern to me.
My issue is with the headphones and noise-cancelling ones at that. The man says in a tweet, “Sometimes I like to shut the world out and listen to music.” That is the problem, you are in a public place and you shut the world out, just imagine if he had walked into the shop and without that isolation bubble of his headphones blocking out the world, he might have seen and acknowledged the shopkeeper who then with that interaction would not have suspected him of being up to no good.

For all the commentary that followed his narrative, no one picked on the fact that the situation is as much his own fault in the first place and it could then be that of others. When you shut off any of your working senses to external stimuli in the world around you, you place the responsibility on others either to look out for you or the anxiety on others to consider you a threat.
Devoid of perception of others
The same goes for people who ride their bicycles in the streets with headphones on so that they are unaware of sounds and movements necessary for them to anticipate and avoid danger. It is just irresponsible at best and without doubt selfish and reckless.
The other day I got on the train the but could not get to a free seat because a lady was standing in the way. Thrice, I said 'Excuse me, please', and she neither heard me nor budged, she was too engrossed in her mobile phone to be bothered or aware of her surroundings, it took I poking her with a finger for her to respond and reluctantly step out of the way for me to pass.
This is becoming the norm, a lack of awareness and the absence of perception that reduces our humanity from that of being social beings to the exemplar of being wild animals, uncivilised, inconsiderate, unconcerned and apathetic.
Just selfish and inconsiderate
Then, on a Sunday night, in a hotel full of business guests, the fire alarm went off at 4:20 AM, because some restless and noisy young men decided to smoke in non-smoking rooms. To cover the evidence, they broke the window and lied to the night concierge about the deed. I doubt they suffered any other consequence for waking everyone up in the hotel.
For them, nothing and no one else mattered in their selfish quest for self-satisfaction at the expense of everyone else. Sitting in a railway station waiting room, a passenger thinks it is socially responsible to play their music loud to the hearing of others, unafraid of being asked to behave. In many cases, you cannot ask them to be considerate because that infuriates them, and it could lead to violent acts committed against you as such a challenge to their antisocial behaviour is taken as an act of disrespect.
Why does it happen?
Meanwhile, another brings a can of alcoholic beverage onto the tram platform as we await the next one, he finishes the drink and drops the can to the floor and walks away as if it had nothing to do with him, this is despite the fact there is a wastebasket 10 yards away. Then you imagine if everyone dropped their litter without any consideration whether we would have anywhere to walk without running the gauntlet of refuse heaps.
Too many episodes and events I observe of carefree and careless people lacking in consideration or social skill, devoid of spatial awareness and the useful utility of their senses to do the right thing. Unschooled, uncouth, untamed, uncultured to the point of stupid existence, upsetting everyone without any sense of offence caused or bad behaviour, you do wonder if it is a deliberate act of self-expression or just the absence of social graces, breeding, tutelage and much else.

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