Monday, January 19, 2009

A CHARGE OF INSULT AND BATTERY

I had the pleasure of witnessing a televisual feast documenting the current abysmal condition of civility in modern society...which is now on life support.

The program was aptly titled to hell with manners .
and you may peruse through an interview with filmmaker John Curtin HERE as he dissects the death of civility.

Basically far too many modern Homo Escapeons are rude as hell to each other because they are reacting to a perfect storm scenario:

"misguided parenting, longer commutes, less community, isolation due to technology, and impersonal customer service."


Misguided Parenting; Back in the 60s the North American Baby Boomers (like moi) rejected the rigid conformity of the Leave It To Beaver/Father Knows Best society that we grew up in.

Now of course the pendulum has swung too far and as parents many of the Boomers have overcompensated by soaking themselves, and especially their kids, in some twisted form of self esteem.



For whatever reason, self restraint was viewed as being contrary to self respect? So now we narcisshits view life as one gigantic YouTubian show about US. It's all about ME, ME, ME 24/7.


Longer Commutes = Less Community: Road Rage. The sheer volume of Boomers escalated the cost of housing and has forced them to live further away from their workplace. In big cities a 3 hour daily commute sends many over the edge. This is MY LIFE, MY SPACE, MY LANE.

Thanks to the stress of the 3 hour commute people either cocoon when they finally get home after their 12+ hour day..neighbours schmeighbours...or most begin chauffering their little replicants around to a myriad of activities in the race to create the image of being super-parents.

Now that perceived pedophiles lurk at every corner nobody lets their kids walk to the community club. Ergo the kids play on their handheld computer games or talk & text on their cells as they are grudgingly escorted to their next thing..and usually eat McSupper at the Mcdrive-thru on the Mcway.


Techological Isolation: Look at a crowd of people these days and you notice that most avert making eye contact with others because they are either listening to their Ipods , texting/talking on their phone, or zoning out...in the subway, theatre, car, street, library you name it!

The computer age delivers messages at astonishing speeds now and we get impatient after waiting for even a few seconds...we want it RFN!

In case you overlook the obvious, here we are reading and conversing with ethervolk instead of talking to our neighbour...but it's easier, safer, and more rewarding isn't it?

Impersonal Customer Service: Flying used to be seen as the pinnacle of travelling in luxury, now it is a bloody nuisance...personally I believe that asshats like Osama Bin Hidin and that shoe bomber idiot Richard Reid are as much to blame as the decline in civility... and no punishment is cruel enough to exact our pound of flesh from those assholes.

Banking is of course the other obvious nightmare..

gone are the local tellers and managers that you knew for 25 years..as one of the participants on the show said..you don't blow your top at a teller that you have known for years..she is a person not an automated voice instructing you to press 4 now.

So mix it all together and what do you expect? The Baby Boomers have a few years left to fine tune their legacy. At present their revamping of the social contract will be a dismal failure. Instead of Peace, Love, and Unicorns, modern North American Society is a spectacular sickening vortex of excessive individualism and avarice.

Should we have expected anything less from the ME Generation? Where is that middle ground between ME and them? Technology seems to be exascerbating the problem..shouldn't we turn off the computer and go have coffee with our neighbours or read a book with our kids?


Our brain programming for interacting with others was developed over hundreds of thousands of years (after reaching our present stage of arrested development)for living in Clans and small communities.

Ten thousand years ago our Hunter/Gatherer world was turned upside down by the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution.


Three hundred years ago the Industrial Revolution only exascerbated the problem of living like Ants and began disintegrating the extended familiar multi-generational household unit.


Now the Technological/Information Revolution is in full swing and it seems to be dissolving the Nuclear Family into Individual Units.


What will be left when the next Revolution further subdivides the Individual?
Perhaps we will be stored as units of energy as shown in the Matrix?

We certainly won't have any use for manners if we're all just a bunch of computer batteries will we?

23 comments:

  1. Hello... is there anybody there?
    Sx

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  2. I'm off to dig a shelter now. I have tagged you if you want to come out and play though

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  3. My, my - having a bad day? I can't be unhappy today - it's GWB's last day and then he's gone! Woohoo!

