Feud for Thought

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Submitted by brad on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 01:36

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Was it someone I know? That's so creepy!

(Click 'read more' to see all of it) As is sure to be a common theme on my blog, this one is about the inevitable decay of mankind.  We are all one bad day away from cracking open the skulls of our neighbours and feasting on the nectar within.  I once worked at a place that had to send out an e-mail. It explained how someone had been stealing food from the refrigerator, eating it, then returning the containers with racist and offensive notes. It ended with a statement to the effect of "Remember - a kitchen is a privilege, not a right".  Think about that.  We're not talking some interloper off the street. Some whacko from 'out of state'. This is a co-worker. An educated, white collar, supposedly respectable, fellow employee. You're sitting in a meeting with your fellow Dilbert discussing next month's budget, and he excuses himself. He goes to the kitchen, eats your lunch, and places a note inside stating "Nice-a job onada lasagna, Luigi. I've seen better meat on week old roadkill." (I use Luigi because I'm Italian and it's the only vaguely racist thing I can think of to say within the confines of this blog)  He then returns to the meeting and starts talking about that hilarious episode of "Celebrity Chessmatch' last night. It doesn't make sense. It's crazy. And it's in every one of us.  You know it. You can't tell me you haven't, just once, been sitting in a meeting and thought of going rogue?  Punching someone in the face, wiping everything off the table, or maybe dropping your pants and shouting "Look at me, I'm the King of England!". Or maybe you're driving, and you think about not stopping at that red light? Maybe giving that guy a little 'nudge', or gunning it down the sidewalk? How about taking a crowbar to that jerk who knows you're waiting for the spot, and is obviously sitting there just to tick you off?  We all have the thought. Most of us stop at the thought. Not everyone.

It's in our DNA; and, apparently, our DND. Take the recent news: Top army colonel, well repsected, important enough to be interviewd in the news more than once.  A "keen photographer, fisherman and runner, he also likes golf with his wife. And, allegedly, a little assault and murder. Underneath the surface, we're all animals.

Some people don't even try to contain it.  I was at Costco on Sunday. The tables were full and people were milling about. Along one wall was an elderly woman and a man with two kids and an infant. On the adjacent wall was a younger couple.  A table opened up roughly in the middle, and Elderly offered to let Family Guy go ahead. Douche Bag and his gal made a beeline for the table as well, arriving at about the same time. Douche Bag immediately sat down and said "What? You got a problem?" At that point, Family Guy said something vaguely snarky, like "No, that's fine, I only have three kids with me".  Douche Bag started to get up, raised his voice, and challenged Family Guy to step outside.  At Costco. On a Sunday. Over lunch. With three kids present.  Family Guy quickly moved on and Douche bag proceeded to spend the rest of the meal complaining about the injustice with his gal.  You can bet, if the situation was reversed, he'd be just as pissed. Should he and his gal ever manage to squeeze out a couple Douche Spawn, and should he lose out on a table, he'll be going "You %&#! Can't you see I'm here with my f'ing kids? You wanna take this outside?" I bet you some ass took the last sample on them, then some jerk cut them off on the way to the checkout line. And don't even get them started on that guy on the way home who drove like a total idiot.  Sigh. One of my daughters will probably end up dating Son of Douche Boy.

I believe 'good' and 'bad' are spread. The same way doing a good deed might brighten someone's day and lead to them doing a good deed, being a jerk breeds jerkiness. Unfortunately, it's much easier to spread bad.  Good deeds are hard; they take effort. You can do bad without even thinking. And it's so much more instantly gratifying. Power. Now Family Guy has this pent up frustration. Shame/embarassment/anger, a public neutering in front of his kids.  The next weaker person who even mildly gets in his way is going to get it.  Or maybe he's simmering, waiting for that one injustice that puts him over the edge.  The last time anyone's going to f with him.

Yes, we're capable of amazing acts of compassion. Yes, we can achieve tremendous goals when we put our mind to it. But I would qualify those with "...when things are good".  Have the power go out for 3 days, remove the enforcement of law or even our Facebook access, and my money's on the chaos. In a post-apocalyptic world, if you stumbled on someone gnawing on the marrow in the only bone they've had in months, you tell me: Are they going to share it with you, or stab you in the eye and take your shoes?