Wednesday, 7 November 2012

In the beginning, there was a blog.

And now it has its first post. Yes, that's right, this blog just lost its post virginity.

So, the purpose of this seemingly simple and possibly pointless blog? To be a place where I can voice the many frustrations, ponderations and contemplations that build-up inside my head, allowing me the relieving experience of knowing that someone, somewhere, may possibly agree somewhat with a few of the logical, reasonable yet apparently unorthodox views I often share. So basically a place where I can rant about how stupid things are, and assume that people give actually give a shit.

I often look at the way we do things in society and think 'that's just stupid, why do we do that?' and the response I often get, when I ask people, is 'because that's just what people do'. A pretty null statement, really. When I do explain my point of view and why I perceive a 'social norm' to in-fact be pointless and sometimes contradictory, people often agree with me, but only as an individual. They say something like, 'I see your point Dom, you're right it doesn't make sense really, I suppose it's just the done thing', which frustrates me even more. If each individual in a group of people think that something is pointless and doesn't make sense, why continue doing it? Because the assumption is that it is expected of them. A person can agree that in theory, a social norm is in fact ridiculous when analysed, yet because they think that others still expect them to conform, they do so. There may even be a scenario where every single person in a given situation can individually state that a social norm is silly, yet expected of them, then group together and perform that same action that they had all just stated was 'silly'. Isn't that just the definition of two-faced? Hypocritical? If only they knew that in-fact they all agreed upon it being a silly situation, they wouldn't have to then go through with it! How much simpler life would be.

For those of you completely lost, I don't blame you, this is no reflection on your intellect, apparently I often lose people with the way I think. So let me give you an example, in the hope that it will clear things up a bit.

Often, after eating at a restaurant with a person, whether that be a girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, family member or just a friend, there will be a perfect example of what I call one of these 'silly situations'. This could apply to any form of social event where food or beverages are bought and consumed, from fine-dining at a restaurant to having a take-away coffee at a music festival, and is one of my most favoured examples of absolutely nonsensical madness within today's society.
The paying of the bill.
It has always bewildered me how the same person who can look for bargains, complain about the prices of common supermarket items, and make cut-backs on household budgets, can then consistently offer to pay for other peoples' food/drink as well as their own! Why would a person do this? For what reason would you actually want to pay for their meal?! One reason, I've heard, is because 'it'd be rude not to'. That doesn't make sense in the slightest. If you finish a meal and the other person offers to pay (because it'd be rude not to), by social convention it would be rude of you to accept the offer, because then you wouldn't be paying for their meal as well, or your own, you'd be paying for nothing. Now that just has to be rude. Right? So you have to reverse the offer and say that you are willing to pay for their meal (it'd be rude not to), but wait a minute - isn't it rude of the other person to accept? Because from their point of view, if they now accept your offer, they're not paying for anything either, so that's just as bad. Basically, because of this rule, neither person can leave the situation without one of them being rude. Hence, a strange form of overly-polite yet passively-aggressive argument takes place, only ending when one person manages to force the other person into being rude. So that person has won, yay! He/she has not only succeeded in making the other person 'rude' by the rules of society, but also now has to pay for both their meals. Added to this, because this person has forced the other into being rude, they have now just paid for the meal of a person whom has just been rude to them, and should therefore leave the table proud of the fact that they have kept to the social norm and forced yet another fellow human being into being rude. Go society!

So next time a person says they can't stand 'rude people'. Politely enquire as to how many times that person has in fact forcibly made many of their own friends and family fit into that 'rude' section of society, by letting them get away without paying for their meals. The person who truly tries to avoid rude people, would let anyone pay for them and walk away thinking what a nice person they just ate with.

There is a second point of madness to this. Why are people still doing this in our current economic climate? Forget the complicated reorganisation of spreadsheets and budgets, or ridiculous new policies aimed at reducing the deficit, one great money-saving tip in these harsh financial times would be to stop buying food and drink for other people, and start accepting cash when offered to you as a gift. Its not like people are sitting looking at the rich man who doesn't buy for others yet always accepts gifts thinking 'I may be worse off, but I'm proud of my values', people actually complain about their situation and look upon the rich man with scorn and disgust!

I bet if everyone tallied up how much they spend per year on other peoples' food and drink, they'd actually get quite a shock. And realise how rude everyone else is for not paying it for them.
Maybe we should all print off these figures just to show how much we spend on other people, and use it as a way of calculating 'rudeness and manners' when it comes to social events. That way, it'd be easy to see who's the rudest of the bunch.