Living in Babylon

A few weeks ago, I twice stopped in at a new Spanish-style restaurant in my neighborhood. It was lively and pleasant and I had a beer and hor d’oeuvres. The menu looked inviting, and a few days later I stopped in again, thinking I’d have a regular meal there. I sat at a high table in the middle of the restaurant and a young waiter approached me. He had a piece of metal stuck into his face, just below his lower lip. As he was speaking to me, telling me about the menu, I just looked at his face. Then, without saying a word, I stood up, turned around, and walked out.

The idea of having any interaction with—let alone having a meal served to me by—a person with a piece of metal stuck into his face, was intolerable. But what happens when body piercings and tattoos become more and more common, and, simply in the course of normal life, we are forced to have dealings with people who have done these freakish things to their body?

- end of initial entry -

Daniel O. writes:

Speaking about synchronicity! Yesterday, I had a somewhat similar encounter when I went to a local snack bar to get some French fries. Just before I were to place my order, a tattooed man walked into the bar with his ten-year old son (who was wearing oversized soccer clothing). Having observed the man’s antisocial appearance, I thought to myself: I would not be surprised if he tries to jump the queue. My prejudices proved to be justified: he jumped the queue. I addressed him regarding his behaviour, but he ignored me. Moreover, the cafeteria girl behind the counter just looked at me with these stupid, cow-like eyes, and continued to take the man’s order. I decided not to have an argument about it, and directly walked out of the building.

In my situation, the tattooed man proved to be unable to adhere to the minimum standard of social interaction. He did not ask other customers whether they were still waiting to place their order, he did not apologize for his antisocial behaviour, and he did not reply to my comments. The only thing he expressed was a non-verbal message of ”Don’t mess with me”—with his tattoos. It is as if these persons live in a neurotoxic bubble. Even if you were to start a conversation with such people, you would most likely discover that they are not able to have a reasonably normal conversation. Walking away from them is probably the best response.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 10, 2012 08:12 PM | Send

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