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May 05, 2009

Halcyon Days

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This made me smile.

CWCID

This, not so much.

Posted by Cassandra at May 5, 2009 05:39 AM

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This, not so much.

Ah, yes -- was the phenomenon of "In Your Face" politics the disease or just a symptom?

Posted by: BillT at May 5, 2009 10:01 AM

Chicken, egg?

Posted by: bthun at May 5, 2009 10:24 AM

But a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot.

Lot's of cultures have died, lot's of them have been rude.

Every generation since time immemorial has complained about the rudeness of the next generation: "Those damn kids with that loud noise they call music, Get.Off.My.Lawn!" :-) While the Bible doesn't record it, I feel pretty confident that Moses himself probably uttered something similar. Jewish culture doesn't seem to be on the verge of dying out anytime soon.

But how do you define culture? When you talk of "American culture" what do you mean? There is and has been something unique about us for our entire 200+ year existance. We are the only culture for which there exists the descriptive "un-" in front of it. No one uses UnFrench, or UnSpanish, but there is an UnAmerican.

And yet American culture has changed so radically from George Washington's time that one could accurately say that the culture has died and been reborn several times over. No longer are we the culture of self-reliance where it was our job to fend for ourselves. Now it's "gov't come save me from myself". Can you imagine Paul Revere's reaction to being stopped because he hadn't registered his horse and gotten a rider's license before riding out to say the British were coming?

But did that culture die because it was rude? I don't think so.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2009 10:32 AM

Yu-Ain Gonnano: The kind of rude I'm sensing that the author is referencing probably has more to do with our msm referring to the TEA Party protestors as "teabaggers", or on a more local scale "road rage" or even "Reality shows" and their own self-absorbed ridiculousness, ignorant of us plebes and our daily ways.


I just can't watch anymore. It stresses me out.

Posted by: Red at May 5, 2009 11:20 AM

Red, it's all the same rudeness: a lack of respect for other people.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2009 11:33 AM

Or simply a lack of respect for authority/laws. Which is what I think Heinlein was referring to.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2009 11:42 AM

The egotism of the self absorbed, moralistic prig; the "regulation Charlie" who thinks the rules apply to everyone but him (or her, as the case may be).
This person is rude because they think they are getting away with it; they are the annointed, and excused from the normal rules of civility. Of course, the exceptions apply to them, because what they do and say is SOOOOO IMPORTANT!!!!

A man my wife used to work for, in a very large bank in Columbus, was one of the most gracious and polite men ever born. He always was gracious and considerate when dealing with people several tiers below his authority (which was quite high within this bank). Do you think that was a good management "style"? It seemed to inspire a lot of loyalty among the many people that worked for him, but maybe that was just my imagination.
My former General Manager was one of the most rude and abrasive persons which I have ever know. I frequently contemplated homicide in extended dealings with him. Is that a contrast?

Courtesy is the lubricant which makes a complicated society move with less friction. The lack of it bespeaks the end of the world, as we know it.
And it doesn't make me feel fine, either.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 5, 2009 12:02 PM

I think it's the lack of respect for people that is the root of it all -- the "Me First" attitude. From simple things like waiting at a distance so the person ahead of you can finish their business in (relative) privacy to *authority* figures that are, at their core, contemptuous of the constituents they intend to control.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 5, 2009 12:05 PM

Courtesy is the lubricant which makes a complicated society move with less friction.

Ironically, though conservatives tend to reflexively oppose "PC", it is at its heart no more than the impulse to reduce friction in an increasingly diverse, less heterogeneous, more conflict ridden world. As such, so long as it's not rammed down our throats (so to speak) or mandated by law, I don't necessarily have a problem with social opprobrium as a mechanism that "encourages" (well OK - pressures) people to behave with decency and consideration. That's nothing new - societal norms may change but human nature and the methods we use to shape behavior in the aggregate don't.

It's when it's taken to excess or applied selectively that we all complain.

