Tuesday, March 27, 2012


As I very dimly recall, people used to pass the time on trains by staring out of the window or reading newspapers.

Now it seems that laptops and phones are whipped out and everybody sits in the reflected glow of their technology, connected to the whole world.

Connected to everybody - except the person sitting next to them.


  1. Even before the days of laptops and mobile phones, I still always remember train journeys as long, tedious voyages, spent desperately trying to avoid contact with the stranger sat next to me.

    At least now I don't have to feign interest in a newspaper for 2 hours on the trip to London!

  2. Commuter trains are the worst, one time, there was a woman who was standing on a crowded train and she was bawling her eyes out. No-one did or said anything, no-one made eye contact, after a while I couldn't stand it, so I asked her what was wrong and whether there was anything I could do to help. Just approaching her helped calm her down, turned out she was on the wrong train and it was a fast train ie a non stopping train, taking her miles away from her destination.

    Sometimes on journeys though you can all of a sudden, out of the blue; strike up conversations with people too, this used to happen a lot more when I was younger than it does these days, but most of the time on long journeys I wear headphones, listen to music and either gaze out at the scenery or, fall asleep.

  3. I think it gets worse than mere disconnection.

    Orwell noted in his diary during the blitz, that strangers were more likely to strike up conversations, than before the war; so there has always been a certain degree of 'reserve' in times of peace.

    But there is an extra dimension these days, which is the synthetic fear generated by state organizations, whose income depends on the belief that we are out to attack each other, and said state institution has to be fuelled by tax dollars to preserve us all. Think Mafia protection racket.

    Hence, not the natural disconnection of a self reliant people, but the dislocation of soviet style paranoid dystopia; where their little electronic friends, stop them drowning in public.

  4. HaHaHaHa! If you sit even near me, you are asking for trouble! Male, or female, alone or not! I even force people to speak even if they have an iPod on =D I think the best, is to listen to a mobile phone conversation, then when they finish, mention what you heard them talk about. This then hints at them never to do such things in public places.
    The best one is, when you hear them state where they are, and they are telling lies! "No they are not", you shout at their mobile! =D
    "Send them up", they deserve it for being stupid!

    I almost stopped the Health Service today, while speaking to a female consultant. I first asked her, if she ever had problems understanding males? The answer was, "all of the time" :( So I asked her if she would like to know a big secret about this? "Yes please", was her answer. I told her that all females have a problem with "all males", this being that there is a part that never grows up in them! This is "The Eternal Boy", that never grows up! She agreed with me, but then I dropped the bombshell! This "Eternal Boy", is in fact, the males "X", as we are X+Y Chromosomes! She was flabbergasted, and agreed that sounds correct!
    Morrel of this? "Speak, but also listen, as you might learn something profound"? Speak to each other, and take things into your Soul! It is this that makes you a better person!

    1. Well noggin48, what can anyone say to that? This sort of discussion could carry on for all eternity ... If the male "X" chromosome is "the eternal boy", what are women doing with two of them, what does that make us? *shudders. Or maybe I have misunderstood you.

      Any how, all of this searching is great, fantastic, I'm all for it, but there must be a framework to it surely, a purpose. I have my ideas as to what it might be, but noggin48, I would be interested in hearing yours.