Vandalism in big cities, rebellion against the system, or something else?


Opened the scooter season. On one of the Moscow boulevards I stopped at a traffic light and watched

most curious picture, a man emerged fromsubway crossing, went to the traffic light and took out a screwdriver from the bag, after which he began to enthusiastically unscrew the screws on the box with the button for pedestrians. He was not wearing any uniform, just an ordinary person from the crowd. I didn’t wait for the end of the process of parsing the box, but outwardly everything looked quite working, what was the point of this action, I still don’t know. I'm not sure he even turned the screws, poked around in something on that box with a screwdriver. Agree that the action looks at least strange.

This scene of city life made me rememberabout the vandals that live next to us, they look like ordinary citizens and it is almost impossible to suspect destructive inclinations in them. And I'm not talking about the neighbors who enter into a fight for a place for a car under their windows and for some reason consider a particular place to be theirs, although no one was paid a penny for it. In such stories, everything is usually limited to cut tires, finding out the circumstances of the incident with the district police officer. No, I'm interested in situations that at first glance have no logic behind them, manifest themselves in the chaotic destruction of things in cities. And here we are not talking about radiophobia, when residents stand as one against the 5G tower under construction. There is no 5G, there is just disbelief that it can be good.

5G base station under the windows of a residential building in Moscow. Residents fight

As they tried to install a 5G base station near the house, the residents complained to all authorities, and at the same time asked to improve the quality of communication. Paradoxes of the modern city.

About ten years ago, I ran into a neighbor at the entranceand a concierge, the first turned out to be a deeply religious woman who denied many achievements of civilization, but put up with them out of necessity. For example, she did not use the elevator, was forced to use the intercom and lamented that perhaps these were conveniences from the tempter of the human race. I was deeply struck by how bizarrely everything that is possible was mixed up in a person’s head. The "harm" of mobile phones, waves that we do not see, electricity. The right word - I was fascinated by the harmonious picture of the world that the imagination of this woman painted. I have not lived in that house for a long time, but every time I remember this story. Of course, I am not a doctor and cannot make a diagnosis, but the impression of painful judgments was definitely present. Well, here is another thing, that woman did not fight against the achievements of civilization, she denied them only in words.

Quite another matter is our neighbor, who dislikedintercom and, as it turned out, deliberately broke it. After the frequency of intercom breakdowns reached a record level, and the tenants were tired of handing over money for its repair and replacement, they decided to follow a simple statistical path - by analyzing who opened the door and at what moment the intercom broke. The time of the incidents was known, so it was not difficult to identify the vandal, it turned out to be an elderly man who excelled in destroying the intercom and honestly admitted: “I did not think that someone would find me.” A simple and effective method was used, water was poured into the mechanism, which quickly disabled the intercom, sometimes instantly. After all, it was not too lazy to carry a bottle of water and spill the intercom.

You know what surprised me about that story?The fact that the person did not fight intercoms as such, he did not like that he sounds too loud and he hears the squeak of the intercom in the apartment when the windows are open. That is, for him, the intercom was an annoying factor in the home environment.

Perhaps here we have found the main reason forwhat happens to devices in cities, they annoy people and cause them to react. For example, a person on a scooter can scare a passer-by, and at an opportunity and out of the eyes of other people, he will kick a standing scooter, so to speak, take revenge.


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The very first encounter with vandalism in mylife happened back in school, then it caused me serious surprise. The young guy frantically tried to tear off the receiver in a telephone booth, but he did not succeed. He twisted the wire, hung on it, beat the ebonite body of the tube against the metal body of the machine gun. The reason for such frenzied behavior was unclear, and there were no other passers-by nearby. It is possible that the machine ate two kopecks from him and he could not call, perhaps the reason was different. But it was the most common vandalism, and something similar happens every day and in different parts of the world.

