May 26, 2011

Why doesn't anyone stand up to others anymore?

One sorry effect of the plummeting violence level is that more and more people feel less of a need to strike back at social polluters and parasites. In more dangerous times, the average person feels a lot differently about how much they have to lose by standing up vs. just letting it go, turning away from the problem, etc. Ultimately this weakness will become sufficiently common that the rejects will feel they can cause trouble with impunity, which will send the crime rate up again.

Only after that will the average person re-discover the value of everyday vigilantism. Not pulling a gun on someone who won't hurry up in line, but not standing by while the scum pollute our social spaces -- while also not unplugging ourselves from the larger community like some paranoid hermit, but banding together to send those fuckers packing.

In an earlier post, I explained that the contagion effect of vigilantism is constrained by how closely the spectators share the vigilante's mindset, as well as how real the example is -- was it in real life or only in a video game? That doesn't mean you shouldn't stand up, only that you should be realistic about how widely the example will spread. Although this is only an internet post, not a real-life event that you personally witnessed, and although you may not totally be on the don't-let-it-slide wavelength, here are some cases from my own experience that you can easily adapt to your own day-to-day life.

Again, they don't have to rise to the level of pulling a gun on an attempted robber -- those events are just too rare for the average person to work into their plan for deterring the parasites. It's the examples that happen with greater frequency over time, and that bombard the scum from the widest number of people possible, that send the message that we're not gonna take it anymore. These are just off the top of my head; if you want to skim, I think the better ones are further down. Please leave your own examples in the comments to enrich the total pool.

- Today in Starbucks some creepy middle-aged fat man sat almost right next to me on a two-person couch, when other seats were open. In several years of daily trips there, this has never happened. My gut reaction is that he's a disgusting faggot or a nutcase looking for someone to listen to his visions. Still, giving him the benefit of the doubt -- maybe he's just chilling here for a minute while his drink is made -- I go sit somewhere else. After awhile, he sits in the seat right next to me again. Confirmed weirdo.

He doesn't look violent -- or even capable of it, given how bloated he is -- so I decide not to smack or punch him. Instead I just turn my head, which he instantly responds to with "Oh, Hi!" Speaking slowly, I stare him down and tell him, "Follow me again... and there'll be trouble." "oh.okay." he says and lifts up a newspaper close to his face to hide behind. I moved again, and he didn't do anything to me or, more importantly, anyone else there. I was going to stare him down again as I left, but he still had his face hidden behind the newspaper.

Whatever this creeper's problem was, it didn't take much to shut him down. That's why they try this crap in the first place -- everyone else who he's done this to before couldn't even pick their balls up off the floor long enough to tell off a fat lunatic. If people are that frightened or content to just run away from the problem, he reasons, then he can keep bothering people and never face even small consequences. Again think of the other customers in that kind of situation -- by hoping the problem will just fix itself, you're leaving him there to pester the other people like you who just want to enjoy a nice afternoon in public.

- Last week some entitled black bitch made a sharp turn into the crosswalk that I along with a separate group of two guys were well into. It was not a case of arrogant pedestrians: the three of us must have been halfway through when she zoomed right behind them and right in front of me, probably one foot or less. Taking down her license plate would be useless, and so would yelling at her. You can't really do that much, but you do what you can. I was holding a canvas bag with several hardcover books in it, so I swung that against the side of her car as she drove off. It made a loud noise that she could not have ignored, and hopefully it left a dent.

Like the coward above, she did not do a U-turn to come tell me off or escalate. These people only pull shit like this because they never get called on it at all. The slightest retaliation shuts them down.

- A couple years ago I was hanging out with some undergrad chick friends in the campus dining hall, when one of them, who's pretty cute, spoke up that some guys at a table farther behind me kept staring over at her. Normally, big deal -- guys look at girls all the time, and girls just have to get used to that. But here she sounded bothered. I turned around and saw which ones were looking at us, and shot them a cold stare without breaking eye-contact. It only takes a couple seconds to work. They darted their heads away to the side, down, up, wherever. I could see why she sounded bothered, since they were lifers in the dork squad, the kind of desperate losers who creep girls out just by looking at them. I told my friend to let me know if they started looking at her again, and they never did.

