Sunday, 13 February 2011

Get them back, get them back, get them baaaack

…get them back on “G”, back on “G”

The above line is a parody of AC/DC’s song “Back in Black” that may well be very appropriate from both my own experience and the latest e-mail exclusive article by Human Events under the title “Family Events”.

In their e-mail exclusive “Why Manners Matter”, Family Events are arguing that over the past three decades, American society has become less civilised and that people have much more trouble avoiding really nasty conversation or aggressively criticising strangers’ political or religious beliefs in public:
Only a generation ago, it was still shocking to hear coarse language in public or in mixed company. It was still considered rude to pry about personal subjects like sex and household finances. Children used to learn not to criticize someone's religious or political beliefs …
The way I heard a great deal of coarse language as a child makes me think that the problems Family Events describes have been around for a lot longer than imagined. Whether or not it would be feasible for me with my erratic behaviour, I have always hoped that it would be possible to have a place where people did not bully me for my inability to confirm to “normal” patterns of behaviour. I do know from awfully bitter (and progressively worse with age) experience that much of what I do in public is abhorrent and so unacceptable I get banned from closed public places like libraries, but under conditions where violence and harrassment were less prevalent, then maybe (and only maybe) I would have had more time to think about how I should behave in public.

If kids at school had been more respectful of my behaviour, however, it could equally easily have been worse in the long term because I might been even worse equipped for working on my own in public. However, it is probably fairest of all to say i learned absolutely nothing about how to behave from the bullying I received in school, even though as an adult my mother says to me all the time:
They didn’t hate you, they hated your behaviour

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