drunk-preaching reverse-psychology

Waiting for the station announcement, waiting for the tracks to screech, waiting for my feet to vibrate - I, along with everyone, was suddenly surprised by the next event unfolding. A lone man yelling and swearing emerged from the pack. He swayed back and forth holding a bottle in the air.

F***ing pricks! You think ya know whats f***ing good for me? People frantically glanced around hoping for some answers to the commotion.
I f***ing need 'em. Ya can't just take my life from me!
Be clean...? F*** this s***! They're good for me!
This world's screwed up... i f***ing may as well be too.
...they'll change your life son
he hinted towards a school student.

It soon became obvious to everyone what was going on. Those around me laughed and spoke to themselves:
How pathetic!
That's what you get for taking drugs!
What a life!

The train arrived, drowning out the sound of the drunk man. This obscure event gave me an interesting ride to work as I deeply considered what just happened:

He was, in a way, preaching to a crowd
He believed what he said
His lifestyle wasn't hypocritical to his message
He was confident
He was passionate
...in fact... he's a perfect communicator!
Then why such a negative response? I think its two fold:
- people already had preconceived understandings into the effects of drugs and alcohol
- people were embarrassed to associate themselves with his behaviour
Therefore it would be virtually impossible for this man to 'convert' anyone to his belief and lifestyle.
I continued my train of though - just how effective is embarrassment to a message's response? To change someone's presupposition on a subject involves rigorous intellectual discussion, but embarrassment... could it change someone on the spot? Could embarrassment dive straight into a person's heart and turn it immediately to oppose the very thing presented?

...something to consider for evangelism.

Alternatively: what if an atheist were to wave his arms, yell and scream:
Our f***ing life is all an accident!
Its so f***ing obvious!
God would have to be f***ing screwed up to exist!

Would anyone be embarrassed enough to judge their own beliefs? Would they consider a creator? Maybe a future social experiment...

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Steve said...

Nice post mate, it's got me thinking. I liked the comment about his talk not being inconsistent with his lifestyle. Got me thinking about my talk, and my lifestyle.

Dave Miers said...

another thought provoking post joel - keep em rolling!

vk said...

Just following up what you and andrew were talking about at church 2nite, so i hopped on to check out these blog posts.I just read the blog from start to finish, at 12:00 am in the morning. I have to say this is now one of my favorite blogs :) Keep these posts coming pj.

jpj said...

VK: Wow! You must be a nite cat like myself! Thanks!

hayesy said...


Gold post. As is the one above it :) Good to see ya keeping on posting!