Ok I dont usually write this late at night or with music (Guru (RIP) tribute mix from Dj MK in the background) but I've wanted to speak on this issue for about the last 5 days.
Last weekend a 79 year old man was robbed on the Subway here in Toronto. It wasnt like he was in an empty subway car when it happened though as he cried for help from some 20 or so fellow passengers who did nothing to assist this senior citizen. True the assailants timed their crime with precision so that they were able to run away just as the train pulled into the station but still the fact that no one as much as helped is kind of disturbing on many level.
Its a sad story and one that has prompted much conversation and well warranted criticism of Torontonians.
Still from my perspective I'm like who are all these people who are complaining about the actions of Torontonians and have they ever sat on a TTC subway car? I mean seriously why is the fact that no one tried to help this victim surprising? I take the TTC every day to work and I'm not surprised at all. Disturbed by it yes but definetly not surprised.
Ok, I'll give you that its the wrong type of behavior and in a society such as ours we should demand better and it is shameful but still that it actually happened is not surprising to me. This is Toronto, these are your typical TTC riders.
Look the fact is most people on the TTC dont really want to be there. This is indisputable. Yes you have your greenie, environmental types who think that taking the subway is saving the earth from the excess greenhouse gases of the gas guzzling personal vehicles but they are a minority.
The majority of persons are on the subway because its their most affordable way to travel. They either have no other option for getting to work meaning no car or cant afford to pay the exorbitant costs of downtown parking. They are (and I include myself here) praying for the trip to be over as quickly as possible and trying as much as possible to create a fantasy world around themselves to drown out the low whine of the overly loud teenagers mp3 player or the stench of the folks who threw on perfume but forgot to shower that morning, or to pretend that the lack of personal space as they are squeezed in next to strangers isnt really happening .
They are aware but still not really aware of whats going on around them to the extent that they're going to jump up in a flash and play hero for a stranger cause their whole mindstate is one of avoidance. Avoid staring at the strangers, avoid listening to random conversations, avoid touching anyone by accident, avoid offending anyone or bumping into anyone or eye contact for more than a second or stepping on someone's foot and just avoid any and all interaction that could possibly occur.
Its like if they had the power to generate personal force fields they would but they cant so they instead read the newspaper or sleep or stare off into space or down out their surroundings with music or do other personal task that they can do to forget where they are and let the trip time fly by.
That's the simple truth and thats why no one helped old dude. Folks were probably blissfully unaware of what was happening, caught up in their own worlds until the last minute or were in their avoidance mode and just couldn't get going in time to help him.
So lets not act surprised. Judge all you want, its bad, it should be so but dont be surprised. Its horrible and says something about mankind yes but it is what happens in this society so dont make me laugh with your shock. All your shock tells me is that you're not a regular rider cause if you were you'd see it as pretty much par for the course.
Sad, disturbing, shameful yes, surprising naa not even a little bit.