Rude and in the News
by Administrator on June 24, 2010
Emily Post's website offers "Five Ways to Combat Rudeness." They're mostly oriented around mature behavior and setting a positive example (e.g., take a deep breath and count to ten before responding; laugh it off; try not to take it personally -- maybe the offender's having an off day; etc).
Of course, we encourage and applaud these tactics for making the world a more civilized place. But, we also suggest one more option: submit your story to us!
If you're not sure you're right to be offended, send it to our "is it rude, or is it me?" editors. Or if you want to add it to our "read and rate" section, visit this page. Better yet: register and then submit your story, and you could win a prize!
by HRIT staff on April 11, 2010
A woman walking her seven-year-old son to school in Springfield, VA happened upon a house where she noticed an open window and, beyond it, a naked man sitting drinking coffee in his kitchen. After giving the man the finger, the concerned mother shielded her son's eyes, then continued off to school before calling the police. Shortly thereafter the police entered the man's home, weapons drawn, and arrested the man for indecent exposure -- causing him to lose his job and imperiling his opportunity to share custody of his own child.
This past week the man was resoundingly acquitted by a jury of his peers who deliberated less than twenty minutes. One juror remarked that she had a hard time not laughing during some of the testimony. Nonetheless, the man, Erick Williamson, was convicted by a judge in a previous trial who, we suspect, does not share the sense of humor of the jurors (or HRIT).
Williamson reported his feelings about the verdict as "relief, unbelievable weight off my shoulders after six months. I was not interested in exhibiting myself to anybody on the street, but in hindsight, now that that's happened, I won't have an open window in my house."
Surely the offended woman believes herself to be of superior moral character to any nude man, but, really, what does she think she is teaching her son other than one-finger sign language for a crude, hostile and undignified (if unfortunately common) message? After all, the body parts at issue are presumably familiar to most boys. Perhaps she simply felt compelled to demonstrate revulsion at the male form?
We also wonder if this model mom considered which rude behavior -- the "exposer's" or her own -- her young offspring is likely to begin repeating, immediately, to no good end?
On behalf of her son, may we ask, "Momma, how rude is THAT?
by HRIT Staff on April 08, 2010
Sometimes it appears to us that well-meaning, "progressive" attitudes in the country's liberal towns have become so extreme that tolerance and boundaries and -- dare we say -- manners have gone right out the window! So, it's no surprise that a New York Times/Bay Area blog entry called, "In Bay Area, Free Speech Means Scolding Strangers" got the attention of this site's SF-based staff.
But while the blog post itself is well-said and we're in near-complete agreement (except for the noshing without paying -- we can't disagree with speaking out against stealing!) and quite amused by the author's anecdotes, it was this item in the comments (from Elizabeth in Boulder) that really got our attention:
"You think you've got it bad? Come to Boulder. I was recently chastised by a complete stranger while feeding a baby from a bottle. 'Breast is best!'she lectured.
Problem was.....it wasn't my baby!!"
Boulder versus the Bay Area ... score one for CO in this rudeness showdown.
Are we missing some special gems of shocking behavior elsewhere? What's going on in Seattle and Portland?
You tell us ... how rude is your town? (And what's rude in your town?)
by HRIT Staff on March 30, 2010
We are aware that each culture's conventions dictate what is considered rude and what is not. And, given our dedication to decorum, we're normally loath to condemn ouright anything that might simply be something we are culturally unprepared to accept or appreciate (like, say, eating insects, Sumo wrestling or driving on the left side of the road). To borrow from our grannies' attitude on such matters, these things are often just "none of our business."
However, some Japanese game authors have created a new product that has managed to shock us. Really shock us. And, since it's now downloadable for free anywhere in the world, it actually is our business. (This product is so offensive and potentially dangerous, its entire category of software has been banned in Japan.)
This game (or should we say, "game" -- since there's nothing we find fun about the idea) is called RapeLay. The name, unfortunately, describes to perfection what the game is about: rape. The object of the game is the rape of a mother and her two daughters (ages 10 and 16). According to Wikipedia, the game can conclude on two sour notes for the player. In the first, one of the victims is impregnated, which leads to a suicide involving a train. In the other, perhaps ever-so-slightly cheerier outcome, one of the victims stabs the perpetrator.
How rude is that? Really, beyond rude -- maybe we're unintentionally downplaying this despicable product by rating its "rudeness." We need a new site: how deplorable is that?
Read the CNN story -- click here.
by HRIT Staff on March 26, 2010
The New York Times recently reported on a phenomenon that Facebook users are already well aware of: Facebook rudeness and hostility are on a rapid rise. The focus of their story: couples fighting via Facebook status updates. Says the Times, "this trend represents a gradual but significant degradation of our regard for marriage." Friends and loved ones quoted in the story expressed their own discomfort with being publicly put in the middle, noting that these public spats make it difficult to support relationships that seem deeply unhealthy.
We've observed some status abuse behavior that we think is even less civilized, though: People using their status to trash third parties, usually without their knowledge, so they cannot even defend themselves. (One HRIT member notes how she found out through her stepdaughter that her husband's ex was posting lengthy -- and completely inaccurate -- screeds about her. The ex posted vociferous tirades calling our colleague a "pregnant slut" and a "homewrecker," even though the ex-wife's affair was the downfall of her husband's marriage -- and, even then, the marriage only ended because the ex-wife asked for a divorce.)
It's bad out there on the wild, wild walls. But, would you believe, there is actually a Facebook trend we think is EVEN WORSE than this kind of behavior?
The most disturbing trend we see: the hateful group phenomenon, whereby someone establishing a group or page with a vicious raison d'etre ... and, thousands of people join on, apparently with glee (and obviously without shame). What is happening to our interactions, people?
A recent search at Facebook found nearly 350,000 pages featuring the word "hate." Nearly 5,000 with the word "whore." And, astonishingly, 11,000 pages containing the f-word in their titles (yes, THAT f-word!).
Aren't there children on Facebook? Is Facebook rearing the next generation of ruder, less considerate, crasser and more self-indulgent Americans?
I think we have our answer:
Seen something seriously rude on Facebook? Send us a link. We're going to launch a regular feature on Facebook incivility; our small effort to tilt the scales back towards some sense of community.
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Rudeness Quote of the Moment
"(Politeness is) a tacit agreement that people's miserable defects, whether moral or intellectual, shall on either side be ignored and not be made the subject of reproach."