Friday, April 3, 2009
ANTI SOCIAL COMMENTARY / POLE HUGGERS /BOOM BOXes
A couple of years ago I was talking to a friend about my affection for Belgium, a country that I had been visiting frequently on business. My friend had never been there and asked what was so special about this tiny country. I said that I really loved the people. I said that although they were just like the Dutch in terms of their roots, only they hang out in bars sharing cigarettes, and drive cars, where as the Dutch get stoned and ride bicycles....by themselves.
What I was getting at was that the Belgians were partiers and entertaining while the Dutch were stoic
loners. Take your pick but I prefer the crowd at the bar.
Anyway-I have been noticing a change in New Yorkers recently that I have the feeling is becoming a trend, and I really do not like it. Since the advent of the unlimited ride Metrocard, I ride the subways maybe 4-6 times a day on the average. And for years I have seen that people tend to create their own space just by not looking at anyone else directly, or just reading. But everyone always seemed totally conscious of each other and, sometime without even looking up, would make room for the fellow passenger on board.
What I am noticing now is something that I call POLE-LEANERS. Or POLE-HOGS. I have begun to notice in the past year that now when you get on a train that it is totally normal for someone to get on a crowded-standing-room-only car and lean their entire body against a pole. What is basically happening is that the new-comer to the car will simply ignore the environment around hog up the whole pole and leave others to reach high or around them so that we won't fall over during the thrust of the moving train. I have even had people lean on poles right on top of my pole-clutching hands, ignoring my touch as they make themselves more comfortable...
I find this behavior to me my particular pet-peeve and I have been noticing that it seems to be perpetrated almost always by some "kid" wearing an iPod.
What bothers me here is NOT so much that I have to adjust myself in deference to some unthinking or self centered ass,
but is something that I am afraid is much larger than just someone grooving to music to the exclusions of others. What I am thinking is that what was once a town filled with talkers and opinions is becoming unfriendly and cold. New York is going back to the Dutch in a way .
I don't want to turn into some vigilant weirdo and start confronting the POLE-HOGS, but I do think that maybe it is my duty to get into the face of the tuned out jerk and force them into a little banter. At least while I am trying to pry my hand out from under their leaning body. I'll try to be niice...but I hate these POLE_HUGGING DOUCHEBAGS! And PLEASE! Bring back the BOOM- BOXes. I am tired of having to craning my neck just to see the tiny screen of an iPod to figure out what the fuck I am listening to anyway.
by the way- this is a link that is definately not anti-social...I think.