My morning pet peeve

Whenever I stay over at the boyfriend’s place overnight on weekdays, I end up at one particular subway station with this damnable poster staring me in the face.

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It might be the fact that it’s before 9am, it might be the fact that I’m by nature cynical, or it might be that this is one huge steaming pile of bulldunkle. But this, Dear Internet, seriously pisses me right the hell off.

Restore each other’s faith in humanity by _smiling_ at one another? Like that would do anything more than possibly lift one person’s day (marginally) at a time.

Because, with genocide, rape, third-world famine, the IMF, greed, war, child abuse, social stigmatization of women (in pretty much all cultures. We may have come a long way, baby, but there’s still this huge, long, bumpy, sabotaged road ahead), self-centeredness as a cultural phenomenon, apathy, tyrants, violent cults, the stigmatization of sex, female circumcision, injustice, the disappeared, the Holocaust, first world waste, rampant pollution, homophobia, the environmental crisis, the Tea Party, the Inquisition, the Crusades, residential schools in Canada, the marginalization of native communities, Fox News, large corporation’s governmental subsidies (especially when the corporations never contribute to the societies that are buoying them up and allowing for their massive profit margins), credit cards, I can’t imagine any one smile is going to have the power to negate these and the many other evils that exist.

I don’t think a smile is going to cut it.

Not for me anyway.

(And before any of you get up in arms about the items on my list and/or the order in which they’re placed, you should know that I wrote them down as they randomly came to me, and these are things with which I specifically have deep issues. You can disagree, that’s your prerogative. Just don’t expect me change my opinion because of yours. That’s my prerogative. If you get nasty, your comments will be deleted. Fill your own blog with your opinion, that’s what it’s there for. Rational commentary will be considered on a case by case basis.)

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One response

  1. Yeah. Also, smiling at random strangers is not necessarily a polite thing to do, depending on the city and its culture. In Jane Jacob’s Life and Death of Great American Cities, she explains about how people in really big cities protectively guard each other’s privacy and time by ignoring each other on subways and streets. In crowded Toronto, for instance, it would be impossible to personally greet everyone you met on the street that day. Since it isn’t possible, it isn’t expected from you. Eventually, in a city, getting a stranger’s attention for no purpose drifts into taboo territory… if someone came up to you, got your attention, smiled at you, said, “Why, hello, ma’am,” and walked away, it would seem intrusive, rude, or creepy to you. Why? Because it actually breaks the illusion that your space on the subway is private.

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