- Night clubs are nowhere as dangerous as they used to be, but you still find enough scum there that it's a good place to practice. A couple months ago I went over several cases (here and here), where a good ol' fashioned pecking order patdown was usually enough to kick the rejects off my territory, although occasionally I did have to escalate things before they'd give up. Several years ago, I related a similar story, except this time the slug was harassing a group of girls in the club.

- Last summer or fall I was walking to get in the checkout line at the supermarket, when a shopping cart came soaring to try to cut me off and get there first. I did get to the spot first, but that didn't stop whoever this was from trying to wedge the front of their cart at a diagonal in front of me, the way that this waste of space probably cuts people off in traffic. It was some Pacific Islander guy (sounded Filipino) who based on his clothes was certainly on welfare, yapping angrily with his wife in some booga-booga language. Like it's not bad enough that they take up so much time haggling with the poor cashier about what is and is not covered by their WIC stamps.

Right away I grabbed his cart, shoved it to the side, and stepped in front, almost right behind the next person in line. Still holding the cart, I swung it around from the side behind me, like you close a gate behind you, so he couldn't try to wedge it between me and the next person again. I heard that angry yapping again, so I turned around and stared him down. He felt absolutely no shame -- he resented me! -- but at least he turned off to the side and didn't try anything again. His little daughter, who couldn't have been more than 10 years old, kept staring up in an attempt to shame me rather than her own sweat-panted failure of a father. I normally don't get much of a rush picking on little kids, but it felt great to stare back down at her with a smug smile on my face, to let her know that her little Gypsy kid shaming tactics were powerless. Thinking back on it, I should have also laughed in her face -- note for future reference.

- Then there was that time that I taught a good lesson to that lardass Mexican couple... but I probably shouldn't talk about that here! Nothing blatantly illegal, although what they did to start it was close to it. The important thing is that they got fucked and I didn't, so don't be afraid that you'll lose.

- This is getting kind of long, so one last example -- one that'll be more widely applicable. In middle school I had dyed my hair purple just for the thrill of it. My family didn't mind; in fact, my mother took me to get the supplies and, after taking me to get my hair bleached, applied the dye herself. Suddenly half of the cute preppy girls in my grade started talking to me, and one would become my closest chick friend. This was the mid-'90s, so I guess that was as rebellious of a boy as they were going to see in real life -- no more leather-jacket-and-switchblade crews by that time.

The dessicated cunt of a principal could not tolerate white kids flouting the rules, although she treated black thugs with kid gloves -- she was a leftover from the radical '60s, but she enjoyed a new power once the identity politics movement of the early '90s took off, especially after Rodney King. After being left alone for months, I suddenly got summoned to the office and was told that I was suspended indefinitely until I came back with normal hair. My mother had been supportive up until then, but didn't want to screw around, and I got my hair dyed back brown that same day.

That power-tripper wasn't going to get away with it, but I didn't know how to react at first. I started just dying the ends again, moving farther up each week, just to see if they'd say anything. Then I decided to launch a more direct assault. The principal had justified my suspension by saying that my hair color was a disruption to the learning process in the classroom. It was a bald-faced lie, but it didn't occur to me right away to challenge that part of it.

So I drew up a simple document that asked, "Have you noticed a disruption to the learning process in your classroom because of Agnostic's hair color?" It had a Yes/No box and signature line for each of my teachers, plus an open space for comments at the bottom. I walked up to every one of my teachers after class and asked them face-to-face what the question said, and would they check Yes or No. That was intimidating -- no email, no getting my mommy to call them -- but all of them checked No and signed their name, even the one teacher who didn't care much for me and was sympathetic to the power-tripper. None left comments, probably because they didn't want to really get on the principal's shit list.

I did not even have to turn that document into the principal, let alone call a bunch of bloodsucking lawyers to fight my battle for me. One or more of my teachers must have told the administration that this little punk eighth-grader had outsmarted the principal and beaten that wannabe dictator at her own game. Realizing that she had been fucked, she left me alone after that.

