“Yo Taylor! I’m really happy for you. Imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.”
Kanye West (as he stripped the microphone from the actual video award winner, Taylor Swift)
Unless you are totally out of the celebrity loop, you have probably seen the video of what may be the quintessential act of rudeness by a person who is quickly amassing quite a resume of ill-mannered stunts. It is actually rather ironic that the offensive and self-absorbed Kanye West criticized Swift when he seems to rely on Autotune to improve the sound of his voice. To their credit, most of the crowd booed West and gave a standing ovation to the young Taylor Swift after West left the stage.
So what do you do about “the utter bloody rudeness of the world today?” Author Lynne Truss provides “six good reasons to stay home and bolt the door” in the book titled Talk to the Hand as she laments the breakdown of manners and etiquette as money and celebrity has become the barometer of social status.
Truss describes this as “an age of social autism, in which people can’t see the value of imagining their impact on others, and in which responsibility is always conveniently laid at other people’s doors.” Truss uses humor and plenty of examples to illustrate the coarsening of society. She does admit that for hundreds of years societies have been noting the decline of manners.
One of the funniest stories involves a woman who ventured to question why a mother was still breast feeding a child who was obviously too old to still be fed that way. The boy detached himself from his mommy’s breast, told the woman to “EFF off,” and then resumed his feeding.
Truss also lets us into her thoughts as she discusses ways to prevent/discourage cell phone users from having personal calls while in public places. Most of us have fantasized about grabbing the phone and pressing the “end” button or throwing it out the window. Truss suggests holding a recording device near the offender. I suggest that you engage in “active listening” and really pay attention to the conversation. If you are close enough you might be able to hear both sides of the conversation or be told to “Eff off.”
Talk to the Hand is a funny book and will spark memories of your rude encounters.
We have to laugh or we will cry.