Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Drummer's Poor Behaviour

Today I had a long distance (half a street) argument with a teenage girl. I drove over her football because she wouldn't stop playing football in the street when I drove by but couldn't stop (it bounced into my path) then when I did stop and _apologised_ for driving over her ball she accused me of being on the phone, which I wasn't and _never am_.

Unfortunately the drummer did not behave like a grown up: I was too afraid to go up to her and tell her to be sensible; too afraid to go and see her parents; and too angry at her response not to say "get stuffed" (which I did say, but I did not swear or be aggressive).

Is it the drummer who is pathetic and childish, or has the world changed? I have lived on and off in this street for 23 years. I know it and I know the people. But some of the kids now have a confidence, an aggression (this girl has abused people who've asked her to get out of the road before) - that my generation (when I were a lad) didn't have.

I feel guilty for responding but determined not to allow my street to be taken over. I know this is rubbish but - how did it get this way that an adult feels he needs to assert himself over teenage girls?

Answers _not_ on a postcard please.

12 comments:

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

It's partly a confidence thing, mate. Our society has taught us not to truat ouselves in our own interactions.
Myself, I'm a fairly direct person. I'd have got out and gone round the paents and apologised but made it clear by the way I phrased it that I wasn't really apologising, but warning...

cramerj said...

well insoc then you might have been happily accussed of any crime against a young female. Talk yourself out of that.

Umbongo said...

Self-confidence is one thing, sheer bloody-mindedness and incipient bullying are quite another. TD, you know and I know that if you'd been properly assertive you stood a real risk of a spurious complaint being lodged with the police and you being, at the very least, given an uncomfortable time by Mr Plod.

The present younger generation is "self-confident" for a reason: they have learned that there are no consequences for unreasonable behaviour. To the contrary, there are beneficial consequences of unreasonable behaviour - the experience of making you frightened of asserting yourself is one of them.

The Tin Drummer said...

Agree completely, Umbongo. Everything you've said is true, which is partly why I am so angry over it. My parents never had any issues like that when I was a child - they were always saying x y and z to kids, as other adults did to me. We didn't like it but we took it.

Alex said...

Is it the drummer who is pathetic and childish, or has the world changed?

It is valid to say that the world indeed is changing, not always for the worse. Our actions are a product of the philosophies we hold. This girl you speak of is largely a product of the environment she knew growing up.

The thought precedes the action. The philosophical bias precedes the thought. What determines one's bias is a point I am still pondering. It cuts to our very core.

The Tin Drummer said...

But not all changes are good - we fall into believing that is the case too easily...some residue of a C19 view of history. A change wherein I fear more is bad if I accept that I am a generally rational agent. It is an instinct or arbitrary decision that precedes the bias, according to Nietzsche or was it Kierkegaard or was it someone else?

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

A product of the failure to find somewhere to attach our community sentiments. A problem we have discovered in the last thirty years, that we as a species never faced before....

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Both, TD. Kieregaard and Nietzche hdraw some oddly similar conclusions, if coming from dofferent anmgles.
So, Soren Kierkegaard...
I think your point might actually date to Socrates (or Socrates via Plato, anyway.)
I would say it was implicit in Descartes and certainly Hume.

The Tin Drummer said...

Nietzsche was an amazing guy, more a poet than a philosopher, who somehow saw exactly what was going to happen, so much of what he wrote came true...I think he was _warning_ about the will to power while obviously deprecating the slave morality Xtianity he knew that something was going to come to overwhelm such moralities. Call it poetry, philosophy or a keen historical sense, I don't know.

Kierkegaard...good man. Odd man. Like him. He knew what was at stake. I have tried to explain his reading of Abraham/Isaac to Ks2 children but it never really goes down all that well.

They prefer Nietzsche. No that's a lie.

Ks3 children do.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

The Abraham piece is disconcerting- Kierkegaard at his best.
I find it odd, because it has resonances of the 'Will to power', the idea of a man about to commit a deed all around him would judge es evil- and even we would judge as evil- because of his love for God. It is a pwerful piece of writing.
Close in spirit, I think, to the Genealogy of Morals, if that makes sense, in that it upsets our tidy prconceptions of th simplicity of Good and Evil.

james higham said...

TD, in this situation, I would simply ask the girl to place the ball one more time on the road before the car, ask to borrow her mobile phone, ask her to lie down just beyond the ball and drive over the bloody lot.

Colin Campbell said...

Tin Drummer

I have these kinds of issues with my 6 and 8 year olds. They practice all their bad behaviour on me, reserving good behaviour for relatives, their teachers and friends. That way they will know how to deal with dodgy threatening individuals like you later in life.

Seriously however, I am by nature empathetic to everyone I meet and will always try to anticipate the worst and prepare for a bad outcome. This means that this kind of thing happens too often to me.