term for situation like 'you're not in traffic, you are traffic'
September 16, 2016 4:00 AM   Subscribe

Is there a term for or a turn of phrase describing the situation where someone is complaining about a problem while not recognising that they are a part of the problem? The traffic saying is the obvious one, but also: tourists complaining that somewhere they visited was ruined because it had too many tourists, or that sort of thing. (if not, I'm copyrighting the "precipitate paradox" to cover these scenarios...)
posted by AFII to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There's the famous quote from Yogi Berra, when was asked why he no longer went to a particular restaurant: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." So maybe you could call it a "Berra paradox".
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:50 AM on September 16, 2016 [6 favorites]

I'd just call this lack of self-awareness. But that's not really specific enough for you, I expect.
posted by lollusc at 5:40 AM on September 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

posted by deadwater at 5:47 AM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

It's a (very mild) form of tragic irony.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:52 AM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Among my HS friends, we call it the Shmipple effect. 12 of us would show up somewhere, say McDonalds or a movie theater and he (G. Shmipple) would complain that whenever we all went there, there was always a damn line at least 10 deep.
posted by AugustWest at 6:22 AM on September 16, 2016 [4 favorites]

While I know that they're not the only ones complaining about it, literally every person that I've first-hand witnessed complaining about gentrification has themselves been a first-wave gentrifier complaining about subsequent waves.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 6:33 AM on September 16, 2016 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: just to be clear - I'm after a term for the phrases as a whole, not more examples of similar phrases. Seems like there isn't a collective term, however.
posted by AFII at 6:36 AM on September 16, 2016

We have a family cottage on a lake and it seems the thing cottagers love to do most is go out on their boats and complain about all the boat traffic, or to sit in their cottages and complain about how there are too many cottages. I have started calling this the Lake Effect.
posted by bondcliff at 7:27 AM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

The unreflection effect.
posted by tilde at 7:33 AM on September 16, 2016

To me, this seems to be part of cognitive dissonance: we find it hard to believe we're ever part of the problem, because it's very hard to live with the idea of being wrong. (Coincidentally, I'm just reading about this in I’m Right and You’re an Idiot, so it's potentially confirmation bias on my part.)

BTW, Drew Fairweather got there a few years ago with the precipitate thing: Toothpaste For Dinner by @drewtoothpaste - part of the solution
posted by scruss at 7:34 AM on September 16, 2016

Johnny Assay, a...berra-dox?
posted by LKWorking at 7:42 AM on September 16, 2016 [8 favorites]

There's a note of entitlement there. Why are all these other people using my road/neighborhood/world heritage site.
posted by 26.2 at 9:34 AM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Observer Effect. As pointed out, you can't change your tire pressure without letting air out of your tire.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:58 PM on September 18, 2016

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