My Great Uncle Died for This?

There’s being busy, and there’s being self-absorbed, and then there’s being an absolute fuckwit.

I was on a tram in the city on Remembrance Day last week. Pulled up at the intersection of Swanston and La Trobe, an announcement came over the loudspeaker that since it was about to be 11am, the tram would be staying at the stop to observe the minute’s silence. And fair enough, too.

However, a charming example of humanity apparently didn’t feel the same way. “Awww, what?” he whined, in a loud, listen-to-me, Mummy! kind of way. “I fucken paid for this!” He glanced belligerantly around the carriage, looking for support for his one-man anti-war-victim rant, his suffering and the few bucks spent on a ticket quite obviously analagous to the plights of those who were now putting him a full minute behind in his terribly important business. Dying tragically and pointlessly in a war declared by those who will never come close to fighting it? Pffft. Spending five bucks on a Metcard only to be forced to sit in silence while a tram doesn’t move for sixty seconds? INHUMAN.

Fortunately our charming hero was the subject of many greasy eyeballs for his outburst, my own among them. He actually seemed to deflate as he took in the disgust of the other tram passengers. It was rather neat, in a way.

3 Responses to “My Great Uncle Died for This?”

  1. Chris Says:

    or “inhumane”, even.

    but about the whole war thing – maybe somebody should give the government a whole hour of silence, so they can think about the wars properly and maybe actually LEARN something from the experience…?

    At least the guy was honest, is what i’m trying to say. a product of the fast and selfish society our government is generating by being complete fuck wits. War is profit, profit is economic growth is economic supremacy is fast-paced modern lifestyles. And man-on-tram is not buying into the ‘sacrifice for my country’ spiel. Gosh, i’m getting flushed with politcal angst, i’d better quit before it’s too late.

    besides, gotta rush now, or i’ll be late for my Compulsive Editing Anonymous session.

  2. Aimee Says:

    That’s a very good point, actually. Generally I say I like my hatred/apathy/fuckstickicity/what have you out where I can see it, but the problem with that is that sometimes it just plain sucks to see it. On one hand, I remain appalled by his behaviour, but on the other, it doesn’t really surprise me.

    I think most governments have probably shied away from encouraging their people to think about the human realities of war too much. The patriotism/kill people who aren’t like us line tends to serve them a lot better. Which, in my mind, makes it all the more disappointing when the average person on the street (or in the tram, for that matter) goes along with it, whether knowingly or not.

  3. TimT Says:

    Sounds like the dickhead I sat next to once on the St Kilda tram. Are you sure it’s not the same guy …?

    I don’t deal with these sorts of folks with a greasy stare. Usually, I get into conversations with them! I’m a masochist that way.