November 3, 2012

Groups who can ruin a public space with just one of them present

While you may not prefer to hang around people from various groups, certain groups are more toxic than others, in the sense that for any fixed number of them, the more toxic groups pollute the space more than the less toxic ones. Perhaps the easiest way to see this is to ask whether a public space feels contaminated with only one or two members of the group present, as opposed to there needing to be quite a few of them before their disruptive influence is felt.

Ethnic and racial groups are of the less harmful type. If half of the people in attendance are black, you might be in for a bumpy ride. But just one or two black guys aren't going to act up. Same for Mexicans, Chinese, Jews, etc. The lesson is that entire races can't be so dysfunctional down to more or less the last member, or else they wouldn't be here still.

As for those who can ruin a space acting alone, bums come to mind. It just takes one of them aggressively panhandling, shouting crazy shit, looking filthy, pushing or carrying or wearing weird stuff, or storming around half-possessed. That puts most people right away into a defensive mindset and posture, preventing the openness and trust that are necessary for a public space to feel communal. This is why bums, a subset of the homeless, are so seriously targeted by businesses -- it just takes one to drive away most or all of the normals. Even liberal businesses like Starbucks often put locks or keypads on their bathroom doors so that only paying customers can use them.

Faggots are the other obvious case. It doesn't matter if there's only one around -- that buzzing, breathy voice with its sing-song, kiddie inflection broadcasts the sound of a hypersexualized child throughout the space. People may try to ignore it, but there are few things that sound more creepy than a 7 year-old boy trying to seduce all the other males within earshot.

Their juvenile Peter Pan tendencies also mean they are totally unaware of what level of voice is appropriate, what topics are and aren't appropriate, and so on. It's not uncommon to hear them ejaculating loudly about their fucked up sex lives, sexual innuendo, and the rest of their many neuroses. Everybody has to hear their problems and rush over to hug them, and like, is it seriously to much to ask to blare "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera over the PA system? They're living through a continual emotional trainwreck, so it's not like the normals will catch much of a break from hearing about their airheaded anxieties.

And then there's the visual aspect, just as with bums. Black people don't dress in such a deviant way, as though triggering your disgust response. Queers not only dress in a campy and childishly provocative way, but they just look plain freakish to begin with, from their boyishly straight hips to their sissy mincing gait and alien-looking gay face. And yet we're just supposed to sit there and not notice how bizarre it is to see a 40 year-old wearing cut-off jean shorts and an Abercrombie t-shirt, while shaving his bald head in a lame attempt to hide his age, and staring out of dead eyes sunken into his mummified face.

Outright criminals are another clear-cut case -- even if there's just one of them who bust in to rob the store, to shoot up their workplace, or whatever, that's enough.

The common denominator here seems to be level of socialization. Bums and criminals choose to live outside of normal society, so they certainly aren't socialized in its ways. Homos are an interesting case because they don't choose to be unsocialized. Rather, it stems from their fundamental state of being stunted in childhood. You have to physically and psychologically mature before you can become sensitive to the social dynamics of normal adolescents and adults, and to gradually fit your way into their world. Being always held back before that transitional stage, queers are mostly incapable of becoming fully socialized.

The best that they can hope for is to stay in the closet and just keep quiet, kind of like well-behaved children when they're out in public -- incapable of taking part in the interactions around them, but still not disrupting things for everyone else. If we expect that of our children, then why not of our man-children?

Members of this or that racial / ethnic group are on average fully socialized, albeit to different norms and customs than for other racial / ethnic groups. But they don't come off as characteristically deviant. Certainly those different norms can lead to tension between groups, and even outright conflict. But that's not the same as everyday pollution of the in-group's public spaces.

Conservatives for the past 20 years have focused too much on between-group conflict stemming from differences in customs, like moving away from blacks and their culture. Meanwhile they've abandoned public spaces within their own community to the liberals, preferring instead to hunker down like a pussy in their home with the nuclear family unit only.

Facing no opposition from conservatives, who tend to react more strongly to notions about sanctity and taboo, the libs have encouraged all sorts of repulsive and deviant types to infest public spaces -- libraries, parks, book stores, coffee shops, fast food dining rooms, and so on. And the typical conservative could care less, hiding away from all that mess and browsing / purchasing only from Amazon, going to the fast food drive-thru, etc. Let somebody else worry about it, not me since I don't use that space anymore.

One good thing about a rising crime rate is that it brings the conservative weenies out of their bunkers and back into regular face-to-face relationships with their fellow neighbors and citizens, to provide and receive mutual aid and support.

18 comments:

  1. Lawful Neutral5:11 AM

    >And the typical conservative could care less, hiding away from all that mess and browsing / purchasing only from Amazon, going to the fast food drive-thru, etc. Let somebody else worry about it, not me since I don't use that space anymore.

    It's a chicken-and-egg problem. What're you going to do, wage a one-man war against bums and homosexuals? If you do, you'll soon find that mighty Caesar stands with your enemies.

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  2. Anonymous1:08 PM

    I would add autistic kids, retarted kids also. I took my kids to a puppet show at the library and some autistic was literally barking and growling throughout the event. The mother had him sitting in the front and acted like this was normal. These parents are very aggressive about make us accept and accomadate their offspring.

