Feren (feren) wrote,

Inspired by spoothbrush -- society needs its mouth washed out (and an etiquette class)

Tonight I was reading her entry about a "classless society." What she's referring to is not a society that is free from classes of people, but a society free of the concept of class, wherein civility and standards of behavior are discarded.

I got the feeling she thinks we're rapidly sliding into that particular pit. I think we're already there.

Let me share a snippet from the not-so-distant past that validates this suspicion of mine. The scene unfolded just a little while ago, on the first of this month, when my parents were in town and stopped at my place for a rest on their drive back from FL to MN. lady_curmudgeon, my mother, my father and I had gone to our favorite local restaurant to enjoy a nice dinner. We got there sometime around seven in the evening. The restaurant was busy but not jammed by any means. We were seated in a booth. The booth immediately adjacent to us (behind where my parents chose to sit) was being bussed. Shortly after we ordered our meals that booth was seated with three individuals. There were two guys and one girl in this party. We were "lucky" enough to be treated to every single part of their conversation because they seemed to have absolutely no internal regulation to the volume of their voices.

But that wasn't the only aspect about having them behind us that sucked. I think my father put it best when we walked into the parking lot on our way to the truck. He said, and this is a direct quote... After listening to those people sitting behind us for forty-five minutes I had to get out of there. I don't know about you, but I try not to use the word "motherfucker" more than sixteen, eighteen times at the most in my dinner conversation.

He's not exaggerating the situation, either. I readily admit that I can (and frequently do) have a pretty foul mouth -- but even I have never been nearly as vulgar as those two men were. And they were at a dinner table. In a public place. With that woman (girlfriend?) sitting with them, no less! What the hell, man? As captain18 would say, "That's classy with a `k`." In the spirit of "one good list deserves another," I'm going to augment Spoothbrush's list of things that show an utter lack of upbringing with a few items from my own list. Nothing says "I am uncouth and as socialized as a howler monkey" like:
  • laser pointers and cell phones in the theater [we've all suffered this]
  • changing your baby's diaper on a store's checkout counter when there's a perfectly usable bathroom (with a Koala Kare station in it, no less) only twenty feet away [personally witnessed at my old job as a cashier]
  • posting pictures of yourself at the Playboy Mansion in your cube [I wish I was kidding about this happening at my work place]
  • open and extensive fondling your girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/spouse/pet/whatever in front of children while you're in public space [saw this during last summer's company outing and there's just so many horror stories within the various fandoms]
  • embracing the fruits of ignorance
  • ...and making excuses for people who do any of the preceding.
Maybe we hit the height of our civilization back in the early 1900s and have been sliding downward in a linear manner ever since. Maybe this degeneration is more accurately described as a bell curve, I can't say for certain. I only know that the utter inability of any one person or group of people to comment negatively on such behavior without being shouted down by the masses is enough to ensure this trend is not going to disappear and will likely accelerate.

And people ask why I never want to go out anymore...

Another quick means to an end
Tags: society

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