But I wonder at times whether our reflexive, in-your-face response to political correctness doesn't sometimes serve to undermine things we ought to be supporting, like respect for the law and legitimate authority, situational awareness/deference to social niceties, etc?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2009 12:16 PM

It seemed to inspire a lot of loyalty among the many people that worked for him, but maybe that was just my imagination.

I doubt it. Even as a young woman managing people older and more experienced than I, I found that simply showing respect earned me cooperation and reciprocal respect. I don't think this weakens a leader.

It demonstrates what is expected - IOW, leading by example. Often people push back less when you treat them less as "underlings" who can be compelled than valued associates whose help will ensure that everyone prospers. It removes the 'pride' aspect of doing as you're told.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2009 12:21 PM

Yu Ain Gonnano:
I know, potayto potahto...however it isn't the same rudeness.


At it's core it is something different. I think being rude at its core is superficial and all about the 'me first' mentality. I think hostility and arrogance is at the core of what is 'rude' today. An attitude of those in positions of influence as being 'better than' those they are supposed to serve in some way. It is haughty, arrogant and dehumanizing and the masses take it out on each other in lessor forms of vitriol (kinda kicking the cat so to speak).


We must remember the humanity in one another.

Posted by: Red at May 5, 2009 12:55 PM

"I found that simply showing respect earned me cooperation and reciprocal respect."

Works for parenting, too. (or should that be *starts with*?)

When SWHNOB was just starting school, there was a kid in her class that picked on her a lot. When she told me about him, I asked her if there was reason why. She told me he was just mean to everybody, but he always seemed to target her more. The teachers, of course, always saw it and would sit him down for the rest of recess. However, that would only last for a day or two. (suspensions had the same general effect) So, I asked her one day whether or not he played with anyone at recess. She said not really, no one liked him very much because he was so mean to everyone. I told her I wanted her to try to make friends with him. Ask him to play with her and her friends. I told her that what I was asking of her was not going to be easy. "But," I explained, "it sounds to me like he's lonely." She went to school and really tried, and, when we were talking about it a couple of weeks later, I asked her how she doing in the *making friends* with the kid. She said they'd played a couple of times, but now he was playing with another boy from the class.

"But he's not picking on me anymore, Mom."

Kid still got kicked out of school later that year(a kindergartener!), but SWHNOB learned that while some people choose to be just plain mean, many are not beyond reproach when you choose to respond with honest kindness and respect.

(SoCali drivers, notwithstanding, of course!)
*snnnicker*
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 5, 2009 01:19 PM

Amen, Sly.

I've been in customer service for over 25 years, and if there's one thing I've learned in dealing with unreasonable and pissed off people, it's that that old Bible saw has a lot of wisdom in it. Truly, a soft answer turneth away wrath.

I think often people go on the offensive when they are scared, lonely, or feeling bad about themselves. There was a very funny passage in one of my favorite novels about overly-PC parents at a child's birthday party. One child was constantly pitching fits and the mother, exasperated, says in this overly calm voice:

"Now so-and-so - you're in time out. I want you to go sit in the corner until you feel better about yourself."

I just died :p

There is a little bit of truth in the joke - people who are happy and secure rarely act up. Doesn't mean giving them a pass is always the anwer, but coming down too hard on them often doesn't work either. Often, people problems are best solved with a judicious mixture of carrot and stick.

But always lead with the carrot. People respond better to incentives. The stick is there for when the carrot fails.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2009 01:33 PM

Or simply a lack of respect for authority/laws. Which is what I think Heinlein was referring to.

I think that's what Heinlein was referring to when he talked about violence, mugging, arson, etc. But when he talked about rudeness, I think he was talking specifically about that element of society that can't be legislated - at least not effectively. People who honk their horns at 7am on Sunday morning when they pick someone up for church; people who litter on your front yard; people who turn the bass all the way up on their car stereo and cruise residential neighborhoods; people who cut you off on the freeway. All the little places where people interact, a little consideration goes a long way, tempers can be lost, and the law is helpless.

