I consider elevators to be, for the most part, a smaller microcosm of the entire country. That is, whatever happens in elevators (conversation, arguments, sex) and the interactions that people in elevators have, basically can predict how society would react to any particular situation.
I think that currently, what’s going on in elevators says a lot about the state of the country.
1. Ninety percent of all strangers try to stand as far away from other strangers as possible. They use shopping bags, coats, and small strollers to keep them separate. What does this mean? Ninety percent of all people who don’t know you, don’t want to know you, and if it takes a stroller to get you away from them, they’ll be happy to throw it at your feet so you’ll fall instead of touch them.
2. People who are travelling in pairs will most suddenly go quiet around the rest of their elevator pals. Quiet. Conversation stops. It’s currently how people treat their business in the 2000’s. Everything is a secret. It’s amazing how hard I try these days to overhear conversations (I’m a writer, what do you expect?) and how aware people are of others listening to what they’re saying.
4. Music in elevators sucks. As does a lot of the current music today. (Yeah, I know — you shut up too.)
5. Most elevators these days go up and down (the economy) and are out of order a lot of the time (the country) and usually have a bunch of buttons that light up (Bush once had hi-tech buttons that lit up).
I think I’ve made my point and supported my opinions here. I’ll sit here and await a call from The Economist.