Our Society Changing? Of Course... But Where Is It Going??

MA-Caver

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This is a good article and I feel it denotes some discussion.
Recent (very) public outbursts prompted the writer to look into the why's and wherefores of them.

What Do Public Tirades Say About Our Current State of Civility?
Kanye West, Serena Williams and Joe Wilson All Recently Lost Control in Public

By DAN HARRIS and REBECCA LEE
Sept. 14, 2009
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/kany...utbursts/story?id=8573016&cid=yahoo_pitchlist
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Taylor Swift's music often centers on the drama and hostility of high school: mean girls, cheating boyfriends, and unrequited love. But at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, the teen singing sensation encountered a new breed of incivility.
What happened to manners and civility?
Moments after Swift received the award for "Best Female Video," rapper Kanye West stormed the stage, plucked the mic from her hand, and announced in front of the entire audience and millions of viewers at home that Beyonce Knowles had the best video and that she, instead of Swift, deserved the Moonman.
West's stunt came less than 24 hours after tennis giant Serena Williams unleashed a profanity-laden tirade against a line judge at the U.S. Open after what she apparently thought was a questionable call that put her a point away from loss in her semi-final match against Kim Clijsters.
The outburst cost her the match, when she was penalized a point for her behavior. And, on Sept. 9, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted "You lie!" at President Obama during his health care speech to a joint session of Congress.
By all accounts, last week was chock full of bad behavior. But are these outbursts merely circumstantial, or are they an indication of a shift in our nation's values?
As one might imagine, the recent outbursts have touched off a cascade of talk about the "coarsening" of our culture. <read rest of article please>
Even on regular television programming I'm seeing things that are just... I dunno, you wouldn't have seen 20, 15, 10 or even 5 years ago.
Language, sexual promiscuity, comedy is coarser, and so on.
I realize that for a society to grow changes must take effect. Yet as the article asked what about the changes to our values? Morals? Standards?
Basically respect for others. How we talk to one another, our mode of dress, general appearance, attitudes towards authority figures and so on.
Even here on MT we have rules regulating how we address, respond, approach one another because they prevent friction in the forum. Rude people are ejected and banned, yet it's happening more often than we think (from one conversation with Bob H. ).
As I grew up I had two general instructors of how to deal with people. One being my father and his group who were raised in the 1920's to 1940's where folks were civil to one another. Language was only for the coarser types and generally shunned. Clothes were modest for both men and women, respect for authority figures (LEO's, Civil servants, etc) was in high regard and so forth...
The other group influence I had were the 1960's to 80's where the hippie culture of the late 60's and sex laden disco era of the 70's and the metal culture of the 80's :idunno: as that generation grew up their opposition to the previous generation's morals and values carried on to today's society.

It's too broad a picture to pin point where the changes have taken place.
But they're there and now becoming more evident.

What does this say about the next generation? What type of future is being built for them? What type of society is being nurtured as children of today are growing up into these increasingly coarser role-models?

Thoughts, discussion... think upon it as many of you interact with students in the Dojo are there changes that you see in and outside?
 

CoryKS

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I would say that the most recent changes started to come about with the popularity of the "you're not the boss of me" mentality where nobody is supposed to judge anyone for anything. But people have been declaring that their civilization is going to hell in a handbasket for as long as civilization has been around.
 

Xue Sheng

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I would say that the most recent changes started to come about with the popularity of the "you're not the boss of me" mentality where nobody is supposed to judge anyone for anything. But people have been declaring that their civilization is going to hell in a handbasket for as long as civilization has been around.

and some of those civilizations went to hell in a handbasket too
 

grydth

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Prominent people across the spectrum from entertainer to congressman to professional athletes act like bratty children on a sugar high and some doubt we are going down the tubes...

In the case of Kanye West - Taylor Swift, one may at least be immensely grateful that the races weren't reversed. For if a talented young black woman was publicly assailed by a white thug crying that a white woman should have won..... well, imagine the additional weeks of endless BS avalanches courtesy of the Sharptons, Jacksons and other race baiters.....

The white conservative Congressman Wilson engages in a deplorable act..... and as a result gets contributions of $ 1 Million.... and the money doesn't even come from the Klan!

Serena (who named her?) Williams engages in a terrifying and profane diatribe and gets fined $10,000. However, she goes on to earn $560,000 from the tournament to show a tidy profit of a mere half a million..... that'll show her, huh?

What's worse is that they and others will have to keep engaging in even more disgusting acts to get the attention they crave.

Maybe the esteemed Congressman will next moon the President during the State of the Union address.... and will thereby out earn Serena...
 

Big Don

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The white conservative Congressman Wilson engages in a deplorable act..... and as a result gets contributions of $ 1 Million.... and the money doesn't even come from the Klan!
Calling a man who lies a liar is now a deplorable act?
the Klan?
Really?
Any questioning of Obama's actions or pointing out his lies is racially motivated?
So, what you are saying is only white people are honest? I'll tell Bill Clinton, Traficant and the ghost of Ted Kennedy...
Joe Wilson was doing what Martin Luther King dreamed, he was judging Obama by the content of his character, and he gets called a racist for it...
 

grydth

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Yes, Don, screaming out,"You Lie!" to interrupt the President before a joint session of Congress is deplorable.

