01/26/09

“Crazies”

Its sad, but I’m seeing them everywhere.

Is it the sign of the times? Bad economy, lost jobs, lost homes, lost loved ones?

This one guy in particular got me thinking.

Are they really crazy? I mean talking to yourself, mumbling, thinkin’ out loud, “sub-vocalization”, that’s all fine and dandy. But when does it turn into crazy talk?

Is it when your ‘imaginary’ friend starts an argument? Or when the ‘imaginary’ situation requires you to raise your voice? Or are these people stuck in-between dimensions (that can be very overwhelming)? Or are they communing with the dead (think ghosts), or angels, or devils, or what?

The human population is increasing, cities are swelling, growing, pushing beyond their boundaries and swallowing neighbouring towns and villages. But strangely (in an sad pathetic kind of way) I’ve gotten by a whole day without having a conversation with another fellow human being.

For example a typical day follows:

  • commute to work for one and a half hours (listening to my iPod),
  • sitting at my desk at work (headphones again listening to pandora as I hack code and reply to emails),
  • running out to grab some grub (the guy now knows me by face and more importantly knows my usual order),
  • train ride back (usually fall asleep and wake up drooling),
  • go to the gym (iPod again),
  • dinner infront of the telly,
  • more telly,
  • maybe some facebook, and
  • then finally sleep.

I may utter no more than a handful of incomplete sentences the whole day. Is this what we’ve been reduced to? This is not healthy. Could this be what makes ’em’ snap? Is it because there’s no one there to listen to them? So, if all they need is an ear, someone to talk to, why are we afraid to talk to them?

I mean, take myself, I’m a caring fellow, so, why don’t I go over and say “Hi!”? Now this is where I’m going to lose you (if I haven’t bored you already). Somehow, we’re being fed ideas that strangers are a dangerous murderous lot. One whose goals in life are not very nice (to say the least). They want to hurt you. They take pleasure in hurting you. Its our childhood conditioning, “Don’t talk to strangers”.
Why are we persisting these parental-fears into our adult life? I’m sure there’s some element of truth there, but are ALL of them so? Isn’t the murderous lot a minority? Aren’t they in jail somewhere? Aren’t the rest of them just a little lonely, lost, resigned to believe that this is all that life has to offer?

I’m writing this entry while I commute home. I have no idea who is sitting next to me (OK I just looked up and there’s no one there, maybe they saw me mumbling to myself as I was writing this). Eventually I’ll finish or get to my stop. But here’s a perfect example of another reason why I don’t feel the need to talk to someone. Another technological toy to distract me.

I have to ask “Why am I like this, am I dysfunctional?”, but then I see that the rest of my fellow commuters are ‘busy’ in some capacity. What happened? Where are we heading? ‘We’ being the collective human species.

Technology is supposed to enable us, to liberate us, to make us do more with less, instead its an ‘isolator’. I’ve let technology create this abstract layer between reality and myself.

I’ve resolved to become unplugged for a bit;

  • no more headphones,
  • no more iPod,
  • I’ll pick up the phone to “reach out and touch someone” instead of emailing,
  • I’ll ask my lunch buddy his name and greet him thus.

I really don’t want to become a crazy. And thats what I saw, when I looked at that guy. That crazy guy on the subway platform arguing with himself. That crazy guy who got me thinking, who, now that I think about it looked a lot like me.