Ode To Civility

I’m going to keep this post short and to the point because, quite frankly, I am thoroughly disgusted by the state of decorum in today’s day and age. WTF is going on lately? First we have “You Lie!” boy who disrupted a joint session of congress and shouted the President down about something, incidentally, that was not a lie, healthcare for illegal aliens (BTW, they already have it)… Then, we had Serena Williams who nearly went postal during her Grand Slam match by swearing at those officiating. Lastly (so far), we have Kanye West’s reprehensible behavior during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMAs!

Whatever happened to decorum, manners, respect, and common decency? Seriously, has everyone lost their fucking minds? What is the matter with society today? At every level people have completely turned into rude, disrespectful, and selfish douchebags. This behavior is unacceptable for children let alone those who are supposed to be examples for the rest of society, these people are leaders in politics, athletics, and the arts. If these are the “best” people we have then we are in bigger trouble than ever I imagined.

… And now, as I watch ABC news, I see that they are about to run a story on the same topic. I can’t wait to see what their take on it is.

What a World.

~ by Woeful on September 14, 2009.

20 Responses to “Ode To Civility”

  1. I have made it a point NOT to point out the inconsistencies in other people’s behaviors, as I am the Queen of La diDa myself, but your latest was too much. Had you even noticed the language you used in your post? After asking the universe what has happened to decorum, you follow-up by wondering if folks have ‘lost their fucking minds’. What we have here is a failure to communicate, to borrow from the best–you don’t even hear how badly your OWN sense of propriety has hit the skids. What is this? Trickle-down crude? You then follow up by tossing in term ‘douchebag’ (the idea of wich isn’t exactly dinner-table conversation…ewww). And you are a Libraraian–the One who is supposed to hold onto the last vestiges of that propriety we mentioned earlier. Hmmm.

    Words are just words. I am not a prude. But I do believe that when we use language that even 10 years ago was taboo as though it were part of the daily lexicon, we are doing our bit to open the gates for the barbarians and the Kanye Wests. Just think about it. Does garbagetalk make the thought clearer, add to the overall value of what you have written? Or is it just shorthand thrown in to make YOU sound cool to the readers? Obviously you aren’t at a loss for words here….

  2. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/09/15/obama-calls-kanye-west-jackass/

    I thought this may make you happy.

  3. Kanye is a dickhead

  4. Hello Amyro:

    Do you seriously believe that my remarks here are anywhere near the same league as insulting the President to his face, or usurping a major awards ceremony where a teenage girl is giving her acceptance speech for her first ever award, or threatening the well being of a professional sports official?

    People SHOULD be called out for being asshats… In the proper forums. You obviously are a newcomer to these here parts and I welcome you for reading and commenting. If you weren’t a newcomer, you would realize that the language I’ve used here is consistent with my own Woeful format, and my on Woeful style manual (which I call BSA). I’m like the Howard Stern of librarianship if you will, only with fewer tits and ass, and less dick and fart jokes to boot. As such, I have no problem with anyone expressing their opinions be they Stern, Limbaugh, Beck, Springer [insert your favorite asshole here, you know you have one]. I’m all about free speech.

    This blog is my virtual home, and I invite everyone to talk, and even encourage debate as long as everyone remains civil while they’re in my house. There will be no name calling or accusatory bullshit here, I won’t have it. So, as with any broadcast medium, if someone doesn’t like what they’re reading here they have the right and I encourage them to change the channel to find something else more to their liking. Therefore, I would appreciate it if people didn’t come to my home and take big steaming dumps on my front porch… I wouldn’t do that to anyone else either as that wouldn’t be the proper forum and that is exactly what I’m getting at here.

    Decorum and protocol are largely dictated by context and the forums in which these incidents took place were totally unacceptable for this kind of behavior. I’m not saying that these people shouldn’t voice their opinions, there are plenty of appropriate outlets where people can freely bash dumbasses, douchebags, or political hacks. What I am saying is that people should be more aware of who’s house they’re in when they open up their pie holes. That’s called respect, and we are lacking it by leaps and bounds lately as a culture.

  5. Yup–and Kanye ‘was just bein’ kanye’ and you are just shootin’ the breeze in your own virtual home. And IF I don’t like it, I can go home. Yes, I can. (there *must* be a na nanny boo boo in there somewhere….) Respect is lacking indeed–self respect, respect for the language, and for the level of appropriateness in communication. You and I are not in our own homes–that is why you tagged it ‘virtual’. But is there some inherently evil about communicating more ‘formally’ (that is HIlarious–not using the Fbomb is now ‘formal language’) even if you are at home? Do you not shower because you are just at home? Is it OK not to flush the john because you are ‘just at home’? No, And all I want is a basic level of civility to which we are held–everywhere. Even if we are Kanye, or are some doofus line judge who called an incorrect footfault, or were raised in South Carolina and watch way too much Fox News.