Years later, a friend of my best friend began ranting about how racist the new black principal was at his high school (not ours), cracking down on whites for nothing while turning a blind eye to black trouble-makers. I said, yeah, I know how that is -- our middle school principal was the same way, fucking bitch. "No dude, you don't understand -- " our mutual friend broke in, " -- it's the same one!" No shit? "No really -- after she left, she went on to run his school." Fuckin' A, man, I hope the kids at her new school struck back at her like I did, otherwise normal kids are going to keep getting screwed over.

Shoot, I got a bunch more of these stories I could tell, but I think you all get the point by now. Again, please share your own to give everyone some more dangerous ideas.

I know it's going to ruffle a few feathers, but this just goes to show how cowed some parents are who consider themselves rebels by home-schooling their kids. Stop running and hiding from the problem and just strike back. Social polluters and parasites can smell fear, and the more common this run-away-from-it attitude becomes, the more emboldened they will feel to really bleed the rest of society.

If some middle school kid with no help from anyone else at all can take on the principal's office and win, then so can the parents. As with all the other examples, the authoritarians are total cowards inside and can only thrive when their subjects just sit there and take it. The slightest subversion from even an isolated individual scares them into compliance -- and you can imagine how fast they'll beat a retreat when confronted with the uproar of a mob of students and parents.

When the problem uses legislation, turn that same legislation against them. When the problem tries to shout you down, you shout louder. When the problem gets rowdy, you get rowdier. When the problem tries to shame you, you shame them double for being so shameless. And when the problem teams up with other problems, then you form an even greater team -- drive those bunch of problems to drown back in the scum-rotten ponds that they came from.

Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!

10 comments:

  1. - Middle school, no AC at the time, girls were allowed to wear skirts but boys had to wear long pants. After a failed petition to allow shorts, me and a few other guys banded together to wear skirts. We were sent home and given detention, but the local news got the story and the school cancelled our punishment and relaxed the short policy.

    - Washington D.C. inter-block area that had a stoplight specifically for a parking garage exit, i.e. a stoplight on only one side, low, and at an odd place. Stuck behind a city bus, I could not see the light and I pulled forward when the bus did and was promptly pulled over by a large black female traffic cop. I wasn't even given a chance to ask questions or explain that I had no idea there was a light there and that my view of it was obscurred. She came at me with high and mighty sas and was happy to stick me with a ticket. The next day, I went back to the area and studied it. First of all, the fact that she nailed me the second it happened told me that it was obviously something a lot of people missed. I proceeded to take pictures of the lack of street lines, untrimmed trees, the back of a bus from the angle I was sitting, etc. I am the only person I know of, with a reasonable to high income, who has actually taken the time to fight minor traffic tickets in D.C. or any other major city, and the system counts on that apathy. Anyway, I went to court and it was clear the cop was taken aback by my presence. She stammered and could not even look at me. Gone was all of the pomp she had displayed before. Happy ending, the ticket was dropped.

    - Backing up in a super-market parking lot, a 40-something couple is approaching the rear of my vehicle. I am already in full reverse movement and they are multiple car lengths away - time enough to pause to let me finish my manuever - and actually appear to wait. I take my eyes off them then, to complete my turn out of my space and then I hear a thump on the rear of my vehicle. I look in my rear-view in time to see the man's fist retracting. I threw it into park and hopped out to confront him. He gets puffy-chested as I close and ask him what the hell he's doing. He spouts something about looking where I'm going. I said, "Listen asshole, I saw you and you weren't behind me when I was halfway out already. The next time you want to touch somebody's vehicle, you might want to think twice. You don't know me. You don't know what or who I am. I could come out of here with a gun or just kick your ass for the hell of it. So the next time you want to be the big man, I suggest you not do it where your wife might have to see you laying bloody on the ground. You're lucky that I'm not the guy that's going to do that to you today, so get the fuck away from my vehicle."

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  2. Good post, but . . . purple hair? That's the kind of thing, like creepy fat dudes and rowdy minorities, that make me feel, well, unsafe. And without defending your principal, I think middle schoolers should be discouraged from adopting weirdness as a lifestyle choice.

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  3. Nah, in this case it was just a spur-of-the-moment goof to stir things up among us kids, more like being a class clown than trying to stick it to the 'rents or to the authority structure.

