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May 31

People Watching

The following was written over the course of a couple of business trips while waiting for various things. As I didn’t get around to posting it then I shall do so now:

Please excuse the low production value of this post as it’s being written on my Blackberry (my first venture into using the WordPress application).

I’m currently travelling around; and when doing so, I like nothing more that just sitting quietly and observing the human animal in its many different habitats.

Watching people just carrying out their little lives is at once thought-provoking and frustrating. On the one end of the scale, one can sit and ponder at the idea that someone else is wandering around with a first-person perspective; having their own experiences, opinions etc. This idea is one that really does make one stop and consider their own existence. If you’ve accepted that other people have their own first-person, then you are by definition the second- or third-person depending on the context of your interaction with the aforementioned.

How does that make you feel? Knowing that it is literally impossible to convey what’s going on in your head in a way that will exactly replicate it to anyone else: and not even having them know about it!? So that’s one aspect of people watching, trying to envisage what the other people might be up to: what affairs they’re having, what appointments they’re late for, what stomach pain they’re having as a result of a meal you’ll never know about, and so on.

The other aspect of people watching, which I suppose comes as somewhat of a biproduct of the first, is the frustration suffered when you can clearly see someone’s doing something wrong/unproductive, or maybe even hear someone answer a question entirely wrongly and seeing they’re intended audience take it as fact.

That sort of thing makes me want to leap out of my seat and make contact with my subjects, and not necessarily in a positive manner. Is that ethical though? Like the documentarian who sees a gazelle being brutally assailed by a lion, is it better to let events unfold without interference? Perchance getting involved would upset the course of history.

I’d be interested to know what others thought on the subject, whether anyone’s even taken the thought into account or whether I’m just being weird again.

Look forward to hearing from you!

About the author

Mr Llamatastic

3 comments

  1. Jimothy

    It’s this sort of thinking that means I never take people at face value if I can help it. As moronic or as seemingly friendly somebody can seem, there’s always going to be a lot more going on in their head than we can identify. That’s why I’m wary of people I haven’t known for a while.

    When people talk tegarding factual things, it’s immensely frustrating when they go off in a matter-of-fact tone about something, and they’re completely wrong. When tackling their own lives however, I tend to let them get on with it (and not just because I don’t like being told what I should and shouldn’t do). I’m all for giving advice, but that’s all you can do. If somebody is sure that their method will work, and it vaguely makes sense, they can go for it.

    I’ll end this here and think some more because I just shook a bottle of Frijj forgetting that the lid was off.

    1. Mr Llamatastic

      After an insightful response you’re now sitting there covered in milkshake. What do we reckon people would make of THAT at face value?

      1. Jimothy

        That I really like milkshake. Captain Picard could learn from me.

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