If you cannot see the distinction between rational debate on the floor and rudely screaming during an address, I don't think we have much to discuss. Even Wilson sees it, and apologized for it.

The rest of the words are yours, not mine. But have fun with the straw man.
 

girlbug2

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I think Big Don was pointing out that no matter what you think of the manners of somebody calling the President a liar before Congress, his race was not a factor. Merely assuming racism and Klan connections because the congressman is white is uncalled for.
 

grydth

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I think Big Don was pointing out that no matter what you think of the manners of somebody calling the President a liar before Congress, his race was not a factor. Merely assuming racism and Klan connections because the congressman is white is uncalled for.

I'm sure Don can speak for himself on what he means....... so can I, and you have it wrong.

I don't ever "assume" anything.

I did not anywheres allege "Klan connections", and specifically said that it was frightening that it was not the Klan that was sending Wilson the million bucks for his outburst.... point being, it's scary that anyone else would reward such behavior, and isn't it frightening that so many would?

Oh, as a society we're definitely on the way down. Another symptom is the death of rational discourse.
 

girlbug2

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I believe...rudeness and coarse behavior is on the rise, partly because we're becoming more and more disconnected and alienated from one another. It's easier to disrespect people when you don't have to interact with them up close and personal, when they're not part of your (ever shrinking) community and in all likelihood you won't ever meet that person again.

How many of us still live in our hometown of childhood? For that matter, how many of us can really say they have a hometown at all? We move on constantly, from house to house, job to job, ever more anonymously. It becomes harder to care about other people's feelings, or what they think of us, when everything's so temporary. A century ago, you could be ruined by breaking your word because you lived by your reputation within the culture. Now, there really is no such thing anymore. If anybody's shocked by something you do or say today, it'll be forgotten in a few weeks as the next public buffoon takes your place. It's all teflon now.
 

Xue Sheng

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Timelines for major civilizations - Overview

More detail

I forget what class it was in college, I suspect it was philosophy but we were discussing major civilizations and how many there have been and how many there can be in the time left for good ole planet earth and I am sorry but I do not remember the numbers but it is a lot and a curious thing is that many of the major civilizations seemed to break up or start to fall roughly around the same time their central religion started to break up of change. Of course it is not necessarily the religion influencing the fall, although it could be since a lot of peoples moral training and belief comes from their religion and those morals and beliefs build the civilization and once those change possibly the civilization will to. But it could be the other way around, society starts to fail and the religion follows or they could be entirely unrelated.

Bottom-line there have been some pretty major civilizations on the planet that many thought would always be here and they are gone we may be no different.
 

shihansmurf

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First off, thank you to MA-Caver for posting this article. I've been pondering this for most of the day and was planning on posting on this subject but I wasn't sure what forum it belonged in. Truth be told, I've been thinking on this topic for quite a bit and the recent public outbursts from several celebrities have sharpened my view on this matter.

As most of you know I am a soldier. My profession, although it does attract a certain, shall we say "colorful" personality type, requires a great deal of etiquette. We have a lot of rules that we have to follow that govern how we conduct ourselves and how we interact with other people. On top of that I happened to be raised in an environment where many traditional rules of behavior were enforced, so I am a bit old fashioned in my decorum.

With the above caveats being stated, I am amazed at the way we have, as a people, lost our collective sense of good manners and ability to behave as civilized people. I don't even mean in major and obvious ways, like the insane outbursts of a U.S. Congressman disrespecting the President in a public forum, or the awards show debacle. I mean simple day to day manners.

I hold the door for people, address people I don't know by "Sir" or "Ma'am", excuse myself from a conversation if I need to take a phone call(I don't interrupt other people's calls either), use good table manners, engage waitstaff and store clerks with civility, remove my hat indoors, defer to elders, and treat others with general courtesy. I am raising my son to do the same. I think it is telling of our culture, although it does make me very proud of him, how often people compliment me on my son's manners. See, I don't think that the fact that he address's adults by Mister or Miss, doesn't interrupt them when they speak, and behaves himself like a gentleman in public is noteworthy.It is the behavior I expect out of him. I think it is something that will serve him well as an adult, and a lack of manners will harm him as an adult. On a similar note, should I fail to teach him how to conduct himself well in public I would be a poor father.

I know I'm rambling a bit, but bear with me. As a whole we seem to have decided that good manners just don't matter. We, in general, seems to have decided that engaging each other in any low, crass, and vulgar way is acceptable. We can speak to each other however we want and its fine, we can dress in public in any way we wish and its okay, we can put forth into the public forum any sort of image and we are not to be judged on it.