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  4. Well!
    Someone is in a bad mood

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  5. Why should I be polite or respectful to anybody who hasn't earnt it? It's an effort, you know! Way too hard ;)

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  6. I'm all for turning off the computer and having you and yours over for some coffee (well... the kids would get some fresh squeezed OJ instead) but admit it... the commute would be horrendous! :)

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  7. Well, you can always have coffee with me... the commute would be an easy 20 minutes or there abouts.

    It is sad that so many have become so insular that manners, common courtesy, politeness and just being part of a community have gone by the wayside. It is definitely humankind's loss.

    I, for one, always strive to be polite and friendly. I always look people in the eye, smile and say hello even if listening to my iPod when walking the dog.

    Am I an oddball now? I try to think not... but perhaps I am. If so, I am happy to be one....

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  8. It might be that manners and courtesy have gone the way of the Tower of Babbel. What is polite in one culture is rude as Hell in another. It even narrows down from there. What is polite to one neighbor is rude to another.

    The couple next to me are, quite literally, hermits. We exchange maybe 10 minutes of conversation, total, all year long. They do this with everyone, so it's not just us. They really seem to prefer it that way. Why? I have no idea.

    Maybe they've just given up.

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  9. Donn...is the people really like this in your community? Am I living in a time warp or something? My town has a strong, close knit community. We support each other in times of joy and crisis. We smile at each other and say hit on the streets, even to strangers. We help each other at birthings and, now at the other end of life we are supporting each other and the families at deaths.

    The other day my bank folk kept thanking me for coming in, asking if they had met all my needs to the point of it being almost creepy.

    The 21 year olds I know care about their families and friends.

    I know the stuff you wrote is what's advertised, but it's not my experience nor the experience of people I know here and in towns far away. I keep wondering who and where these people are.

    Ok, then..it's official. Between the weather and this, you need to move.

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  10. Quite the rant, eh?!! But, I have to agree with you on almost every point Donn. Parenting has, and for the most part still is, been in the shits for years now - and now we're paying the piper. Show's like Supernanny are trying to undo the abysmal failure of lenient and apathetic parenting. Unfreakingbelievable. Peace, JP/deb

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  11. SCARLETT
    *gurgle

    LULU
    I'm working on it tonight.

    CITIZENESS
    That certainly IS good news for modern man!

    BEAST
    I AM NOT!!!!!

    STACE
    By being polite to those undeserving you heap burning coals upon their countenance...not to mention the good that will return on the Karmic Boomerang.

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  12. I'd like to know what Lord Tennisanyone has to say on this matter.

    Please.

    Thanking you in advance.

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  13. KINDNESS
    I would expect nothing less from you of all people..you chose your handle well...although I believe that it chose you and you could not be anything other than kindness.

    Namasté

    PONITA
    I also make a point of engaging other Earthlings that I encounter..some choose to ignore it but most are very friendly..

    prolly 75%? maybe 50% in Wal Mart but barely 5% in SUPERSTORE those bloody rude f*ckers!

    I have a nagging sense of optimism about the everyday people..it's the other f*ckers that I have given up on.

    E CURIOUS
    I always take that sort of behaviour as a sign of suffering from a crushing insecurity...the indifference is a mask.

    I never worry about my engaging neighbours going postal, just the quiet ones.

    GILLETTE
    Not to worry..I make a point of surrounding myself with pleasant engaging individuals. Every once and a while I do encounter the others but I find that if you get into a one on one, most other Earthlings are always more than happy to exchange and share.

    My standard egregious oversimplification was more of an attempt to ring the bell on the dangers of trusting in technology and progress to solve our problems.

    At the heart of every News story is a human story..an individual who needs to feel like they are part of the big picture and that they matter. It's easy to believe that you don't when the intertwined conglomerates are devising schemes to make WANT WANT WANT stuff that we don't need...we need others.

