My problem with all the violence and bloodshed on Game of Thrones is that the nobles, who apparently can kill with impunity, never take their swords to people just for being annoying. Nobody gets it for talking during the movie, trying to buy 30 items in the 10 items or less line, passing on the right, coming to church with a hacking cough due to a cold, tweeting in all caps, waiting until getting right up to the counter before even thinking about what to order. Civilization protects these irritants. We don’t do much of anything about them because it’s less irritating and less disruptive to let them irritate us. So they never learn their lesson and continue to go about breaking all the little rules the rest of us abide by in order not to go about in a constant state of irritation. But what’s the use of a total breakdown in civilization if you can’t at least take your broadsword to the tires of somebody who’s taking up three slots by parking their new Hummer at an angle so it won’t get dinged?
This morning I took the wagon down to get gas. There are two sets of pumps on a single island at the station. There was a single car on each side of the island. Both drivers had pulled up so that they blocked both pumps. Both were small sedans, a Honda Accord and a Hyundai. They had both just pulled in to so that they could see me and the two other cars looking to gas up. Did either of them bother to pull all the way up?
Why do you think I’m writing this post.
Not only didn’t they pull up, they each took their sweet time about getting out of their car. And of course neither one paid at the pump. And of course when they went inside to pay they each had to buy something. The driver of the Hyundai was a heavy-gutted man around fifty wearing a gray suit and sporting a brush cut. He bought a coffee. Large. With cream. And sugar. Oh, and he almost forgot. A donut. The Honda driver was a little younger. He wore a ball cap and glasses and the slightly stunned, resigned expression of someone who’d overslept and was late for work and was already hearing his boss yelling at him, again. Not that this made him hurry. Just the opposite. It slowed him down in an Oh what’s the use way as he bought his breakfast burrito, coffee, juice, lottery ticket, and stocked up on a few items for around the house. By the time he got back to his car, I was just about done filling up mine in the space finally vacated by the Hyundai, whose driver, as you might have guessed, was very careful not to meet my eye as he climbed in his car, set his coffee on the dash, buckled up, adjusted his seat belt, adjusted his mirrors, took a couple of sips of his coffee, searched around for a place to put it, decided against using the cup holder, and started up and nosed his way out, balancing his coffee on the steering wheel with one hand as he steered with two fingers of the other. The other driver avoided eye contact too as he took his time settling in behind the wheel of his Honda. So they both knew!
I managed to leave enough room behind the wagon for another car to pull in and so did the F150 that pulled in on the other side when the Honda dawdled on its merry way.
Like I said, civilized society functions because we let stupid and annoying people like this get away with being stupid and annoying. But Westeros isn’t civilized so why should they put up with it?
But they do.
In Westeros, no one gets killed for being stupid.
Well, except for Starks.