People Who Need To Go
You know how sometimes you see someone do something that makes you think to yourself "that person needs to go." And you don't mean go as in "go relax for a few days and take care of yourself," you mean go as in "go away forever and stop being alive." I've noticed that I tend to say things like that about people who do similar things to each other, so I'm going to tell you about a few groups of people I think the world would be better off without... forever.
1) Ridiculously aggressive drivers. I was driving somewhere with my girlfriend and her Mom recently, and some jackass in a van came about a foot in to our lane on a curve, and then sped ahead to cut another driver off with literally inches to spare at high speed going around another curve. People with driving habits like these are a menace, and every single one of them should have their licenses revoked and do time in jail.
The only somewhat valid excuse for driving like that is if you're getting to a family member who is dying or giving birth, but more often than not the excuse they have is "I'm in a hurry." Fuck you, the rest of us are in a hurry too, but you don't see us driving recklessly and risking the lives of everyone else on the road around us. And you just know that if you happen to cut one of these people off, they're going to drive even more recklessly to "make up for lost time."
Of course, nowadays most people want to chalk it up to something playfully called Road Rage, which really came in to its own in 1994 or 1999 depending who you ask. Of course, the article I just linked to points out that it doesn't actually exist, but let's pretend for the moment that it does. In fact, I seem to recall some jury in the '90s finding a defendant not guilty after a Road Rage defense; a defense that literally says "it wasn't my fault I was violent, because I was angry." It's only a matter of time before someone accused of rape claims a Hormonal Rage defense: "it wasn't my fault, I was horny." Give me a fucking break. If you can't drive without putting yourself and others at risk, you shouldn't have a fucking car! Fuck everybody who has ever tried to use Road Rage as a defense for being an asshole on the road, and if that means you then fuck you too.
2) People who go out looking to pick fights. A few months ago I was on a special bus that wasn't making all the stops the normal bus makes, and when it passed a stop that some people wanted to get off at, those people got understandably angry. The driver was doing his job, and it was inconvenient for those people who weren't able to get off, and they expressed it. The driver explained it as well as he could (which wasn't very well, for some reason). So far so good; a little loud, but overall tolerable.
The problem was the person who quite plainly got on the bus in a mood to fight someone, who proceeded to yell as many profanities as possible at the driver in what could only have been an attempt to provoke him. The one that sticks in my mind the most is "you'll stop where we fucking tell you to stop, you fucking piece of shit." He even challenged the driver to get off the bus and fight him.
It's people like this who ruin good experiences for everyone else. You're walking somewhere, you brush shoulders with someone, and they get pissed off at you for it and try to get you to fight them. This is the kind of person who will twist anything you say to them in to a personal attack, and throw it back at you until you agree that you meant to insult them, or walk away, in which case it's a toss-up whether they'll take it as an insult and jump you. You know what? Some people just want to have a good time without worrying about shit stains like you taking the first opportunity to start fighting.
People need to understand that sometimes the world isn't how you want it to be, but getting all pissed off and taking it out on random people isn't the way to deal with it. Take me, for example: there are lots of assholes in the world that piss me off, but rather than go out and pick fights with people and then run them over, I come here and discuss it. Well, actually I rant for those who are willing to read, but you know what I'm trying to say: venting doesn't have to be dangerous.
So to all you people who drive like maniacs: stop driving until you can control yourself. To those who go looking for fights: sit down and shut up, go to your room and relax. Go play a video game or something. Which leads me to:
3) Jack Thompson. This is the nutjob who says video games make people more violent. Then he goes out and sues video game companies for noticing that people like games where they get to kill stuff, and releasing games people want to play. Give the public some fucking credit, Thompson: we know the difference between a game and reality. People don't play video games to learn how to do violence, they play video games to vent their violence. I play violent video games when I feel like causing damage to things, because I know that destroying things made of pixels will satisfy the urge without requiring me to do anything stupid.
Video games don't create violent people, they give already violent people a safe outlet for their hostility. And you want to take that away? Are you insane? After all, it's not like there are movies made every year that glorify violence, or shows on TV dedicated to people getting killed, or an interconnected network of computers with easily accessible video of executions and murder, or books that describe in detail how to build bombs... do I really need to go on?
There will always be something about the world that you find distasteful, and in the end there's nothing you can do about it. Either get used to it, or leave it, but either way, shut the fuck up and leave us alone.
For anyone who's interested in how the law relates to video games, check out Law Of The Game, a blog maintained by a lawyer on the subject.