Lately, rudeness has made a comeback. Kanye, Joe Wilson, ANY talking head on FOX, MSNBC or CNN are all hoisting the flag high and free these days and no one seems to really care. I care though.
I am guilty of overtalking people...I have become infamous for interrupting people from time to time. I have done my share of the things I am currently about to rail upon. But I have never done any of them out of rudeness. If I am guilty of anything, it's being too internally focused. It's a disease all writers have I hear. We live half lives. Half in...half out. Our waking world is just as real to us as the one we mind walk in. I have caught myself drifting into that mind walk as I talk to another and have stopped short at times when the decorum left. It hasn't been every time, mind you, and there are quite a few people out there that will be the first one to call me an asshole because of it.
But the things I am seeing now are not based on wandering minds. They are not the result of poor timing. They are the result of premeditated douchebaggery. I doubt they sat in their chair that day and counted the minutes till the proper moment to unleash their asses, but I would say that there was a second or two, maybe more, where this thought sat on their launching pad...engines humming...and they stood aside it as the smoke drifted from it's tail pipe and regarded it with a firm and well intended "Yeah...That's The Ticket!"
This is a direct result of the freedom we enjoy and the almost Orwellian insistence on Everyone Is Special that gets drummed into us from the time we come into this world kicking and screaming to the time we slip on our banana peel and shuffle off the mortal coil. The sad thing is that it's almost considered more rude to CALL people on it. Granted Kanye and Joe are getting their asses handed to them, but you can bet there are people in their car saying "Damn Right Man! You said what we were all thinking!" That agreeable figure quite often is themselves in the rearview, but it agrees with them nontheless. And when it's more than one opinion, it HAS to have merit.
I see a root cause in this bum-rush of rude that has kicked in my door. People are angry. They have taken the trivial and made it meaningful. They are disgruntled sports fans, displacing the highs and lows they endure for their team onto the more serious struggles. Politics, contests, awards, anything that goes contrary to the way THEY think it should becomes a testament to the unfairness of the world. The kids then kick dirt on home plate and decide to take their ball home. Their actions were once the trademark of sports talk radio callers, limited to the morning and drivetime cocoon of our cars where we could vent about the call or the player or the fan with complete anonymity. This freedom has grown unchecked. It has morphed into an "I can do NO wrong." mentality. There is only one person to blame here and that person is YOU. I would say Me, as the spirit of the message is that we must claim civility back for our selves, but I'm not being the asshole here. Well...not that much of one. My role here is as messenger, delivering the gilded scroll to the common people and praying they read it. Take control of your anger and do what you can to make the world a better place.
Hold a door for an old lady. Let the guy with three items in line ahead of your full grocery cart. Give the bum at the gas station a dollar regardless of what he wants to spend it on. If we all loosened our sphincters a little by doing the basic human kindness acts, rudeness would melt away like a wet witch.
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