Z Deacon Blue’s Inconsiderate America
I was talking with a friend recently and we were talking about the changes we’ve seen over our lifetime, this is what old guys do when they get together. I had to admit that the biggest change I’d seen in America over my lifetime is something that’s quite disturbing it is that America has become an inconsiderate nation. It seems to me very often as if people believe they are alone in the world, as if their actions have no impact on another person at the least, and more disturbingly that they just don’t care what impacts they have.
The first place I really began to notice this was in movie theaters, first as VCR’s and then DVD players became widely available people seem to have lost the ability to differentiate between when they are at home and when they are in public. At home they talk through the movies, make jokes and that’s fine, they are not disturbing anyone but their own family. However in a theater they are now disrupting other people’s experience and this is completely inconsiderate.
Another place that people seem to have a unique ability to ignore the rest of humanity is the self-checkout line at the grocery store. Granted grocery stores do a terrible job of clarifying where people should line up, but most people figure it out. Inevitably, when the store is busy and people are lined up, someone will cluelessly, or so they pretend, stroll up right behind the registers and jump the line.
In these situations I can’t keep my mouth shut, it just seems so ridiculous to me that people should be allowed to benefit from either stupidity or being inconsiderate. I try to be polite, at the grocery store I’ll say, “excuse me, there’s a line.” People inevitably act surprised and say, “oh sorry, I didn’t see the line.” Of course in order to see the line you would have to look for a line.
At the movie theater I also start to be polite, using the universal shh, however I have to admit it rarely works and sometimes people are downright dismissive when you ask them to be quiet. Now I don’t recommend this but I’ve been known to be a bit militant at this point. Being, shall we say, extremely verbally direct, even once firing an empty popcorn bucket across the theater.
Now I don’t recommend people react at quite that level, but what I would love is just for one day in America, it would be great if everyone who saw someone being inconsiderate would just say something. Not get into get in an argument or whip a bucket of popcorn at them but just say excuse me, you’re being inconsiderate please don’t do that. I think in the end this really does have an effect on people, they might react negatively but later it bothers them to have been an inconsiderate ass.
Unfortunately, I know this would never happen, people are somewhat justifiably afraid that if they say something the person will react angrily, or worse react violently and people don’t want to be involved in a confrontation. I get this, but the simple fact is if people are never told, if never suffer any negative consequences for their actions, they’ll never change and we get what we have today in America.
How bad, well this is what I saw today at the college I work at. A student came into the restroom to take a dump, he was chewing tobacco and hadn’t brought a cup to spit in. So, he laid down some toilet paper on the floor and proceeded to spit onto the paper while he sat on the toilet. Now that’s not disgusting enough, but after he finished, he got up and left and of course left the tobacco stained paper sitting on the floor. People just suck and it’s time we do something about it. So my hope is that he’ll read this piece and realize it’s about him and embarrass the hell out of him, I know a slim chance, but maybe less slim when I post copies in that restroom.
So folks, give me your examples of inconsiderate America and I’ll keep posting mine. Let’s see if we can’t embarrass America into being more considerate, if not, I may have to resort to carrying an airhorn to movie theaters.