End of politeness?

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Sep 18, 2009 11:41 am

I recently watched a web video that was talking about how we have become less civil than we used to be. This of course was spurred by the recent actions of Joe Wilson, the esteemed Congressman from South Carolina, Tennis great Serena Williams, and hip-hop Superstar Kanye West.



The cause of this incivility? Technology, via MESSAGE BOARDS, blogs and the internet in general.



I find that I have to disagree. I think the lack of civility comes from an equal lack of consequences. There are no consequences for these actions.



In the past, rudeness and incivility were met with violence (in the immortal words of Charlie Murphy, "somebody had to go").



What have we done to have consequences for these behaviors? We censured Joe Wilson. Translation: You did a bad thing. We fined Serena Williams $10,500. Approximately three percent of her earnings from the U.S. Open and a drop in the bucket for her annual earnings. People told Kanye that he was a bad boy on blogs. We give Chris Brown community service for busting up Rhianna's face. We let Jimmy Carter call people "racist" with no consequences at all. "Oh, he's just a doddering old fool".



Rudeness can be forestalled with the threat of violence. "I will smack the sh!t out of you if you say that again!". Or can be reassured that it won't happen again with actual violence.



We all remember who shot Alexander Hamilton, but WHY did Aaron Burr shoot Alexander Hamilton? Because Alexander Hamilton wrote what would now be a defamatory blog post about Burr. I'll bet nobody wrote anything like that again about him.

Sep 18, 2009 11:45 am

F*** you, Moraen. Stop wasting my time.

Sep 18, 2009 11:47 am
SometimesNowhere:

F*** you, Moraen. Stop wasting my time.

 
Damn it SN.  You stole my line.  GFY.
Sep 18, 2009 11:48 am
SometimesNowhere:

F*** you, Moraen. Stop wasting my time.











I knew that was gonna happen!

Sep 18, 2009 12:01 pm
deekay:
SometimesNowhere:

F*** you, Moraen. Stop wasting my time.

 
Damn it SN.  You stole my line.  GFY.



I believe you mean "GFYS". Moron.

In all seriousness, I totally agree. I sort of wish we were in the good ol' days when someone knocked your teeth out when you said or did something stupid and offensive. It does seem we have become too civil for our own good.

Case in point...I was driving home from the office the other day on the highway when some skinny little punk driving a '95 Honda Civic cut me off, nearly running me off the road, while weaving in and out of traffic, driving 90 mph. After politely gesturing at him, I thought about how gratifying it would be to just bury this kids face into some concrete wall, and what favor I would be doing to society by taking this fool off the road for a couple months while he had his facial reconstruction surgery. If this guy was pulling this s*** about 150 years ago someone would have popped a cap in him with a good old 6-shooter, and everyone would have been safer and happier for for it.

Now I have to watch out for this idiot on the road, on top of enduring the fact that he and his stupid friends watch The Hills therefore flooding TV with mindless crap.

Anyway, off to take my Caduet...

Sep 18, 2009 12:54 pm

I will propose two other reasons:

 
1. Parents are afraid to discipline their children, lead by example, and demand good manners.
 
2. Our society glamourizes mis-behavior by drawing attention to it.  Translation: I misbehave, I get attention.  And sometimes that attention translates into $$$$.  Hence the "rapper/gangsta" movement from people that otherwise have no skill/ability/chance of making an honest living.
Sep 18, 2009 1:07 pm
B24:

I will propose two other reasons:

 
1. Parents are afraid to discipline their children, lead by example, and demand good manners.
 
2. Our society glamourizes mis-behavior by drawing attention to it.  Translation: I misbehave, I get attention.  And sometimes that attention translates into $$$$.  Hence the "rapper/gangsta" movement from people that otherwise have no skill/ability/chance of making an honest living.
 
Sep 18, 2009 1:07 pm

Driving has its own special category when it comes to rude and obnoxious behavior. Like the internet, a car shields us from the world. People feel invincible, so they have no problem throwing the F-bomb, the middle finger, and the car at someone they believe has done us some injustice. That works for them until the ball bearings ping off their windshield, a time honored response from motorcyclist in backing off aggressive angry drivers who are putting them in danger. Wrong, of course, but the modern equivalent of popping them with a six shooter.