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  3. I heard this story about some guy who was lying down on the subway, taking up multiple seats, during rush hour. Apparently, no one said anything to him.

    Then this kind of overly intense possibly military person yelled at him, and he got up, though he complained at being yelled at. And then other passengers on the train were able to sit down.

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  4. "What're you going to do, wage a one-man war against bums and homosexuals?"

    That's an exaggeration of what it takes to keep fags and bums from spoiling a communal space. All before the 1990s, homosexuals aimed for inconspicuousness, afraid of being given dirty looks, pointed at, teased, or occasionally threatened physically.

    But queers have such thin skin and are so incapable of dealing with ordinary stress that you don't need to wage a one-man war. It's often as simple as hanging out with another like-minded person, and if you see / hear one ejaculating verbally in public, just start casually and calmly dismissing faggots and their stunted silly ways.

    Keep it up for a few minutes, and they'll usually head off. Nothing stings them more than rejection by strangers. They're so invested in the idea that they'll only be fine if the entire world hugs and applauds them, so even a small disruption of that ideal sends them mincing off in a huff.

    The only reason that gays are so uninhibited about ruining the spaces they visit is that they've sensed that straights have gradually removed all attempts at shaming them into trying to act normal -- with the homophiles actively egging them on to limp out, but with the would-be shamers abdicating their duty as well. More of the same will not turn things around.

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  5. "These parents are very aggressive about make us accept and accomadate their offspring."

    I hadn't heard about that aspect of it. My only experience with autistic kids was tutoring one at a center I worked at. He was pretty high functioning too, but I can see how he'd be disruptive in a social setting like a puppet show.

    My inclination is to cut them more of a break, but I'm also pulled the other way when the parents try to be as permissive as possible, rather than make a good-faith effort to keep their kid from putting everyone else's guard up and closing themselves off. It's such a slap in the face from the parents.

    You know how they normally offer a variety of snacks on a flight? When I was flying a few weeks ago, they announced that they were canceling the option of peanuts and that everybody had the choice of pretzels or nothing, all because one parent said her kid had a peanut allergy.

    It wasn't enough to simply keep her own child from eating peanuts -- if someone 20 rows back opened that dinky little packet, a dust storm of peanuty poison was sure to overwhelm her darling.

    I never eat that stuff, I couldn't have cared less personally. But seeing people fuck with others so baldfacedly, so guiltlessly, and with no one else shoving back... it's a good thing I was sleep-deprived and nodding off.

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  6. "I heard this story about some guy who was lying down on the subway, taking up multiple seats, during rush hour. Apparently, no one said anything to him. "

    I've got a similar story where I harassed one of those lardass scooter women on the train, after she kept delaying the train from leaving by whining on and on to the conductor about unfairness. I should write that up as its own little post.

    I still get a warm satisfaction remembering that.

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  7. Lawful Neutral1:02 AM

    >just start casually and calmly dismissing faggots and their stunted silly ways

    Maybe I'm one of those cowards who's part of the problem, but I just don't see this going well. Random passersby will certainly jump in to verbally defend homosexuals, and I'll be the one run out of the public space. There are tons of people out there itching to show off their enlightened tolerance. Of course, should anyone escalate the situation, I'd be the one behind bars, and everyone involved knows it.

    I recall the time I had to stop a girlfriend from causing a scene in a theater because she overheard one man say to another, at a reasonable, private-conversation-level volume, "That's so gay." Some people are born to be volunteer censors. Under another order they'd be your natural allies, but the dominant norms aren't yours. I suppose a partner in crime would help.

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  8. Anonymous9:00 AM

    During the last rising crime period, the internet didn't exist (outside of DARPA) and street surveillance cameras were much less common than they are today. Do you think that the internet and surveillance technologies will dampen the pro-social effects of the next rising crime period?

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  9. "Do you think that the internet and surveillance technologies will dampen the pro-social effects of the next rising crime period?"

    I don't think so. Surveillance tech was more prevalent in the '80s than in the mid-century or the Jazz Age, but it was still a low point of self-consciousness, and people were outgoing.

    The internet is a tougher call to make. People shape the tech they use according to their preferences, so I see the internet either fading in importance for people's everyday lives, and/or being re-made in a more fun-loving direction.

    The closest case study here is the changing nature of radio. In the mid-century it was the main narrative medium, along with game shows and stand-up / variety hour shows. Then it got turned into a pop music medium.

    Granted, the emergence of TV was part of that change too, but then even TV during the '80s moved more toward pop music and away from long-form serial narratives. MTV.

    Then during the last 20 years, people stopped listening to the radio for pop music (don't know if it's even listened to much at all anymore). And the pop music part of TV is gone, like how MTV stopped showing videos.

    TV has made a comeback with long-form serial narratives, plus the game shows and musical variety hours that used to rule the mid-century.

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  10. "Random passersby will certainly jump in to verbally defend homosexuals, and I'll be the one run out of the public space."

    I've never experienced that, and I hang out at a pretty liberal Starbucks where it's not uncommon for 20% or more of the guys there to be queer.

