Once again just experienced what’s becoming a scourge on the Tube: kids playing their MP3 phones OUT LOUD, without headphones. Tinny little ditties that raise the blood pressure of the entire carriage. Naturally, I asked them to turn it off.
The principal perp looked up at me with a sneer, gratifyingly slightly shocked. Not a word from him, much less an action. I suggest that continued Play will result in him being relieved of the offending item and his ears boxed. (Fortunately I’m fresh from the gym and feeling pumped, even in my reduced 71kg state.) The player goes off with a sense of understanding, and I thank the teenage perp (very important.)
Once again, I think about how many tax billions are spent ‘engaging’ such troubled youths, when all that’s needed is for an adult to gently put them in their place.
These kids don’t need ’empathy’. They don’t need ‘counselling’, or their ‘own space’, or their ‘self-esteem building up’ so they can ‘come to terms’ with their actions. They just need to be boxed on the ears and kicked around in circles until they comprehend their behaviour is not reasonable. Their ‘rights’ end where the rights of other people begin.
It reminded me of a year ago, also after a violent Tube incident, when the meaning of life suddenly revealed itself to me.
The meaning of life is: to accept the survival of civilisation as your *personal* responsibility. To recognise that when the basic tenets of civilised society are at risk, nobody will do anything about it except you. The government cannot help you. The police cannot protect you. The public do not possess the resolve to step in.
Saving civilisation, in its million little facets, is your task, and yours alone.
I called it the meaning of life because this principle impacts so many areas of human existence. You’ve got to keep yourself healthy, maintain strength and faculties, make sure you’re plugged into cultural and societal information sources to ensure your view of what constitutes civilised behaviour is basically correct. Above all, you need to be *part* of society, to understand your context. And that’s why it’s the meaning of life.
And executing this principle includes keeping a lid on uncivilised behaviour, like the MP3 incident. For the want of a nail…