 
I've been think about this very topic lately, but not because of Joe Wilson. Recently while moving the SUV from the pumps to the parking spacing in front of the store down at the local quiki mart, in these parts AKA WAWA, I had to wait a moment as Velda Bluehair got her Buick out of the space and pointed in the general direction of the exit. Of course I braced myself for the mistake the gas for the brake trick that a lot Velda's peer group likes to pull on us youngsters. Velda played it straight and slllloooowwwwllllyyy back out of the space. As she did so a young woman in a Toyota Salara pulled up and appeared to be waiting for Velda to pull away as well. Parking lot rule, first come first served, gave me dibbs on the space so i thought no problem. As Velda broke the sound barrier making for the exit I pulled into the space the horn on the Toyota blared! The driver than angrily pulled into the handicap space next to me, got out and unleashed a profanity laced diatribe about how rude i was in that I knew she was waiting for the space. On my part I took my usual stance of not arguing with morons.
 
I have to say this bothered me in that how uncalled for it was. I had done nothing wrong yet this woman felt perfectly OK with her unreasonable behavior. I keep asking myself why it is like this? What's wrong with people?
 
Of course i could have responded in kind. Her weight, fat ass, and foul mouth gave me plenty of ammo to work with. But again, don't argue with morons, which this woman clearly was.
 
I have to give this consequenses thing some thought. It holds weight. After-all, had I been wearing a badge and driving an official law enforcement vehicle I doubt this woman would have said anything. Hmmm? Is it legal to threaten to beat the effin sh*t out of someone if they don't shut up?
 
 
Sep 18, 2009 1:26 pm

I take the same route when dealing with the less than intelligent. I find it less gratifying than going off, but I remember I have more important things to do, and this person probably does not.

Sep 18, 2009 4:49 pm
As I trek into my forties..here would be my response to the parking lot whore..."WTF, if you would've been paying attention, dumbarse, you would have noticed I was waiting for the lady to pullout of her spot.  Pull your head out of your arse and go f yourself. 
Sep 18, 2009 4:53 pm

I didn't know you were old

Sep 18, 2009 5:12 pm

It feels good to let it out sometimes. One time, similar to the above parking situation, a guy completely cut off my wife as we were patiently waiting for a spot. I wasn't in the best of moods, followed the guy into the store and absolutely ripped into him from about an inch away. It felt good until I looked around and saw a few people, kids included, staring at me like I was some goofball. That is when I realized it just probably isn't worth it.

Sep 19, 2009 9:03 am

Yep, there were about a dozen responses that i could have blurted out chief among them

 
With that fat ass a little walking wouldn't hurt!"
 
But again, it would have only brought my down to her level and escalated things.
 
I'm not beyond reacting. In my much younger days I wasn't beyond doing physical damage to the cars of parking lot offenders who stole spots i was in line for. A few flattened tires, ripped off mirrors and a key scratch or two here and there. I don't do that anymore. Life is a journey, I've grown. But thinking about "consequences" do you think the drivers of those cars stole another space? Regardless, of course, at the time, my goal wasn't to teach them a lesson.
 
Line jumpers is another category. I'm sort of guilty of this on highways. Not in a true sense but in a perceived sense. The DOT has closed the right lane up ahead and everyone is moving to the left lane. Except they are leaving a perfectly open 1/4 mile of useable left lane. AS per the Ironbutt Association's "How to deal with construction zones" I use every inch of open lane and then merge. This pisses people off. Yet, it's really not rude. Still, it leads to some rude behavior.  Lane blockers. These are the individuals who, for whatever misguided reason, have decided to move to the open lane a 1/2 mile before the cone lined merge point. Except they don't move into the open lane. They hang in the lane that is being closed blocking any other vehicles from passing them. This is rude in that, why not just drive up to the merge point and merge? Versions of this have cars popping out of line to block drivers who are going down the shoulder. Years ago on an ice covered and closed I95 in Georgia I sat behind a tractor trailer who had moved right to block me from going to an exit a few hundred feet in front of us. With a sick baby in the car i needed to get off the highway that had been closed for over 12 hours. I "talked" to the jerk driver but there was no place for him to move his truck until the cars in front of him moved. Karma took over when traffic started to move and his rig was mired in mud an ice on the shoulder. We honked and waved! "That's what you get asshole!"
 
