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Thread: Thug Nation: Living in the UK

  1. #1
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    Default Thug Nation: Living in the UK

    Tonight I went across the road to buy a drink. There were a couple of shifty looking guys leaning against a wall so I gave them a wide berth, subtle like, and went about my business. On the way back as I crossed the road they started a rousing rendition of "who ate all the pies" so I finished crossing the road and turned back to them in time to receive more volleys of verbal abuse.

    "When are you two going to start sucking each other off?" I inquired politely. "I wouldn't want to miss the show." Surprised silence.

    "What did you say?" one of them asked incredulously.

    "You heard," I answered. The one who had spoken started to cross the road. Casually I pulled a pack of cigarettes from my pocket and lit one.

    "Yeah, get your phone out," the chatty one shouted, turning back.

    "It's not a phone, it's a pack of cigarettes" I cheerfully replied. Surprised again the man paused, clearly at a loss as to how he should proceed since I showed no apparent fear of him.

    He finally went with "What?".

    "It's a pack of cigarettes, not a phone." I explained again.

    "Give me a cigarette," he shouted, seemingly confused as to why he had actually said that.

    "Sure," I called back holding the pack out. "Come and get one." More startled confusion. Finally the two of them crossed the road and basically started to apologize before they'd even reached me.

    "You know I was just playing mate," the first one started, "my uncle's bigger than you are." I said nothing but handed him a cigarette.

    "Look at his arms," his friend said, "lucky he didn't hit you." I continued to say nothing.

    "You know I was just playing," the first one said again.

    "I liked how you stood your ground," the second one added. Before long we'd been properly introduced and all shook hands multiple times (drunken fools like shaking hands) and had a chat for a while. Admittedly my actions were not the most sensible, but there's a phrase I've always enjoyed: "The coward dies a thousand times, the brave man dies but once". Yeah, I've written this in a rather ostentatious manner, I know. That was just for the fun of it. But it was literally what happened, word for word.

    I think I was equally happy at the prospect of sharing a smoke and a friendly chat or attempting to smash their skulls in before they could smash mine. I really didn't mind which way they wanted to take it, and I think they could tell. The way they backed down and apologized was pleasurable, I must admit. Standing your ground is fine, but you've always got to leave room for the other guy to back down unless you absolutely want the situation to get bloody.

    Britain is bad for this crap though. Those guys happily told me that they were just hanging out yelling abuse at everyone who walked past. That basically doesn't happen in the USA. I could walk around in cities at night with no problem. Yes there were dangerous people around but they were of a different type and wouldn't fuck with you unless you looked vulnerable. Psychotic drunks loitering on all the streets looking to start shit just for giggles is such a British thing. Unfortunately it means I try to avoid walking anywhere after 9pm because I know, for certain, that bad things will happen. Standing my ground is one thing, but going out knowing it's going to happen would really be psychotic. I can't deny that violence, or merely the prospect of it, is a rush like no other. Yet I choose to live like a civilized person. Manners are important to me. I loathe these thugs that roam the streets looking for trouble. I get why they do it but it infuriates me that they willfully behave this way. So much scum. This was a problem in Britain when I was growing up here in the 90's and it's a problem now.

    In the USA the streets can get pretty wild at night in certain cities, particularly on weekends. But it's generally just people having a good time and if violence breaks out it usually seemed to have occurred accidentally. In the UK every night seems like a mini-riot with bands of drunken thugs roaming the streets looking for things to break and people to assault. It's intimidating and disturbing to feel like every guy you see might bubble over with psychotic rage at any moment. So what I really want to discuss is, what the fuck is wrong with the British national psyche? The USA has mass shootings to plague them but having lived in both countries I feel that the British problem of raging, psychopathic street crime is a far more pervasive and disturbing issue.

    Disclaimer: I feel bad for "insulting" those two by implying they were in a homosexual relationship. I am not bigoted, it's just a sad fact that I knew this would work. And technically they were the ones who inferred it as an insult. As Doug Stanhope has said, if anyone was offended I'll suck your cock after the show.

    tl:dr cool story bro random internet witticism Starbucks etc.
    Last edited by Paint_It_Black; 02-27-2013 at 06:40 PM.
    “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.” – Bill Hicks

  2. #2
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    I'm too tired right now to properly comment on this, but I just want to say that the first half of that totally read as a very strange "Daniel and I were at Starbucks..." thing. Or maybe I just wanted it to.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmak84 View Post
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llamas View Post
    I'm too tired right now to properly comment on this, but I just want to say that the first half of that totally read as a very strange "Daniel and I were at Starbucks..." thing. Or maybe I just wanted it to.
    Yeah, that was intentional. I figured there was no way to relate the anecdote without that happening so decided to embrace it. I did mention it was intentionally ostentatious.

