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This news article about an employee literally trampled to death when he was opening the doors to a crowd at a Wal-Mart showing up for the after-Thanksgiving sales shocked and scared me. The shoppers didn't want to leave even after someone announced what happened and told them the store was closing because an employee had died.

Why I don't like crowds.

That sort of thing comes up in the news occasionally at concerts. I think that I've read of it happening sometimes at sports events too if the crowd was too big and too volatile. But this is the first time I've heard of it happening just because a store threw a sale.

I don't care how cool it would be to get a 10 megapixel camera for $69. It's not worth killing someone for it.

That was in the suburbs, not in NYC.
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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 29th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
It's amazing...I just got an email today that was a story of incredible human kindness, in Mumbai, IN. A couple was vacationing there and the hotel staff and strangers on the street did all that they could to keep them safe. Then, there's the dark side of humans, displayed at WalMart. We are such complicated creatures.
Nov. 29th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow!
Humans may be complicated individually, but in crowds everything gets simple -- and violent. Human beings stampede like cattle or any social animal, and that is why I do not enjoy being around crowds.
Nov. 29th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
That was me posting...I just discovered your anonymous tab, Robert...DEB (I think I've been anon all along.)
Nov. 29th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
Oh purr, thanks for letting me know it was you. I understand that behavior well enough, it saddens and scares me though. I've seen it many times and it is the ugliest thing about humanity that I know of, the way humans will completely lose all conscience in a group even if individually they are gentle, compassionate people. Mobs aren't human.

Or, I should say, not anything human that I'm willing to join.

Which makes it triply dangerous for me to be out in a crowd when a stampede happens because I'm likely to be going the other direction, trying to get out of it and not participating. Mobs like that will get enraged at anyone who's breaking away from it and not part of the mob, it sets off the "us and them" reaction.

Edited at 2008-11-29 09:54 pm (UTC)
Nov. 29th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
I read about that too, and I was just disgusted. Do these people actually think that getting a cheap TV is worth a man's life? Is the fact that this man's family is now missing a member over the holidays really balanced out by the fact that someone got their kid's Christmas present for $10 off?
Nov. 29th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Scary, isn't it? That blows me away. I don't quite understand how people can do that, but oh I do know it happens. In crowds people lose sense of identity and turn over their conscience to the group, and the group is stupid compared to any individual.

It's part of why I've never trusted crowds or enjoyed being in them. I can't trust the crowd to act in my interests or according to my ethics. I can't just trust a crowd enough to go along with it and forget who I am -- and when I am in crowds, the crowd does often sense this and get hostile.
Nov. 30th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Large crowds tend to set off panic attacks in me anyway, so I try to avoid them if I can. I hate going to malls on weekends because of how many people will be there, and it's worse around the holidays. I'd rather just stay home and forgo the panic attack and the press of strangers all around me.

At least I never had to be in large crowds when I still had to use my cane. I don't know how I'd manage something like that, seeing as how even with the cane to help me along I still couldn't move very fast unless it was a good day.
Nov. 30th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
That sounds like me -- it's always frustrating when I'm around people who move too fast and expect me to keep up. I know if there was a general panic I would be the one to get trampled, because I wouldn't be able to keep my footing if I got pushed along at their pace.

I hated malls anyway for how huge they were. I stopped going to them for much of anything unless I had no other choice, the hike to get through one was always more than I could take even when I was stronger. Crowded malls are worse, and people get nasty when it's crowded.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 29th, 2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
Glad you got something about it. I'm also glad you were able to do it without getting injured or harassed. Even when I did go to stores I used to like to go at odd hours on days hardly anyone was there, to get better service and less stress.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 29th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
no kidding! There are a lot of things in life where I routinely did that and avoided stresses that most people just put up with and then bitch about.
Nov. 30th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC)
Wow, check this out: http://www.lwsfreedom.com/id/greentitan
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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