Here's how i handle a common line jumping situation. A person approaches me at the super market and says 'I have only one item can go in front of you?" I respond "It's Ok with me, but you have to ask everyone behind me if it's OK with them." Usually they walk away.
 
 
 
 
 
Sep 19, 2009 11:29 pm

You might have simply out that are hefty fines for parking in handicapped spots; and that you were calling the state disabilities office right now..... and have kept walking.............

 
 
BondGuy:

Driving has its own special category when it comes to rude and obnoxious behavior. Like the internet, a car shields us from the world. People feel invincible, so they have no problem throwing the F-bomb, the middle finger, and the car at someone they believe has done us some injustice. That works for them until the ball bearings ping off their windshield, a time honored response from motorcyclist in backing off aggressive angry drivers who are putting them in danger. Wrong, of course, but the modern equivalent of popping them with a six shooter.


 
I've been think about this very topic lately, but not because of Joe Wilson. Recently while moving the SUV from the pumps to the parking spacing in front of the store down at the local quiki mart, in these parts AKA WAWA, I had to wait a moment as Velda Bluehair got her Buick out of the space and pointed in the general direction of the exit. Of course I braced myself for the mistake the gas for the brake trick that a lot Velda's peer group likes to pull on us youngsters. Velda played it straight and slllloooowwwwllllyyy back out of the space. As she did so a young woman in a Toyota Salara pulled up and appeared to be waiting for Velda to pull away as well. Parking lot rule, first come first served, gave me dibbs on the space so i thought no problem. As Velda broke the sound barrier making for the exit I pulled into the space the horn on the Toyota blared! The driver than angrily pulled into the handicap space next to me, got out and unleashed a profanity laced diatribe about how rude i was in that I knew she was waiting for the space. On my part I took my usual stance of not arguing with morons.
 
I have to say this bothered me in that how uncalled for it was. I had done nothing wrong yet this woman felt perfectly OK with her unreasonable behavior. I keep asking myself why it is like this? What's wrong with people?
 
Of course i could have responded in kind. Her weight, fat ass, and foul mouth gave me plenty of ammo to work with. But again, don't argue with morons, which this woman clearly was.
 
I have to give this consequenses thing some thought. It holds weight. After-all, had I been wearing a badge and driving an official law enforcement vehicle I doubt this woman would have said anything. Hmmm? Is it legal to threaten to beat the effin sh*t out of someone if they don't shut up?
 
 
Sep 21, 2009 9:13 am

Taking names- unbelievably she hung a Handicap placard from her mirror as she was getting out the car. Which, if she was handicapped, what's the issue? And if she wasn't, and she didn't look to be, makes her totally reprehensible. Still, as Ron14 has pointed out, taking her down or on, not worth it. I'm just reaaly put off that this type of occurance has become all too common.

 
The times i try to be a model citizen and call the authorities, it never works out. Like the time i was nearly run of an interstate by a drunk in a pickup truck. I called the drunk driver hotline. I kept that truck in site for over 20 miles as I was transferred from one operator to the next. I hung up in frustration.
 
