Sunday, August 21, 2011

Better Late Than (Bleeping) Never

Those of you who came looking for this post early this morning (or at the equivalent time wherever you are) were probably disappointed to find today's post not there. It happens. I slept this morning until the unheard-of hour of 7 AM, then got up and took Nessa for a walk, then drove to Panera to shoot something for breakfast, and just as we were sitting down to breakfast, our daughter called to invite us to a grandchildren-sitting opportunity which lasted well into the afternoon. Then we had to run errands, and then I had to get my hair cut, and then ... well ... it's now almost 6 PM, and if I don't get this written now, it won't get written at all.

So...

There was a very timely and interesting op-ed article by Kathleen Parker in this morning's Washington Post that I thought I'd share with you. It was titled "Land of the Bleeping Free" in the print edition, and "What's Wrong with These Bleeping People?" online. The topic, as you might have guessed, is the prevalence of very loud and exceedingly vulgar speech in public ... so prevalent that I saw this sign in Virginia Beach a while back:

In the interest of full disclosure, I will note that I am not above cursing like the proverbial longshoreman on occasion ... but I tend to be selective of those occasions. I would never dream of launching a top-volume salvo of "f-bombs," or using "m-f'ing" in place of every second adjective, particularly in public and especially where young children are within hearing. If you need a symbol of our diminished standards of civility, common decency, and basic education, it's tough to find a more noisy and offensive example than the language of many young (and, okay, not-so-young) and thoughtless boors nowadays. Ms Parker writes,

"Good behavior is nothing but good manners, simply consideration of others. Recently out of vogue, manners get hauled out the way most people attend church — at Easter and Christmastime. But manners aren’t just gray-haired pretensions practiced by smug elites on special occasions. They are the daily tithes we willingly surrender to civilization. An “MF” here or an “FU” there might not constitute the unraveling of society, but each one uttered in another’s involuntary presence is a tiny act of violence against kindness, of which we surely could use more."

And, because I couldn't have said it much better myself, I'll just end it here.

Have a good day. More thoughts - hopefully, on time - tomorrow.

Bilbo

P.S. - I'm reminded of the old New England adage that says, "If you're going to break the silence, be sure you can improve on it."

B.

3 comments:

Mike said...

Where's Bilbo!!! Oh NO, the Bilbo is dead. Long live the Bil...... Nervermind.

Sylar said...

nice post :P
+follow

Banister said...

Great post. Thank goodness I was raised to have and appreciate manners, and a sense of decorum.

In addition to the loud and frequent "effing" and "m-effing" heard from certain people there is a growing frequency of spitting in public that I think is just disgusting.