Tuesday, March 29, 2011

another one bites the dust

Nothin' much to do with the song video by Queen, but I needed something catchy to draw you in. Now that you're here, if the actual subject fails to move n' groove ya, sit back, play the vid and enjoy the beat.

The topic is ETIQUETTE.
Basic politeness.
People-to-people rules of conduct that, when followed, help to keep the lot of us - civil (???)
Remember? Golden Rule and all that.

In polite Western society, it was once considered gauche for a gentleman to wear his hat inside the house or at a place of business. These days, it's not uncommon to see guys wearing baseball caps whilst scarfing down dinner, even at the nicer eateries. As a society, we're in a decidedly more casual place than ever before when it comes to fashion, and the passing of time has allowed for this infraction to cease being one. But wait - there's more...

Rudeness could be defined as not getting up from your chair (or the sofa) to greet visitors into your home. Failing to offer any form of refreshment to guest(s) is another faux pas of polite behavior. These are just a couple of basics. Common sense dictates that if you make an effort to venture to someone's home for a visit, it's for a place to sit and a bit of refreshment to go along with the conversation. 'Hello - good to see you. Thanks for coming' should be the norm, not the exception. Doh! Visiting people who probably asked you to come over - and expected your arrival - then feeling like they want you there. Go figure.

Emily Post would have slapped the hand (though she may have secretly preferred to kick the butt) of any young n' healthy individual who failed to offer his/her seat on public transportation to someone who might be in greater need of a sit-down --- be it an elderly senior, one-legged war vet or full term pregnant momma-to-be, for example. The idea being that there are some who would be more comfortable sitting rather than standing, and those someones may not be as spry as you. To give up one's seat would be to consider that possibility. So many are unclear on that concept and that is disheartening...

You find yourself in a social setting - be it a casual gathering of a few 'round the living room or a large party at a hall. Instead of talking/interacting/or even acknowledging one another --- a great majority are tuned into their phone or other hand-held techno device. Ignoring others present as if they weren't there. What is wrong with this picture?

Where the heck did Good Manners go?
When did being kind and considerate of others fall by the wayside?
Who said it was OK to be so self-indulgent?
When is 'rude' acceptable?
What the hell trend is this?!?

For far too many individuals, all that good stuff about Being Thoughtful went down the toilet. Flushed away with Basic Etiquette.
Politeness swirled down into the abyss some time ago as well.

Has it anything to do with the aforementioned technology, which forces mechanical interaction to the point that we have actually forgotten how to interact with real people?

All I can conclude for certain is this:
Basic Etiquette bites the dust and Golden Rule goes down with it.

Is Em Post rolling in her grave?
What of Miss Manners?

Where, if anywhere, is the new Diva of Polite Social Behavior? She (or he), with a listing of behaviors conducive to civility? A set of irresistible, inspiring rules for the eager masses who await guidance? Are there those who will really give a hoot, holler or even a polite nod to any new fandangle 'Guide to Correct Etiquette'? 

As a society who prides itself on civility, we certainly could tip the etiquette scales more towards considerate behavior.

If that were so, I, for one, would certainly get through my days -
being -
a lot less -
pissed off.


Conn said...

a tip of the hat b. a tip of the hat.

baffle said...

but are you wearing that hat whilst fine dining inside the fancy restaurant, Conn?
heh heh.