Ice- the lane merge thing is something learned from the IBA in dealing with traffic jams. Still, I ask; why are people always leaving so much open highway in front of them? On the bike in jammed traffic I also lane split. Yeah, i know it pisses people off, but on a bike it is dangerous to sit in stop and go traffic.  Driver's attention is no longer on driving. Out come the PDAs, laptops, phones. make-up, breakfast, lunch, dinner, homework, legal documents, business reports, etc. On a motorcycle there is no such thing as fender bender. it is far safer for motorcyclist to ride at 5 or 10 mph between stopped lines of traffic than sit in that traffic. This is one reason that California allows lane splitting up to 40 mph. I do it only in jammed conditions with stopped traffic.
Sep 21, 2009 2:35 pm
iceco1d:

The reason the "merging at the last second" annoys the he|| outta me, is because that's usually the cause of the traffic jam!  If everyone would just calmly and evenly merge into the appropriate lane(s) ahead of time, when you actually hit the construction zone, traffic would be moving fine (maybe 10 mph slower than normally, but at least no brake slamming, swirving, etc.). 

 
I'm completely convinced that the same twelve (12) drivers in America are fully responsible for every traffic tie-up that is ever experienced across our fine land.  Like some clueless carriers of typhus, they blithely sow their ignorance across 4 lanes of traffic as they realize their exit is RIGHT THERE, and thus create a scene of sheet metal carnage lasting for hours after they've exited the roadway and made that life changing stop at The Dollar Tree.
 
This opinion is backed with empirical research conducted while being employed many, many moons ago (like back when Paula Abdul was hot and could also remember her own phone number) in Dallas.  My 14th floor office was looking right smack out on the 635 loop around north Dallas, and EVERY DAY some Random Act of Ignorance (RAI) by one of the aforementioned 12 Apostles of Antipathy would lock things down for at least an hour after he or she had motored placidly away, leaving thousands of drivers wondering what the problem was as they got to the front of the stoppage and there was nothing there. 
 
DWI, Driving While Ignorant, should be punishable by a committee of your commuting peers, sentences commensurate with the aggregate amount of man hours lost while dealing with the act-post-facto.
 
Then there was that time that a Chevette rolled over and burned to ash right below our building.  Everybody got out ok, but that was fun to watch for hours later.  Also saw an extension ladder fly off the rack of a pickup and go straight through the windshield of the Benz behind it.  No fatality there, but the Benz driver was taken away in the ambulance, probably to remove the power seat motor drive from his bionically clenched sphincter.
Sep 21, 2009 3:05 pm
2wheeledbeemer:
iceco1d:

The reason the "merging at the last second" annoys the he|| outta me, is because that's usually the cause of the traffic jam!  If everyone would just calmly and evenly merge into the appropriate lane(s) ahead of time, when you actually hit the construction zone, traffic would be moving fine (maybe 10 mph slower than normally, but at least no brake slamming, swirving, etc.). 

 
I'm completely convinced that the same twelve (12) drivers in America are fully responsible for every traffic tie-up that is ever experienced across our fine land.  Like some clueless carriers of typhus, they blithely sow their ignorance across 4 lanes of traffic as they realize their exit is RIGHT THERE, and thus create a scene of sheet metal carnage lasting for hours after they've exited the roadway and made that life changing stop at The Dollar Tree.
 
This opinion is backed with empirical research conducted while being employed many, many moons ago (like back when Paula Abdul was hot and could also remember her own phone number) in Dallas.  My 14th floor office was looking right smack out on the 635 loop around north Dallas, and EVERY DAY some Random Act of Ignorance (RAI) by one of the aforementioned 12 Apostles of Antipathy would lock things down for at least an hour after he or she had motored placidly away, leaving thousands of drivers wondering what the problem was as they got to the front of the stoppage and there was nothing there. 
 
DWI, Driving While Ignorant, should be punishable by a committee of your commuting peers, sentences commensurate with the aggregate amount of man hours lost while dealing with the act-post-facto.
 
Then there was that time that a Chevette rolled over and burned to ash right below our building.  Everybody got out ok, but that was fun to watch for hours later.  Also saw an extension ladder fly off the rack of a pickup and go straight through the windshield of the Benz behind it.  No fatality there, but the Benz driver was taken away in the ambulance, probably to remove the power seat motor drive from his bionically clenched sphincter.
 
I am literally crying in my office, and I have clients in the lobby looking through my window wondering what the hell my problem is.