    I live in a very friendly little enclave an I should quit complaining about the weather..but it is one of the great uniters..look at what we can tolerate and adapt to...we are actually very proud of being able to function in such extreme conditions.

    JP/DEB
    The Nanny makes me cringe..what the hell is wrong with those people? Seriously how do you justify letting your kids rule the roost. When I see some of them I understand that the beleagured Mom does not have an angstrom of self esteem. Her husband is usually a complete asshole and she is trapped.

    Those little f*cking brats all need a sudden stinging dose of reality..preferably in a woodshed.
    What about those Bridezilla shows? That's what happens when these little Princesses and Napoleons grow up..total self absorbed twats!

    I worry about China and the 40 years of doting on one child..80% of which are prolly male. There are now tens of millions of these guys whose families have sacrificed everything for them..they are the current demographic tsunami to hit China as it emerges.

    But the decline of the West will certainly be sped up by the young self absorbed..of course the friends of my kids are all really nice, polite, and bright..hmm..OK so my entire argument just fell flat.

    I'm actually relieved to be wrong.

    MJ
    He was supposed to have written this post but he seems to have fallen in love. I'll try to cajole him into talking about it this week.

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  14. I agree with some of your thoughts. People do seem rude and are totally self absorbed. I don't understand road rage. That's just stupid. Perhaps if they were listening to some good music, those drivers wouldn't be so pissed during rush hour.

    Growing up in a huge family where I had to share everything, I kind of like being on my own. The solitude is nice, and I like doing things that I like without other people trying to tell me what to do. Though, there are times when I can't sleep, I turn on the tv and radio, then let the soft noise lull me to sleep on the sofa :)

    I don't talk to my neighbors for a reason: they can get on my nerves! Well, it's like they say, If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. I'm polite, say a few words, but I try not to get too personal. I really don't need to know what your psychic said or what book Oprah said to read.

    At work, I try to be courteous and professional, and I try to tune out personal gossip. I don't care who's sleeping with who; I just want to know where the damn stapler is, and if someone had put in a work order to fix the broken computer!

    But some kids are outrageous, and I do blame some parents. There is no reason your little kids should be so damned disrespectful and ill behaved, esp at someone else's home.

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  15. Commutes? what about Global warming and El Nino? I wouldn't mix with other people anyway as they are all twats.

    Hell is other people!

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  16. Like the T shirt slogan says: "smile and people will think you're up to something."

    Who's His Lordship in love with?

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  17. I do agree with lots of things you said here.And yes we need each other.YES,some people are rude.
    YES,some kids are under control but some neighbours are too,so I don't want to speak with them,I rather tune myself somewhere else,f***it!It's about finding the right balance and not becoming dependant to anything or anyone.I can converse here and still read a book with my son for example.As for me,I always try to be friendly with people but some days,I need to stay alone sometimes,it's vital(for a pisces),so for example going to see people in my commute everyday and talk for hours,no,not everyday,unless they need help,that I try to be always here.
    Confession:I hate MATRIX!!!!
    Sorry I know I must be the only person in the world to feel like that...

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  18. What will be left?
    Money.
    Big piles of money, with the odd suited man dancing up on it giggling his ass off...

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  19. Anyway, enough about that, I think I was telling you about what I think about...............

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  20. Im a machine..Im a machine..Im a machine..Im a machine..Im a machine..Im a machine..Im a machine..Im a machine..Im a machine..Im a machine..Im a machine..


    :(

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  21. erm...
    what if I don't like my neighbours? I mean, they have barking dogs and they dress funny!!!

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  22. A brilliant and scary posting HE.

    And it is SO not just happening in Whateverpeg, but here in Britain too - or 'Broken Britain' as some now term it. Where's Greg Peck when you need him?

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  23. Well said
    We have to insist that our daughter put your cellphone in her room and let those messages go to voicemail, rather than her "good vibrations" interrupting daily life with us (the 'rents...) Same goes for her to put that laptop computer down. She carries it around like it's her puppy!

    This is only enforced when she is at home visiting now that she's a college girl, but it sure made a difference. I recall at least 6 instances of actual EYE CONTACT!

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