Wednesday, February 16, 2011

People seem drawn to violence

I think I speak for all of us when I say that we all find rubberneckers annoying.

For those of you confused by that term, it refers to those assholes who cause backed up traffic for miles on the freeway because they simply must slow down to get every gory detail from a wreck.

I, personally, don't drive, but I've been in a car with someone else driving when we got caught in a traffic jam caused by one of these types and it really grinds my gears like nothing else.

I actually actively hate rubberneckers, if I could slap them I would.

I'm not a violent person *my friends start laughing hysterically* I'm NOT! However, if I could find all of these people I would slap them and it isn't just that they inconvenience people. I have a perfectly legitimate reason for this.

When I was 16 I was in a car accident on the freeway. My brother was driving and we were rear-ended by a guy going way to fast.

Sitting on the side of the freeway, next to our totaled car with a case of whiplash and a migraine from my brain bouncing around in my skull, I experienced a stream of slow moving cars whose occupants stared out from their cars and seemed disappointed that there was no blood. There was no reason for these vultures to slow down, no debris in the road because the forward motion from the crash pushed both cars off onto the shoulder, they weren't stopping to ask if we needed help, they were just attracted to the violence of the scene...excited by it in fact.

I realized today that even if we hate that sort of behavior we are almost hardwired to act that way. I hate people who do that sort of thing and yet I found myself doing it as well.

I went to Jack in the Box to get lunch (don't judge, I ran a mile this morning and it's the only food near my job) and as I walked in a notice that part of the street was closed off. I found out that someone had been hit by a car and they blocked it off to gather evidence. I ordered lunch and then pressed myself up against the window, hoping to see something interesting.
To my credit I stopped as soon as I realized what I was doing, but so much of the time I don't.

Have any of you ever watched America's Funniest Home Videos? I don't know if they make the show anymore, but I grew up watching it and sometimes I watch re-runs if it comes on while my tv is on...usually as background noise while I'm writing or cooking.
Anyway, if you have watched it then you will know what I'm talking about.
Admit it, the videos you laugh hardest at are the ones that involve someone doing something where they get hit, possible maimed or killed from some of the skiiing, dirt biking, snowmobile, and ATV accidents I've seen caught on home video for the show. Though I would like to have enough faith in people to think they would not send in video to a humor show if one of their friends or family members died because of an accident.

It doesn't matter, we are drawn to those videos...we find them uproariously amusing for some reason.
I don't feel as guilty for watching the videos as I do for being fascinated with car wrecks and accidents, after all those videos were sent in by someone specifically in the hope that other people would find it humorous, but still....

I'm no psychologist or, even, sociologist. I just find it odd that we are so fascinated with other people's pain and suffering. I try to remember how it feels to be under the eye of people fascinated with my pain when I find myself watching the aftermath of an accident, that usually stops me in my tracks.

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