Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Fight Club

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  • Kumara Republic,

    Did you get his number plate?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Lilith __,

    I think fright easily translates into rage -- having a near-miss as a pedestrian is very shocking. So I wouldn't beat yourself up too much!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3895 posts Report

  • 3410,

    Rugby-head, for sure. ;)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report

  • Greg Bodnar,

    My favourite play against rage is utter calmness. It's much more infuriating that getting hit with witticisms. I can be quite a dick about it, too.

    "Sir, you can save your insults for the police officer who investigates you for dangerous and negligent driving. Thank you, now be off."

    Wellington • Since Mar 2009 • 15 posts Report

  • Will de Cleene,

    Pressure valves are OK as long as nothing gets broken. Better out than in, eh.

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 107 posts Report

  • Morgan Nichol,

    But would we actually slap them?

    Nope, just ridicule.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report

  • Raymond A Francis,

    I think Greg has the best response
    I note in some that anger can be quite addictive and a great way to bully reasonable people

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report

  • Ross Mason,

    I find it helps to at least act like an arsehole. That way you get to see both sides.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report

  • izogi,

    I also find that not expressing insults at people is a good way to reduce the likelihood of them insulting me back. He was probably at fault in the first place and maybe even realised that as he nearly hit you, but I doubt he turned around and started arguing with you because he disliked your ability with using a pedestrian crossing.

    And maybe he was a jerk. Roads and the world are filed with jerks no master what their mode of transport.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Just thinking,

    It has been in the past my habit to slap the bonnett of the car in such situations to say "hey I'm here".
    I don't recommend this course of action, just state my past habit.
    I now offer open hands an questioning eyebrows as a more diplomatic move.
    Since the quakes though, I haven't had much cause to do either.
    Contractors still drive the wrong way on our horrid oneway streets.
    Few rules apply, but a little patience helps.
    I recommend BoneyM as an anti-rage solution. No Riots ever happened to Disco.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to Just thinking,

    I now offer open hands an questioning eyebrows as a more diplomatic move.

    I don't think I'd even want to do this. If I made any eye contact I'd try to be smiling or laughing it off at the time, just to get their attention on what happened. Sometimes if people run red lights in front of my pedestrian crossing, I've pretended to start walking out with the green guy to demonstrate there's a reason for the red light even when other traffic isn't coming. There are probably a few exceptions but usually people aren't trying to run me over. At best they just need a polite reminder that other people besides drivers are out on the road, too.

    But if you agitate or distract a driver by implying to them they're an idiot or expressing some other sort of rage, it's probably more likely they'll have an accident either now or later. I know I can lose concentration as a driver when that happens, and irrespective of whether I think I was in the right or wrong, as happens occasionally, it just makes things worse. There's no excuse for road rage but I don't see any value in encouraging someone to lose focus when they're in charge of a very lethal object.

    And hey, if you flip a finger towards a car and the driver gets out and starts arguing back at you, it's really no different from what you'd expect in person. I guess as Hadyn notes, the boundaries are different when people think they won't have to deal with the consequences.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Islander, in reply to izogi,

    I guess as Hadyn notes, the boundaries are different when people think they won't have to deal with the consequences.

    For a lot of drivers - especially males - their physical boundaries are actually the outside of their vehicles...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

  • FletcherB,

    I've never quite had my coordination together to be successful... but on more than one occasion I have attempted to kick or slap a passing vehicle when I'm on a pedestrian crossing....

    It doesn't really help, except in understanding a situation you can't change... but in my experience, a significant subset of the population are more belligerent, abusive, and accusative when they know they are in the wrong... it's like a reflex response to cover up the guilt they feel, or something?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Then he called me a faggot. I turned and told him to fuck himself. Then he made a comment about my mother. I walked back; it was, in the mildest sense, on.

