Skip to main content

Just Say No. . .

Archie Bunker (played by Carroll O'Connor), who personified boorish, crass, and ignorant attitudes and behavior during much of the 1970s on Norman Lear's TV series All in the Family.

A grad school friend of mine, currently living and working in Budapest, recently lamented the apparent absence of manners, tact, and style (in a very broad sense) across so much of society.  She felt that there are now many who long for greater civility and decency in the way we behave alone and in the company of others.  Indeed, it seems that too many in 2014 see nothing wrong with boorish, crass, rude, ignorant, and just plain stupid behavior. . .  if they don't celebrate it outright. . .  which many do.  At least that is how things seem too much of the time and in too many places. 

That's especially true where popular entertainment is concerned, much of which seems to glorify the offensive and the ignorant.  Think of TV over the last 40+ years from programs like All in the Family in the 1970s, or still later in Rosanne and Men Behaving Badly during the late 80s and 90s, to more recent shows like The King of Queens and Jersey Shore for example.  No wonder so many people behave so awfully. . . and seem proud of it.  

As Emily Nussbaum suggested in her article on the phenomenon of All in the Family and it's protagonist Archie Bunker, which appeared in The New Yorker at the start of April this year, far too many average people identify with -- and even worship -- these so-called actors, their characters, and/or personalities.  Viewers misunderstand and misinterpret what they are presented with on TV, film, and online, instead seeing the ignorant attitudes, uninformed opinions, and crass behavior as, somehow, an affirmation of their own foibles rather than as offensive and somewhat less than worthy of emulation.  

It should come as no surprise, then, that the attitudes and behavior of many people mirror what they see in the media.   After all, why bother to aspire to anything better or change oneself when people with foul mouths and loud voices -- often enough media darlings who inexplicably are accorded star status -- not only get away with but are actually paid to spew out coarse language and engage in offensive behavior, right?

However, life need not remain at the level of the lowest common social and behavioral denominators.  We could go a long way toward improving our everyday style quite a bit were we simply to refuse to continue behaving like the goons on Jersey Shore and expect better of ourselves.  Average guys with more than a couple of brain cells to rub together, and who realize the need to kick up their everyday style several notches, can reverse this disturbing trend and make a move in the direction of greater civility, starting with their own attitudes and actions.  

How might you do so?  Easy.  Just say "No!" to the continued glorification of the boorish, the crass, the rude, the ignorant, and the stupid.  Let's make every effort in our own lives and interactions not to be that way ourselves.  Grooming, manners, tact, finesse, and sophistication are the goal.  Their cultivation, practice, and perfection won't solve all of the world's problems, of course, but society might gradually become a wee bit nicer in the process.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Comments

  1. What a coincidence you would write this. My wife and I attended a college graduation today. These are a few observations. It is a graduation, not a sporting event. Obnoxious yelling and cheering loudly are inappropriate. Some applause might be in order as this is a dignified ceremony. Graduates, don't dress like a slob as you are "graduates." Friends and family, show the graduates their earned respect on their special day by dressing appropriately. Crying babies are out of place. If you are associated with the university and charged with speaking on behalf of the university use proper grammar. Graduates, spit out the gum. Hopefully you would not exercise these type behaviors at a job interview.

    Help me understand this concept. The young man we went to see graduate has not completed his degree. He said "I'm gonna walk now and come back and take one more class to finish up." His atrocious grammar, not mine. Guess this is another symptom of the "I want it now" generation. I digress.........

    Respectfully,
    Dr. CSP

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

All opinions are welcome here. Even those that differ from mine. But let's keep it clean and civil, please.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Popular Posts

Avoid Careless Chatter. . .

    E specially about the personal details of our lives.  There is a lot that OUGHT to be kept more private in 2022 than has become the accepted norm for many.  With the conscious and intentional cultivation of classic style in mind, however, we want to avoid oversharing and keep a bit more of ourselves to ourselves.  Exactly what personal information and how much of it to keep private seems to be a slippery concept though.  Here’s my take based on what I was told and observed as a child and young person at home.  Basically, one should keep oneself to oneself in all respects (finances, personal worth, accomplishments, politics, sex, dirty laundry, etc.).  As my late father used to advise when we were very small, and I am talking preschool and kindergarten, there were particular subjects that were not discussed outside the immediate family.  There is a time and place for sharing certain details of one’s life, but most of the time, those should be played very close to the chest,

I Might As Well Be Spring: The Attire for Monday. . .

    C old, blustery, and wet here in Mid-Michigan today although we might possibly have a couple of inches of wet snow at some point.  It just started actually.  Still some limited cross-country skiing up north at one of the Nordic ski centers we like, apparently, but I have not been able to get away for that. But it is springtime according to the calendar.  Attire-wise, I managed to stow the fall and winter stuff and bring out the spring-summer-early fall gear on Saturday.  Always fun to rediscover what you have not thought about in several months. Equally satisfying to discover items that have not ever seen the light of day.  Such is the case for today's shirt from J. Press (hanging in the closet for a year or more) and the necktie, which (hanging on the back of my tie rack, where I keep all of my repp stripe numbers) for 8-10 years.  Imagine that. -- Heinz Ulrich     P.S. Believe it, or not, someone actually just used word "please" (rather than the brusk "Can I ge

A Little Sisterly Advice. . .

    A s promised, my Washington, D.C.-based sister (she lives within walking distance of The National Cathedral) has sent some photographs of one recent combination of items that are pretty typical of her attire for both work and during her off hours.  Without further ado, let's turn things over to my sister for her particular philosophy on how to present oneself in a put-together way regardless of the situation or occasion: As a wardrobe minimalist, and one raised on Ivy Style, every item in my wardrobe has a purpose. Living in the city, and walking almost everywhere, my clothes need to function in an active capacity.  While I have a classic style, it is most often married with functional edgy pieces (boots, skinny jeans, etc.). In the past 15 years, I have gravitated to a neutral color palette for the clothing items in my closet and, at present, my wardrobe is comprised of 65% black items, 15% blue (including denim), 15% grey, with the balance most likely white (shirts, tees, p