    I also copy/pasted most of it from an email I wrote to my roommate in which I presented the story as a work of fiction (we write short stories) and then ended it with "no really, this actually happened right after you went to bed". No way could I be bothered to re-write it all and I felt the post needed the context.

    Edit: In case it needs clarification, I wasn't trying to actually come off as a "tough guy" here. I'm sure if the situation had become violent I would have lost badly. But the truth was in the moment I didn't care. I wasn't going to walk away feeling like a coward and spend the night hating myself for it. I gambled that if I pretended to be a tough guy I could get away with it but if it all went badly it was still better than a night of emasculating bitterness. If I ended up in the hospital I probably would have re-evaluated that decision but since I pulled it off I'm just honestly admitting that it was a rush and there is a small unpleasant primal part of me that likes violence. It would have felt dishonest if I didn't mention that.
    Last edited by Paint_It_Black; 02-27-2013 at 07:13 PM. Reason: clarification
    “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.” – Bill Hicks

  4. #4
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    I thought you lived in the US, but you might have moved back to the UK? I have a friend in Nottingham and I have been there a couple of times. A thing like that has never happened to me there or anywhere else in the UK when I have walked around alone and drunk.

    Interesting tale though, but is it really that different elsewhere? Don't you find drunk idiots everywhere?
    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RageAndLov View Post
    Interesting tale though, but is it really that different elsewhere? Don't you find drunk idiots everywhere?
    Well, that's one of the things I wanted input on. You do indeed seem to find drunk idiots everywhere, but it feels to me like the problem is worse in the UK than some other places. The USA was the only comparison I could make from personal experience but I hoped to hear from other people who have experiences of a few different countries.

    The British do have a bad reputation in this area so I know I can't be totally imagining it. The reputation is for football hooliganism, but it amounts to the same thing.

    Yeah, I am back from the US and living in Nottingham for now. I'm glad you had no negative experiences when you were here. Unfortunately I haven't been here long and have already had three unpleasant experiences. The other two times I just walked on because I had people with me and didn't want to pull them into something unpleasant that wasn't their problem. I also live right in the center of the city and every single night it sounds like there's a riot going on outside, and not in a good way. I feel like there's a deep vein of discontentment and rage that runs through the national psyche and manifests itself in ways like this. I feel like the riots in the UK a few years ago were just an extreme example of a problem that has existed for a long time and isn't getting any better. I don't think it would take much for it to all go crazy again.
    “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.” – Bill Hicks

  6. #6
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    I do seem to get a lot of shit here for being overweight, so that might explain why I am possibly targeted for random abuse more than people who aren't overweight. So another potential aspect for discussion here is the harassment of fat people. It does always seem that we're one of the few "groups" that can be acceptably mocked for our problem. I'm not expecting sympathy, although seriously losing weight is not anywhere near as simple as thin people seem to think, if it was there would be no fat people. But public abuse of total strangers is never acceptable, surely. No matter what. I accept that my weight can be a source of amusement. When my friends make fun of me I'm totally cool with that. But random strangers insulting me on the street? No. Growing up in the UK I was in constant fights because people thought the fat kid would be an easy target. This is the first time I've lived here again since becoming an adult and I'm saddened that it's still happening.

    I've seen a few episodes of a new show here on E4 called "My Mad Fat Diary" that gives a pretty honest description of what it's like being overweight in this country. To be honest I found it painful to watch because of how accurate it is.

    But still, the general theme here is, what the fuck is wrong with people?
    “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.” – Bill Hicks

  7. #7
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    In my city, I absolutely refuse to go anywhere alone, especially at night, but also during the day, because I get harassed. Granted, I'm not overweight and I'm moderately pretty, so it's harassment of a different nature, but it still leaves me unnerved and paranoid.

