Dad’s Day 263

Second Curmudgeonly Entry in a Row

There is a direct relationship to people’s behavior and the level of anonymity that an activity allows them.  The more open the situation, the less venal people’s behavior .  The “comments” on YouTube videos is one of the most obvious examples–in fact, almost any on-line, anonymous activity is the best example; but it’s obvious as well when we are hidden in our cars.

There was an incident a few years ago on the corner of Cleveland and Fir in which two drivers contested whose turn it was at a four-way stop. In this case, the aggressiveness that drivers feel when cocooned in their cars spilled out onto the road and one of the drivers stabbed the other with a screw driver.  There is nothing all that anonymous about stabbing someone with a screw driver, but would the incident have happened if the men had not first been inside their cars.

That same attitude is visible at almost every intersection that has a red light, and yesterday a woman came through a light that had been red for three seconds which translated for her into more than thirty feet as she was approaching the red light:  she had a young child in the car.

What went through her mind?  Did she think, “No one ever has accidents running red lights, so I am completely safe”?   Those were probably not her thoughts.  When we are unseen, we don’t have to think at all because no one is watching.  No one challenges.


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