  6. Welcome Back Amyro: We might have a new regular guys!

    And you know what? Kanye can be Kanye all he wants, in the proper forums. If I wanted a dose of Kanye I would buy his CDs, or subscribe to some of his online antics instead as many people do, but I don’t. Therefore I shouldn’t be subjected to it during something that has absolutely NOTHING to do with Kanye.

    Now, this is the “World Wide Web,” and I don’t know where you hail from but in the United States we hold dear certain principles. The FIRST of these principles is something called free speech. This principle allows people to express themselves “freely” about whatever they want in whatever form they choose whenever their speech is not a direct threat to the safety of others. For instance, an American can’t just wank into a crowded theater and scream, “FIRE!!!” That’s crazy talk and prosecutable under Federal law.

    What you are describing is an affront to the principles that The United States was founded upon. In America We are very diverse, and projecting one’s own ideas on others is distinctly bad form, although freely done as this is a form of free speech as well…

    What you describe is a totalitarian state where YOU judge what is civil in general terms. This is unacceptable in the United States because of our first principle of free speech. That said, as I have pointed out earlier, free speech is not infinite, and certain behavior should be curbed in certain contexts. This here is where we say a ha!

    We say this because COMMON SENSE and precedent is supposed to take hold of our ID and stop us from being douchebags in public. Sadly, this common sense thing is where the wheels are coming off in today’s day and age. People in America have begun to loose their grasp on common sense and this is obviously accelerating. Today I read in USA TODAY a similar story on civility to the one I posted. In this story the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post said that we haven’t reached the point where “society is coming off the rails.” I wonder what her grandmother or mother would think? Somehow I don’t think they would be so kind. That said, I don’t think the Posts had or have any issues with free speech in general as evinced by their tradition of etiquette in context.

    Anyway, in many other countries around the World, indeed right here in America Amyro, your comments on some topics might never see the light of day. Some censor might have just omitted it completely based on their own views or the State’s, but that’s not how I roll. In fact some disreputable asshats might just alter them and then use them to prove their own points… Not here though, because I believe in the principle of free speech.

  7. Because this is how they were raised: “Oh no! Not my precious child!” “Oh no, my child would NEVER Do That!” Not to mention the fact we allow them to scream their bloody heads off in public, at home, at the homes of others anytime they do not get their way or what they want… The parents are responsible because they are too self-absorbed to be bother raising their children properly. I am beginning to believe in corporal punishment.

  8. It’s All About: “ME, ME, ME, ME”!

  9. ‘Fuck’ is such a wonderfully versatile word.

  10. My sentiments exactly, Woeful. I’ve been going back and forth with something similar and quoted you (among other folks) on my blog:http://nonoteye.livejournal.com/11452.html

    Thanks for being a catalyst.

  11. Hi Angsty: Thanks for the linkback. The whole “entitlement” thing is definitely at the heart of the matter. That and I think cell phones (the ultimate device of self-importance). Personally I think that cellular telephones were the catalyst for much of this. Technology has leapfrogged the Human capacity to deal with it in a cultural context and cell phones are like amplifiers for people’s selfishness, ill manners, and incivility.

  12. Okey dokey–that flag you wrapped yourself in fit good? Nothing like implying that a potential opponent is vaguely un-American to get your point across. Didn’t J Edgar Hoover do that before he had MLK killed? (tit for tat….) The United States was NOT founded on the free-speech concept that any of us can say anything we want at anytime anywhere. The ‘fire in a crowded theater’ meme came to us by way of a political issue–not some yahoo who felt the need to dump his mouth in public. The FF would have literally died before they wrote any of the phrases you and every other blogger trying to sound current so lyrically toss off. Your argument is specious at best.

    I re-read my post and missed the part about the totalitarian state and the thought police and the censors from hell. I agree with you about common sense, and support it strongly myself. I always vote for the common sense party. I understand that I am blessed to live in the U.S.–thanks for reminding me, bro. All I want is that individuals look at what they are saying and think about how their level of discourse, their simple choice of words and phrases, affects the level of civility. I’m not in favor of calling out the f-word police. Grown-ups should be able to handle this on their own. Duh nur.

