Move over, Arnold


Everyone likes a bit of violence sometimes. I’m not talking about the full-on contact stuff, that’s reserved for a few who enjoy that sort of thing (you know who you are). But most of us like to watch. The more unrealistic the better, Jean-Claude van Dam, Vin Diesel, Arnold Schwarzeneger have thrived on it. Getting up largely unscathed after a brick in the face is obviously a skill which prepares you for a new career in Government (at least in California, USA, it seems).

I note that a new phenomenon known as ‘fatty rage’ (the slimmer version reads ‘fat rage’) has been coined, for which there are plenty of eager advocates on YouTube. And by ‘fatty’ we are not talking about a little middle age spread – it’s the super-super obese variety that has come in for most of the stick. The term means many different things but includes the rage that ‘fattys’ experience when someone gets between them and their food, the rage they have against the way society can sometimes treat them (like potentially being asked to pay extra on flights) as well as the rage that society can have against them (like being squeezed between two on a flight). Someone should just sit on that kind of behaviour and squash it firmly out of society. It’s just plain mean – or would you like that with mayo?

When it gets too real though, it’s not nice. A little while ago the British Crime Survey statistics 2009/2010 were released. HSE more recently published a study of these in relation to violence at work. Despite perceptions, they confirmed that the overall risk of being a victim of such a crime is quite low (less than 2%). But this masks the fact that some occupations almost never experience it and others experience far more. There’s no surprise that Police (nearly 10%) and Health sector (nearly 4%) are most at risk. In the UK there’s about a third of a million each of threats (i.e. a bit of verbal) and actual assaults (usually minor cuts and bruises). There’s some overlap – because threats are often a precursor to assault. There’s no strong gender bias to the figures either. The perpetrator was usually a stranger, but sometimes known to the victim (for example a client – but, there are only two options here). As you might expect, quite a few of these incidents are alcohol or drug related and some victims experienced several assaults in a year.

I note that scientists and those in skilled trades (like printing) are least at risk. There are lessons to be learned from this. Firstly, it is clear that no-one would hit a scientist – or indeed anyone purporting to be i.e. anyone wearing glasses (it’s the appearance of intelligence thing). So, if you want to be a vigilante, I suspect a science degree may well keep you from harm.