    It happens to my friends, too, but none ever really wanna talk about it, I believe, because they think it makes them sound conceited.
    Last edited by _Lost_; 02-28-2013 at 10:00 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    Yeah, that was intentional. I figured there was no way to relate the anecdote without that happening so decided to embrace it. I did mention it was intentionally ostentatious.
    Haha, awesome - I totally thought my tiredness was causing me to see something that wasn't there. I'm glad that wasn't the case

    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    Well, that's one of the things I wanted input on. You do indeed seem to find drunk idiots everywhere, but it feels to me like the problem is worse in the UK than some other places. The USA was the only comparison I could make from personal experience but I hoped to hear from other people who have experiences of a few different countries.
    Brits are pretty damn bad, I must say. I haven't spent any significant amount of time there, but based on the time I spent there, stories from friends who've moved there from other countries, and all the British tourists that come to Ljubljana, I would say there's a lower sense of self-control while drunk. When I go out here (usually to this big place where tons of tourists and foreigners go), I've found myself in aggressive confrontations at least twice - and both times were with British guys. Once these guys started talking to us cause they heard native English being spoken, and in no time were being very aggressive, insulting, and borderline-threatening regarding some bullshit about other beer vs. British lager (wtf?? My friends and I didn't even care enough to really participate in this, but they managed to get angry on their own... as they proceeded to drink beer after beer). I also had a group of drunk British guys walk past my friends and I and mock our American accents, totally unprovoked, turn around, and stare us down. I've literally never had a conflict like this with Slovenes, and it's pretty damn rare in Minnesota.

    However, Czechs are about similar (I feel like it's even worse, but that might just be because I have more experience with it, since I lived there for two years). Nearly every time I went out, there were police somewhere on the street to break up a fight. The streets were lined with broken glass, and people would just get drunk and bust shit (like glass panels at the tram stops). I felt somewhat safe walking around Minneapolis on my own - at night, a bit less comfortable, no major concern. Here in Ljubljana, I pretty much feel safe. In Czech, every single walk home at night was terrifying - not only because of drunks, mind you, but the drunks were often the worst part. I avoided Czech football matches because you were easily beaten up by drunk fans for supporting the other team (much like British football fans, I guess).

    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    I do seem to get a lot of shit here for being overweight, so that might explain why I am possibly targeted for random abuse more than people who aren't overweight. So another potential aspect for discussion here is the harassment of fat people. It does always seem that we're one of the few "groups" that can be acceptably mocked for our problem. I'm not expecting sympathy, although seriously losing weight is not anywhere near as simple as thin people seem to think, if it was there would be no fat people. But public abuse of total strangers is never acceptable, surely. No matter what. I accept that my weight can be a source of amusement. When my friends make fun of me I'm totally cool with that. But random strangers insulting me on the street? No. Growing up in the UK I was in constant fights because people thought the fat kid would be an easy target. This is the first time I've lived here again since becoming an adult and I'm saddened that it's still happening.

    I've seen a few episodes of a new show here on E4 called "My Mad Fat Diary" that gives a pretty honest description of what it's like being overweight in this country. To be honest I found it painful to watch because of how accurate it is.

    But still, the general theme here is, what the fuck is wrong with people?
    That's messed up. I've never lived in a place where people would openly abuse an overweight person. I mean, it could happen, but not as something you'd have to deal with more than once or twice ever. I've seen abuse toward non-whites (especially gypsies in Czech), gays, women dressing sexy, handicapped people, but never an overweight person. All of it is fucked up beyond belief, but the others are historically repressed groups - being overweight used to be a sign of importance (for men), and it still is in many cultures. Also, the UK is one of the fattest countries in the world, not far behind the US... I find that especially bizarre. :-S
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmak84 View Post
    I do not drink alcohol and coffee

    I do not smoke and do not do drugs

    I just do bumpin in my trunk

  9. #9
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    I like the first post, nice story (no sarcasm).

    In Vienna it's pretty much safe. You can go alone at night without being thugged. Still, it depends on the places you go and your behaviour. There are thugs here as well, but I don't think they're nearly as agressive as in the uk. Recently, there has been a series of rape incidents in the subway on daylight here in empty subway cars, though. It's over now, I guess.
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  10. #10
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    I am literally just back from London in the last hour.

    I didn't experience much of that loutish behaviour, except for some drunken eejits shouting at us during a Jack the Ripper tour. But I guess seen as I was mostly in the centre of London, in the touristy spots, it was okay.

    Edit:
    We also have that kind of thing over here. In fact, a lot of my friends would shout stupid things at passersby when drunk, but nothing sinister or rude, usually just incoherent shouts.

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