    Please note that I think I have gotten my ideas across pretty well, haven’t called you a ‘douchebag’ or a ‘dickhead’, and don’t feel oppressed that nobody would let me say naughty things on the interwebs. I don’t need to. If you want to and feel the need, go on ahead, boy! Just remember when you are 65 and wonder what happened, that you played a little part in the mudslide. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t as funny as a pig on ice and a great translator of the constantly entertaining human condition.

  13. Well, Woeful: I think it’s not just cellphones and blackberries and texting, but also things like Ipods (creating a future race of tintinitis sufferers) and sites like twitter that feed in on people’s obsession to report every bowel movement and sheer banality of their daily lives. Yes, technology can be blamed, but also one can still refuse it.

    Unfortunately, most people don’t, leading to the situation remaining as it is now.

  14. Maybe I should have used the term “smartphone,” but yeah that’s what I meant. The “phone” part of the cell phone is hardly the central role of the device anymore. To adopt an apropos term from Star Trek they should really be called “communicators” at this point. We communicate via, voice, text, email, IM, images, video, etc… with these devices now and most are MP3 players as well! I’m not sure about the iPod corrupting things by itself, I mean the Sony Walkman was the same thing (albeit analog) 30 years ago and had no such effect.

    Twitter I can definitely see as a leading cause of the rampant delusion of self-importance running amok though. I’m no Luddite however, that said my aversion to these things has more to do with the privacy issues they create, and the way they make it really easy for Big Brother to profile and keep tabs on everyone.

    That said, we’re at the point where suggesting that we can refuse to use technology is akin to saying that we can refuse to use our cars. Although this may be true, it wouldn’t be very practical for most people if they want to remain a part of 21st Century culture or even remain “visible” anymore.

  15. Amyro, due to the arrogance level involved I had my suspicions, however, I deal with MANY people over the Intertubes who are not Americans all the time. Indeed some of my readers who commented here are not Americans so I honestly didn’t know that you are, how could I?

    “I re-read my post and missed the part about the totalitarian state and the thought police and the censors from hell.” This is convenient… And I’ll let it go at that.

  16. That said, we’re at the point where suggesting that we can refuse to use technology is akin to saying that we can refuse to use our cars. Although this may be true, it wouldn’t be very practical for most people if they want to remain a part of 21st Century culture or even remain “visible” anymore.”
    I think this is my biggest problem, I don’t want to participate in every single new social networking device, but by not doing so I feel like I’m getting left behind. While I (rightly) assume no one cares what I ate for lunch, I’m somehow being rude by not responding to the endless tweets made my friends about what they ate, what time they went to bed, how stoked they are for the new Office, etc. Too much ME going on and not enough STFU, in my opinion.
    As for the culture of entitlement, how much do I hate the Heidi Montags (or is it Pratt? who cares) of the world for giving every teen the idea that they have a tv show/record album/clothing line just waiting for them without working for it (or having any talent). Life is not a reality tv show!

  17. Your the one who was looking for “CHANGE”, looks like you found it! Hope your happy now!

  18. Guess I wasn’t clear, I wasn’t advocating Ludditism. People are so ready to adapt to isolating themselves with their smartassphones, my point was that you don’t have to be friggin’ rude about it. Boundaries seem nonexistant and being an urban zombie (plugged in, tuned out or screaming on a shit cell connection) seems to be normal now. I got a cellphone for emergencies, but don’t feel the need to keep in touch everywhere, every minute. Same as what shussie said about online social networks, for me I can’t stand my family and don’t need to go on FaceBook to find out how they are. I tried twitter a year ago and felt it was a complete waste of time. I’m coming to the realization that all of this technology and social networking on the ‘internets’ is just another way to divert the populace, distract people from what’s really going on, because really, who has time to think about problems that don’t affect them (if it’s not ‘me’ based)? Or be politically active if it, like, really doesn’t concern you? Or be interested in any real-life community other than an online one.

    People just need to STFU.

  19. The general population has no common sense. I do know that Facebook has taken me away from this blog. Facebook isn’t the only reason for the fewer posts but it is adding to it, there is only so much anyone can participate in at once. And Twitter… Twitter I use mainly to promote this blog, and comment on other people’s status. It certainly all is a big distraction…

  20. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston_Brooks

    It’s nothing new. When we mostly care about other people being civil, we are probably most guilty ourselves. When Senator Sumner was beaten up by Senator Brooks, he was accused of being the uncivil one.

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