08 February 2011

First Posted 21 April 2004

A Lament For Class

Oh hear and be mournful for the death of class. Bow your head in shame for the end of propriety. Fall to your knees in despair for the collapse of social mores. Long have we suffered the wasting away of all that was good and decent. Long have we stood by witnessing the slow ebb of polite society fade into eternal slumber. I say to you, wail and clutch at your breast in shame for what the masses pass off as acceptable behavior in this dark day and age. When did "Yo!" replace "Excuse me?"? When did clothing become so agressive and threatening instead of smart and clean? When did grown men begin dressing as juvenile delinquents and not like grown men? When did grown women begin dressing as child prostitutes instead of grown women? When did wearing a bikini top, a thong, low rider jeans and sandals become fashionable in the dead of winter? When did screaming into a mobile phone replace talking to the person next to you? When did screaming in public into a mobile phone become acceptable? When did demanding replace asking? When did we lose the practice of saying "Hello." or "Thank you." or "Good-bye."? How about "Please?" or "May I?"? Why don't we say "God bless you." to a stranger who sneezes? When did a martini become acceptable to drink out of a plastic cup? When did champagne become acceptable to drink out of the bottle? Alone? Why don't we write thank you notes for gifts or parties or favors done for us anymore? Why do we let a pregnant woman stand on the bus? Why do people tell you the most intimate/horrifying details of their life when you ask, "How are you?"? Lo and behold the bitter crop that we have sown. No wonder cocooning is a national sport. It's a horrible world out there. Forever gone are the days when one knew that to live in society, you have to behave socially. There were rules of behavior. To be polite, to mind your manners, to follow the golden rule. That golden rule, my dear fellow mourners, is not just tarnished, it was melted down and stuck on someone's front tooth. Class is dead. Services will not be held. No one is polite enough to show up

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