Until we cross some vague and undefined line of acceptableness, that is. I don't think that the recent outburst by our celebrities are incidences that have occurred in a vacuum. We have became more and more, "casual" I suppose, with what we are accepting of in society. We fail to behave like polite men and women, yet when our public figures perform childish stunts we react with shock and disapproval. Truthfully, if we are going to point a finger at anyone, I would think that that finger should point inwardly first.
In the case of the good Representative, I think what is most disturbing about all of this isn't so much that he had that outburst, but rather how accurate of a representation of the People he really is.

Just my view.
Mark
 

Ken Morgan

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The good old days werent always good. Every generation always worries about the one that comes after it, but I would argue that we are better off today then any other time in history. We always look at the negatives, but consider, we are living longer then ever, we have better medical technology then ever, we are better educated then ever, violent crime is way down, more people can read and write then ever, science and technology has never been better, there hasnt been a major world war in 65 years.

The ranting of a few misfits means nothing.

One day the USA will not exist. One day Canada will not exist. One day China will not exist. One day *insert country here*, will not exist. Politically all states disappear, thats the way of it. I doubt that anyone reading this will see the demise of their own state, but a few may.

Ah the good old days. Everything made with butter and lard, everyone drank, smoked, used lead paint and treated solvents and X-rays with callous disregard. DDT. State supported intolerance towards minorities and women. Days when a priest or a teacher could beat the **** out of you, and you were suppose to take it.

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they allow disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children now are tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers. This quote was attributed to Socrates by Plato


Im not naive enough to think that the world is even close to being perfect, but I wouldnt live in any other time.
 

Big Don

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Yes, Don, screaming out,"You Lie!" to interrupt the President before a joint session of Congress is deplorable.
Not when he is a liar it isn't. Why is an HONEST description deplorable? Had he NOT shouted it out on the House floor, it would have got ZERO coverage in the "News Media" which, is sadly becoming an association of apologists for Obama, and other Democrats and their screw ups
If you cannot see the distinction between rational debate on the floor and rudely screaming during an address, I don't think we have much to discuss. Even Wilson sees it, and apologized for it.

The rest of the words are yours, not mine. But have fun with the straw man.
No, you said:
The white conservative Congressman Wilson engages in a deplorable act..... and as a result gets contributions of $ 1 Million.... and the money doesn't even come from the Klan!
Which, if it wasn't meant to imply racism on the part of Wilson and his donors, is what?
 

Andrew Green

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Not when he is a liar it isn't.

Yes, it is. Doesn't matter who the president is, what he says, or which party he is from. This is not the means to intelligent discourse.

Let's be honest, everyone from any party except the speaker is going to call the speaker a liar, regardless of what that speaker is saying. Obama could get up there and say the sky is blue and the Republicans would feel the need to counter based on principal, and that goes both ways.

Do you really think a environment where everyone just screams at each other and whoever screams the loudest wins is the best way for politics to happen? If so I think you've spent way too much time watching Bill O... It is possible for intelligent people to disagree, and debate in a civilized way, that does not involve screaming over the person who's turn it is to speak.
 

Bruno@MT

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Calling a man who lies a liar is now a deplorable act?
the Klan?
Really?
Any questioning of Obama's actions or pointing out his lies is racially motivated?
So, what you are saying is only white people are honest? I'll tell Bill Clinton, Traficant and the ghost of Ted Kennedy...
Joe Wilson was doing what Martin Luther King dreamed, he was judging Obama by the content of his character, and he gets called a racist for it...

There is a time and place for feedback and debate. Calling the president of the US a liar during a speech is bad manners and extremely disrespectful.
 

Bruno@MT

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Im not naive enough to think that the world is even close to being perfect, but I wouldnt live in any other time.


Considering the trend of scientific advances over the past centuries, one or two hundreds years further in the future would be nice :)
 

5-0 Kenpo

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Most of these things are just issues due to the fact that the media is so expansive, and that things that normally would not be heard in the past are now being heard.

Personally, I think that strategic "outbursts" can be beneficial to public debate. I find it interesting that the president can literally stand there and calmly call everyone in the room who disagrees with him a liar, and not expect some type of emotional response from the audience. We can call it naive, but to rationally expect otherwise is unrealistic. I may not have done it, but I would have shown my ire in some demonstrable way.

Question: why do we not call Obama rude and disrespectful for calling those in the audience who disagree with him liars? Because he didn't simply yell it out? What about when he states in a press conference that the Cambridge police officers are "stupid"? In fact, him calling Kanye West a "jackass" is only being talked about because the people who reported apparently should not have done so.

I think it is all well and good to have a set of manners and rules of decorum. But, they should apply equally across the board if we are going to have them.

When there is no shared sense of culture, how are we to decide what is rude, especially across the entire span of the U.S? The embacing in the U.S. of multi-culturalism has disallowed judgements of this sort, because every group will have its own acceptable rules of decorum, and we are now not allowed to "judge" them for it.
 
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