In the Summer
I went to Lollapalooza
, as it briefly swung through California
Among the concertgoers, I especially remember two shirtless men who could only be described as scraggly, wiry, leathery, and clearly given to inebriation
. But more memorable was their behavior
. Standing at the edge between where people sprawled on blankets gave way to the standing and dancing mass, they took turns "accidentally
" bumping into various girls who walked by. Each instance taken individually could indeed be interpreted as unintended -- a man somewhat drunkenly dancing at a concert turns around suddenly and by chance his hand ends up squarely on the breast or other tender body parts of a passing girl, one probably herself at least a little under the influence
. Most of the girls shrugged it off. Some barely seemed to notice. One even giggled. But a few were incensed; their anger was met with pleas of innocence
and accident. And then, after the angry girl had gone, the two would hi-five or otherwise congratulate
each others' violative success.
This was uncomfortable to watch. I knew this was wrong, but was a teenager
then, with little notion that I ought to do anything about this, and less of what could
be done, from the near shore of a sea of flesh. Confrontation
was out of the question, as I'd be both outnumbered and, knowing how types like these might fight, outgunned. Find a security guard or authority figure? I don't remember seeing any, or having a thought of how I might find one and then find my way them back to where I was. Warn passing women? The crowd
was too chaotic to begin thinking something like that could be of any use.
But I did learn from that experience to have an eye out for the pattern
of behavior wherein somebody does something sleazy and then feigns innocence, even outrage
at being called out over it. Wherein for example somebody trades in commentary
laden with crude or vulgar innuendo -- or perhaps with racist dog-whistles
, or libelous
insinuation -- and then acts stunned that any listener might think the cruder meaning was at all what was intended.
IRON NODER: TOKYO DRIFT