Old Sock Drawer

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#093: On Rudeness.

January 16th, 2010 by Mary Leong

Currently listening to: “Shame Is On Your Side” – Terror Bird

It’s time for a rant on manners, folks.

I was going to write about the Michael Ignatieff townhall meeting (with emphasis on the running themes of extended metaphor usage) and the rather heartening level of student engagement. Let it be noted that though all the aforementioned things are of great importance, I feel it much more pressing to address the issue of manners and basic social etiquette, both of which have been demonstrated to be sorely lacking. Let us break it down ever so slightly.

Acceptable: Voicing of opinions in a mature, preferably eloquent, manner. Presumably, educated debate/discussion ensues.

Unacceptable: Voicing of opinions by engaging in disruptive public behaviour involving (but not limited to) a refusal to listen to the guest speaker, shouting (!), thus obstructing fellow audience members from listening and engaging in discussion. All in all a show of general impertinence et cetera.

Greenpeace members involved with the shenanigans at the Ignatieff event, shame on you. As one deeply concerned about environmental policy and climate change issues, I am thoroughly embarrassed by the method by which these views were aired. My own views on tar sands not withstanding, the level of immaturity and rudeness present was staggering. Such boorishness does not lend itself to the open presentation and exchange of ideas, and indeed, has no place in a university.

If I may direct any interested readers to a glorious book on where etiquette and manners have gone in our supposedly enlightened time, Lynne Truss has a splendid treatise on said subject – Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door.

Tags:   2 Comments

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 valentina Jan 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    mmm… it sucks that people are so rude sometimes… but how was the talk? Did he say anything super interesting that we should all know??

  • 2 Mary Leong Jan 17, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Valentina: The talk was awesome! Ignatieff was incredibly poised and eloquent in fielding and answering questions from the audience (always a good thing in my books!). Due to the demonstration, he talked way more on climate change and the tar sands than usually would have been touched on. His focus was on education (naturally, I suppose, due to the nature of the talk at a university) and the necessity of being educated and cosmopolitan, especially in consideration of the globalized nature of our world. Definitely a good talk.