    All those pretty preppy girls wouldn't have paid attention if it was "weirdness as a lifestyle." This was just before the goth/emo crowd made colored hair a tribal membership badge, and if mom and the teachers and the popular clique don't like it, then they can all go to hell for not accepting me, etc.!

    Restriction of an individual's deviancy from the average should only be applied when the deviancy is either immoral or would severely compromise overall group cohesiveness.

    (Only slaves would accept the norm of clamping down on deviancy per se, rather than to the extent that it subverts morality or group solidarity.)

    Neither applied here -- wasn't immoral, and if anything it gave people something fun to talk and get excited about, strengthening cohesiveness. My case could have been atypical back then, though, and almost certainly would be now.

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  4. Anonymous5:11 AM

    If you want to fight battles, fine. But there are safer and more ethically appropriate methods of teaching your children essential survival skills than by throwing them into a Lord of the Flies environment (the only difference being a few token adults "in charge" in order to mold their sociopathic tendencies into properly submissive authoritarian ones) and seeing if they come out in one piece.

    It's one thing to test yourself, and certainly life doesn't wait for you to train before throwing a problem at you. But deliberately putting your offspring in the lion's den is stupid and cruel.

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  5. Anonymous6:48 AM

    I like this column, you make great points. The coffee shop example was especially interesting. I tie a lot of the cowardice in to men being cowed and pussified by feminism along with boys being raised by single mothers and lacking strong male role models.

    Another factor is religion teaching men that their highest calling is to be girly-man pussies. There are more factors to that but my experience is that these are the main factors.

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  6. LOL, letting go of mommy's skirt at home and going outside instead of playing video games = "Lord of the Flies," "lion's den," etc.

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  7. "I like this column, you make great points. The coffee shop example was especially interesting. I tie a lot of the cowardice in to men being cowed and pussified by feminism along with boys being raised by single mothers and lacking strong male role models."

    I agree with the Anon who said this.

    I'd like to see more white males of all ages start acting with balls.

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  8. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Nice in theory, in practice though I find that constantly standing up for yourself in this way is both exhausting and dangerous. At least for me. Im not a large guy and while fit I look nice and people simply arent intimidated by me. Im quite willing to fight over my serious interests, but getting into a fight in a club - quite possible - over something trivialy disrespectful seems the wrong way to go with me. Consider, even if you win the fight you get hurt, your night might be ruined, you might be banned from your favorite club/bar, and you dance to another guys tune - there are lots of guys out there, losers, who love to fight. They get off on it, whereas for me its a bothersome chore that I only do if absolutely necessary. Why should I play to their tune?

    My philosophy is to distinguish between serious challenges to me and my interests and trivial ones - and to let the trivial ones slide. Otherwise I risk getting into stupid fights whenever some loser who likes to pick fights decides to. Thats giving other people too much power over my life.

    The example of the coffee shop guy, though, is one in which I would definitely stand up for myself. Thats beyond trivial.

    IF I was a large muscular guy who could intimidate others I would probably be much more willing to make a big deal of even small things, but being average sized, although Im quite capable and willing to defend my serious interests, it just doesnt make sense for me to fight over small things.

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  9. Anonymous1:19 AM

    People are this docile because the gen Xers where raised never to be violent but always nice by our mothers. Lately me and my friends have made a consensus move to start "taking care of business" instead running/whining like bitches.

    I had a truck alarm going off for close to an hour right in front of my bedroom window at my apartment complex. After calling the cops and being told they can't do anything I went out and broke the window on the truck, popped the hood and disconnected the battery. The alarm stopped.

    Screw people who have alarms that are not close enough to turn them off. Guy got a broken window for his disregard of others.

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  10. Our mothers raised us to be non violent and 0always nice. Their phase was run away instead of fighting when you can't resolve a problem without force. Of late my friends and I have begun changing our ways of doing things. These days we try to "Take care of business" and deal with problem.

    For example: Some dumbass's car alarm was blaring into my bedroom window for an hour at my apartment complex. I called the cops and was told they can't do anything about it. So I went out, busted the driver's window out, popped the hood, and discontented the battery. Dumbass gets what he deserves for acting with such disregard of others.

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