Boris Johnson, the new Mayor of London (and champion of the apathetic citizen).
i just saw another fist fight today -- in the middle of the road, about five minutes ago.
right now i am staying in the sleepy seaside town of Bridlington, England. it is in East Riding of Yorkshire, on the coast of the North Sea. it is a white, middle class area with a bit of depression in parts, as far as i can tell.
my partner and i were just walking back to our bungalow with a few groceries in hand. on the block ahead of us i saw about five old teens or adults standing around. i VERY jokingly asked my partner if we were entering some gangland territory -- a reference to the current plague of youth crime in England. he laughed a bit along with me and we walked on.
then we got closer.
and guess what.
it was, in fact, a fight.
we decided to walk directly through the confrontation, as that was our only path home, and as we passed through it i could tell that four people were directly involved and three more were looking on at close range. one lady was on a cell phone, presumably calling for help, but her female companion was actually giggling, as if amused.
i hope it was actually just nervous laughter on her part, as i hate to think that British people think this kind of violence is AMUSING.
as we passed through the action safely i turned around and watched as the two tallest men went at it in a hard-core fist-fight in the middle of the frigging road. not even on the sidewalk -- the middle of the fucking road.
i paused on the sidewalk and asked my partner if we should be calling 999 (the British equivalent of 911).
he said "no -- don't involve yourself. keep going."
it struck me as apathetic and somewhat scary.
i say scary because if that was me (or my partner) getting kicked in the head in the middle of the road i sure as hell would want a passing stranger to call the police for help.
but we didn't. we turned our backs and kept walking, knowing that in England even Mr. Boris Johnson, the recently elected Mayor of London, advises that if you see trouble in the street you MUST turn and walk the other way. do not EVER interfere or try to help, just get yourself away. forget the other people, even if you know them.
this is the country i live in now.
by my count i've called 11 different U.S. cities "home" in my lifetime. this number includes New York City and Los Angeles. yet never once have i witnessed such violence as i have since coming to England. if you've been reading my blogs you know that this is not the first man-on-man, down on the ground fist fight i have witnessed in my short time here, and you know i'm not happy about it.
the whole thing scares me and makes me sick at the same time.
now let's see...
how about one of you America-hating Brits out there write in and let me know exactly how your country is supposed to be better than America? why exactly ARE you better?
because as far as i've seen you've got a shitload of problems on your hands.