    The key is to keep it casual and matter-of-fact, and obviously not to direct it right at the nearby fags. I think that's what would cause a scene. But just two guys talking that way in a normal tone of voice doesn't rise to the level where the police feel the need to step in.

    Remember, most libs are wimps and only come out of the woodwork when they're sure the rest of the world is like them. Look at how little they pushed the pro-gay agenda in the '80s or earlier. They knew it wouldn't gain any traction.

    They only get really aggressive when they feel like they're preaching to the choir, like there's an audience of groupies eager to hear them really put on a good show.

    They might get huffy, squirm, and scurry off to post something snarky on Facebook or Twitter, but they're not going to confront you over a mellow anti-gay conversation. Just don't go shouting "Fags should be put in death camps" or something bizarre, and it'll be OK.

    And like you said, you need a partner to be talking to, not just muttering to yourself. One person's speech is just an opinion -- two people's speech is a consensus.

    Remember those social psych experiments by Asch on breaking conformity. All it takes is for you to see one person rebel against the craziness, and you breath a deep sigh of relief and rebel against it too -- "So I'm not the only one!"

    There are more of you in that public space than you're aware of. But someone has to be the first to send the signal that not everyone is on board the weirdo gay bandwagon.

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  11. Wait, MTV doesn't show music videos anymore?

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  12. Anonymous7:35 PM

    Its not just that deviant types are out and about. There's been a lot of mobility and moving around the country, so people who aren't like each other are now living side by side. This causes cocooning.

    Might be interesting to look at migration(people moving residence within their own country) rates, and see how they correlate with the crime rate. Of course, immigration rates have been rising high since the mid-80s. I think they started falling in 2010, but I"m not sure.

    Where I live, there aren't a lot deviant gays. I don't mind gays that much, to be honest, but I never encountered the skeevy ones.

    -Curtis

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  13. Anonymous7:48 PM

    People also are offended by different things. Perhaps you're living in the wrong neighborhood...

    As I said, maybe cocooning is just the result of different types of people all being shoved together. Gays actually had *much* more provocative public behavior during rising-crime times, but they limited it only to certain neighborhoods. For instance, watch the movie "Milk".

    I think this may be tied to the society's attitudes towards immigration. Letting in lots of immigrants may somehow encourage internal migration within the country, or something like that. Immigration seems also to correlate with crime rate cycles. The early part of the century 1900-1930 seems to have been strict on immigration. Not sure about the 1930-1960 periods or 1960-1990, But I know the huge onslaught of illegal immigration seems to have started in the 90s.

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  14. Anonymous8:32 PM

    ""Do you think that the internet and surveillance technologies will dampen the pro-social effects of the next rising crime period?""

    Police actions are actually a lot softer now than they are during rising-crime periods. Oddly enough, surveillance technology reflects this, since before, if the police were suspicious of you, they would just come barging into your house and haul you off. During falling-crime periods, police(and the government in general) becomes less intrusive in people's lives. Surveillance technology is an outgrowth of this "leave me alone" attitude.

    Compare the response to the protesting at the '68 DNC convention and the response to "Occupy Wall street", for instance. Contrary to popular belief, government policies have become less heavy-handed since the 90s. I believe this is because of popular demand. Falling crime rates make people less willing to tolerate government or police intrusion in their personal lives.

    In rising-crime times, on the other hand, its the opposite. The popular media glamorizes "tough cops" who break police procedural rules to get the job done. Dirty Harry is the archetype of this, where Clint Eastwood is forced to break the law to put down a deviant. The Charles Bronson movies fall into this category, Lethal Weapon with Mel Gibson(at one point, Gibson, as a cop, approaches a suicidal man about to kill himself, but then throws him off the ledge!), Dragnet in the early 60s, etc.


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  15. "Might be interesting to look at migration(people moving residence within their own country) rates, and see how they correlate with the crime rate."

    I've been meaning to do migration stuff for a year or so, but that opens a whole 'nother can of worms, since I could probably find data back to Medieval times. Gotta type out this dissertation sometime...

    But briefly, it looks like the main shifts are the obvious ones -- migration away from urban areas during rising-crime times, and then back into cities during falling-crime times.

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  16. "Contrary to popular belief, government policies have become less heavy-handed since the 90s."

    The Drug War is basically done with too.

    You can tell because libertarians only started pushing for drug legalization, founding activist groups based on that, etc., during the mid-1990s and later, i.e. when the Drug War was already unwinding.

    Despite their talk, they're so afraid of coming off as anti-establishment that they'll only push for some libertarian program once the broader society has begun to move in that direction.

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  17. Anonymous10:33 PM

    "These parents are very aggressive about make us accept and accomadate their offspring."

    The mothers are, the men are often exactly like their sons.

    I won't give another boring rant, but basically: some people argue that the mothers of gays and autistics have very high levels of testosterone, which makes them aggressive and domineering.

    I don't know if that's true. But I'll say this: I really don't believe the popular research which claims that gay men and autistics are "hypermasculine".

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  18. Anonymous10:41 PM

    Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't immigration rates go down in the years following 9/11? And don't you argue that that period was less cocooned?

    -Curtis

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