    That's the only part I don't personally get; getting angry, definitely, telling them to do something anatomically improbable, been there, going back to exchange some more insults...nah. Always seems like a total waste of time.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report

  • BenWilson,

    I'm really glad the conclusion to this story was that no fighting ensued (which shows why you broke the first and second rule of fight club by even mentioning the episode). It's got a way of getting really out of hand, really fast. I can understand how the situation evolved, but it's important to remember that there were multiple chances to disengage all the way along.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    At the moment I'm reading Stephen Pinker's book "The better angels of our nature - the decline of violence in history and its causes" which, in a nutshell, says as a species we are getting better at avoiding and disengaging from violence - for a variety of reasons.
    Its about twice as long as his other books and is not 'poop science' by any means, but if you want to look at the social and psycological details involved its a fascinating read.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Andrew Stevenson,

    Its about twice as long as his other books and is not 'poop science' by any means, but if you want to look at the social and psycological details involved its a fascinating read.

    Some of his numbers are right dodgy, especially involving large-scale warfare in pre-modern periods. But certainly on an everyday, societal level, his thesis seems to basically hold. Violence up to and including murder as a dispute resolution process has practically dropped off the radar in most modern societies. The problem is how quickly it re-emerges when given the opportunity.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Just thinking,


    No Riots ever happened to Disco.

    You clearly (and fortunately) didn't grow up in provincial England in the late 70's / early 80's.

    Most towns featured (and probably still do) one or two 'nightclubs' where young men would glower at each other and perv at young women to a soundtrack of commercial disco, complete with 'erection section' as 2am loomed. Regularly this would break out into fights.

    Above (not taken by me) the ruin of one local example - it was destroyed after a series of tragic events: the landlord died of a heart attack after breaking up a fight, the pub closed and rapidly fell into dereliction.

    The Ricky Gervais film Cemetery Junction is an accurate depiction of these times.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • headasunder,

    I suspect most men have been in a similar situation and if they haven't it probably means they ain't lived long enough, 20 years ago the bird would have been followed by a screech of tyres then grunts as the punches we have dialogue. I consider that progress

    christchurch • Since Apr 2012 • 10 posts Report

  • Just thinking, in reply to izogi,

    I'm sure you are right. I was at one end of the continum of intolerance and am probably still on that side as opposed to tolerance of deadly idiots (whoops).
    Another bonus of the quakes are all the lowered boy racer cars have moved out of town. You can't ride low when the manholes have popped up and rip the arse out of their cars underside.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report

  • Just thinking, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I grew up just after Disco & round my streets there were Skinz or Bootboys. Essentially a class divide. Many of the Bootboys are now Executives of large public companies. The skinz, not so much.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report

  • DexterX, in reply to 3410,

    Rugby-head, for sure. ;)

    It ain't necessarily so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Just thinking,

    Flight club...

    Contractors still drive the wrong way on our horrid oneway streets.

    Yeah, I noticed that the other day, too - what's that about?

    re the one way streets - I don't mind them and think they should wait till we have a centre city again - and see what size it is - before they spend $91 million changing them back to two way thoroughfares. I also don't understand the letters to the paper that describe them as speedways or racetracks thru town, they are gazetted at 50 km the same as all the other streets in town and the suburbs round the malls (I think the square was 30km, but only because they'd created such a narrow dangerous road to negotiate that it would be insane to drive faster) - if one is prepared to think, and plan, ahead the one way system is an excellent arterial system...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • tussock,

    I've heard that story before, only it was different people, and the voluminous creative insulting competition was through the car window after it reversed.

    It seems people really don't like being almost run over by someone who doesn't see them, and equally don't like people appearing from nowhere and nearly going under their car, both of which are so clearly the other person's fault.

    Also, defensive driving is extra smart when you're a pedestrian. Sometimes the car driver does not see you, and those things weigh well over a tonne.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report

  • Just thinking, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The key to the great hate of oneway is that they effectively bypass whatever they go through. Where as a normal two way street has a cross pollination and assists in the creation of a neighbourhood.
    Two way streets will also slow your journey across town, which is considered desirable to planners and Urban Gurus, cause if you really need to get across town there is the local public transport.
    Bicycle is still the most agile (both terrain and route) and quickest way for me to get to work.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report

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