Monday, November 06, 2006

Public Display of Affection

It is sort of inconsistent that I should object so much to PDA, given many of my other views. After thinking about it for a while, I realized two things that bother me about it:

1) If you're lonely, it really sucks to see other people making out.

2) Couples making out have a rude obliviousness to the rest of the world.

Now, the funny thing is, I don't object to PDA at Burning Man. The Playa is a different reality with different rules and expectations. The problem of #1 is sort of circular, since it wouldn't really be a problem if affection and physical contact weren't so repressed - it's hard to feel really lonely if you can go up to a stranger and ask for a hug; this is why that isn't a problem at Burning Man. But #2 is hard to get around - those couples in the stairwells in high school didn't give a rip if they were in the way anybody trying to get by. When your interest in the world is limited to one other person, it's hard to realize when you might be creating a problem for anyone else.

Is that second one a problem at Burning Man? Well, maybe a little: sometimes you have to step over bodies walking around inside domes, but mostly, it doesn't really seem to come up. Maybe that's because it hasn't been anybody I know well. Feeling ignored sucks, and you expect your friends not to ignore you. The people I know on the Playa are more of a community of friends than a bunch of couples independent of others, and that seems to be the way with most groups there, fitting with the sense of community.

Okay, I have more thoughts about this, but none I want to put online.... and it's almost 2:00am. If I have more thoughts on this, there may be a part 2.



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