Walking with some friends down Abbot Kinney one nightthis is a party place in LA, where there are many cafes, shops, graffiti. Bright, quirky, and generally crowded, but not as crowded on a weekday evening. I was surprised to hear the Lime electric scooter beeping, a young guy was dragging it somewhere. When you do not unlock the scooter in the application, but try to move it, a kind of alarm is activated - not very loud, but noticeable. This scooter was dragged just like that.

On the other side of the street spotted anotherboy, he also pulled a scooter. The feeling was that people were busy with work, if they did not have the look of surfers relaxing in the evening, who have nothing to do in the evening, and they suffer from idleness. In one of the lanes, we found the end point for collecting scooters and, as it turned out, bikes from street rentals - a Christmas tree.

About six young people enthusiastically collected“spruce” from improvised items, not paying attention to the fact that the alarm is working, and the lights are winking, it was a kind of garland. It is quite difficult to disassemble such a design, something will probably break and become unusable. And, for a moment, this is someone else's property, which is simply disabled. The measure of responsibility for such behavior is understandable, there is no need to invent anything, if these guys were caught, then they would be given a very real punishment. But the situation is such that there are practically no penalties for damaging scooters and bicycles in the United States.

There was a sensational story in Russia regardingscooters, about 800 rental scooters were damaged by three intruders, they smeared the steering wheels, control panels with grease, it was impossible to use the scooters after that. The story happened in the summer of 2021, three intruders were found and it turned out that the reason was not the fear of scooters, but violated business interests, they felt that the companies that own the services did not treat them fairly, they did not pay something. Already in September of the same year, the court considered the case, and they paid the companies a million rubles as part of a settlement agreement, there was no criminal liability. It was unprofitable for services to draw attention to history, to provoke people to such actions.

In England I saw how young people fill the camerasspray paint, a kind of protest against the surveillance system. But almost always vandalism is a reaction to certain factors of a big city, something that causes irritation, changes the usual way of life. Glass in Sapsan in the early years was broken not by local punks, but by people upset by the change in schedule, which became uncomfortable for them. In any case of vandalism, you need to understand what has changed and how it has affected the society, often no one thinks about it in advance, does not assume what could happen.

Probably, the sick should be left out of the bracketspeople whose logic we can never understand. For example, in one of the chats I came across an “avenger” who told how he imperceptibly spilled liquid on a taxi seat so that passengers would be wet later on. I didn’t get to the bottom of the background of the issue, or rather I didn’t have time - the moderators quickly cleared out the “avenger”. Is it vandalism? Definitely. Is this person sick? I think so, since the object of his revenge has nothing to do with what happened to him. That is, quite random people suffer here.

Oddly enough, in Russia people are quite tolerantto the new, do not seek to destroy the unknown. The lower the level of education, the more different stories, for example, attempts to burn the equipment of cellular operators.

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Sometimes people are driven to something like this by envy,for example, I know a lot of cases when people in the warehouses of different companies deliberately spoiled the goods, took revenge for social inequality. It's nice to surreptitiously ruin a half a million TV, thinking about how someone will feel about it. By the way, this is one of the reasons why the warehouses of large companies were among the first to acquire cameras and surveillance systems, the number of “breakdowns” in warehouses quickly disappeared, moved to logistics and stores.

Behind almost all vandalism are social and/oreconomic reasons, there is nothing else. Sometimes it is young people who, in a surge of feelings and emotions, destroy something, but more often things that are associated with some unpleasant stories cause irritation, there is always a root cause. Fear, danger, other emotions, all this translates into reactions that people show in relation to objects that they cannot fight back. But with the development of surveillance systems, fewer and fewer people behave indecently.

Do you know what phenomenon the cameras overcame?People who defecate in porches or in yards cannot endure until the nearest toilet (we are not talking about those who are sick and cannot endure, but simply who are impatient). By some miracle, such people get to the toilets, find an opportunity not to do this in the hallways. Cameras quickly and effectively overcame this problem. And with vandalism, it's about the same story, they break things secretly when they are sure that no one will see or find out. This means that the number of such stories will decline, because there is nothing secret left in our world.

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