December 5, 2011

A Novice Guide to Train Wrecks

Or rubbernecking or however we choose to define those moments when the momentum of a vehicle carrying someone to a destination careens out of control. We adopt the vernacular of "train wreck" as a code word for "I'm gonna stare".

I admit, when folks do things I don't expect? I stare. I am riveted. And even when they've indoctrinated me into their unexpected behavior? I still watch, curious if they can keep it going.

True dat. Or Beast. Or maybe Booyah. I'm borrowing the most current slang I hear my teenagers use in attempt to keep my commentary as relevant and timely as possible. I may be messing up the slang. I am actually giggling that I typed such words. My goodness, it's amazing what we do to be heard.

For every person muttering that they Do.Not.Do.That., I contend someone else +2 is muttering how much that is them. You see? Train wreck is only if you get off course. Train wreck has no basis in the folks who somehow or another manage to bullet forward without mishap. So it's about the gamble. How much can we  push it before we wreck?

How far can we go?

Crazy as it sounds? I think this is exactly what defines the American dream. This is the dynamic that pushes us towards the ridiculous. The impetus to behave in a way that is out of the norm, but with the hope that someone will agree and endorse you.

Each time you find yourself unable to turn away? Ask yourself ... Why? and if you can answer it? tell me. Let the world know why you're watching. What keeps your eyes on a Train Wreck?


  1. I watch because I like to keep tabs on my own predictions of the situation. I know that is slightly morbid, but is honest. It is nothing more than a game

  2. Great one, Kim! Interesting read with an insightful tie to "The American Dream". Mikey Likey!

  3. Ah Mikey, ya see, none of us are one dimensional. So even as I witness behavior that makes me gasp, I consider all that brought such behavior to my eyes in the first place. And like it or not, I cannot help but consider our idea, or idea(L) of the American Dream.

    The belief that the world is ours, if we only grasp. And sometimes those who grasp reach into the realm of embarrassing or ridiculous.

    And we stare.

    But I cannot wonder if it's partially a stare of "wow you almost made it then tripped" than anything.

    We see a train wreck, and think "if only they had reined it in". And yet if only they had? Would we have tried to reach "almost"?

  4. When I watch certain reality TV shows that are like train wrecks, I wonder why I'm doing it. There are so many things that are unusual in my experience that I'm endlessly fascinated.


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