When I’m biking, I get aggravated by pedestrians who step into the road without looking and cars that drive into the bike lane without caring. One day a pedestrian or a car may knock me innocently down. If they knock me into traffic, I could be seriously injured or even killed. I feel angry at the stupidity of these dangerous and irresponsible people.
There is something ugly here. Honesty compels me to admit that there’s a part of me that hopes the other guy will misbehave. If he misbehaved a bit in the last block, I watch eagerly, expecting and secretly hoping he’ll do something even more outrageous in the next block, thereby vindicating my judgement of him as as bad person. There’s even a part of me that imagines it might not be too bad if an accident happened. Maybe this is the impulse toward martyrdom.
But mostly it’s about ego of the more quotidian variety. The worse the other guy is, the clearer my superiority. Ugly.
[13 July 2014]