I've thought for a long time that the best argument for having a reasonably homogeneous culture is that it reduces the number of frictions that arise from different standards of behavior. And I often wonder if our drive to pass more laws, regulate more behavior might arise partly from the crumbling of any societal agreement about what behavior is appropriate.

This, of course, ties in with the idea that political correctness is an attempt to smooth some rough edges that the law cannot handle. I think Miss Manners is instructive in this regard however - the good part of PC is just what we used to call "manners". You don't call people names; you don't insult them; you don't assume you know what they are and are not capable of or what job they "should" be holding or how many kids they should have or whether Mom should be home with those kids or whether someone has had "a little work done" or whatever.

But I wonder at times whether our reflexive, in-your-face response to political correctness doesn't sometimes serve to undermine things we ought to be supporting, like respect for the law and legitimate authority, situational awareness/deference to social niceties, etc?

I think it can just like "celebrating" Earth Day by burning as much fossil fuel as possible doesn't seem quite the thing somehow. The problem, of course, is that both PC and Earth Day are often used as bludgeons and as all the commenters here agree, people respond much better to carrots than to sticks.

I loved this line in the Heinlein quote:

Electronic records are too fragile; we must again have books, of stable inks and resistant paper.

My husband just read "Glasshouse" by Charles Stross, a 2006 SciFi novel set in a future where information about the the past basically ended when the digital age began: books, magazines, vinyl records, video tapes had survived whatever cataclysm occurred; electronic media had not. It's nice to learn that one of the new guys was paying homage to an old master.

Posted by: Elise at May 5, 2009 03:23 PM

Great comment, Elise.

You've helped me sort out some ideas I've been mulling over. All of you have provided me with a lot to think about. I didn't expect that on this thread - what a welcome surprise! :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2009 03:32 PM

One thing else I would note (I've got other comments for later on things already said), but Heinlein (regardless of whether you accept the statement as true or not) does not specify the cause-effect relationship here. Just a coorellation. Is it rudeness that kills the society or is it the societies death that causes the rudeness.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2009 04:00 PM

"Is it rudeness that kills the society or is it the societies death that causes the rudeness."
Again, chicken, egg? Hard to say, but does not rudeness and the overall coarsening of society feed each other?

I'd like to gather my thoughts and jump in on this one... maybe later tonight after Walkin' Boss takes off my leg irons.

And ah, if I may be so bold, well said Elise.

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 5, 2009 04:13 PM

I imagine there are both things going on.

The best metaphor I can think of is the broken window syndrome: someone puts a brick through a window. If it's repaired quickly, there's no further damage to surrounding property.

But if it is left broken, suddenly other acts of vandalism multiply.

I think manners work that way. If a breach of manners goes unrebuked, people notice. The general idea of what is "normal" begins to shift.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2009 04:20 PM

The general idea of what is "normal" begins to shift.

Ah yes, getting back to my earlier point. American culture has changed rather dramatically over the last 200+ years. At what point would any of us say that early American culture "died" and modern American culture replaced it? And could this death be seen concurrently with any definition of rudeness?

I don't see any evidence for that. What I see is that while every generation shows disrespect for some of it's laws and authority it just replaces them with others.

To go back to my example, does anyone think that Paul Revere would have shown respect for laws about not riding his horse too fast, and having to show, on demand, license to ride it, registration of it to the gov't and proof he had adequate insurance. Yet, very few today balk at a policeman asking you for such things during a traffic stop.

But as for a societies "lawlessness" I'm reminded of a quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels:

“It wasn’t that the city was lawless. It had plenty of laws. It just didn’t offer many opportunities not to break them. Swing didn’t seem to have grasped the idea that the system was supposed to take criminals and, in some rough-and-ready fashion, force them into becoming honest men. Instead, he’d taken honest men and turned them into criminals.“ -Terry Pratchett: ‘Night Watch

Perhaps, many peoples' reluctance to respect the law is that we've got no real opportunity not to break it. If everyone's breaking it already, what's one more?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2009 04:50 PM

So many items here...

"Kids these days..." This might be anecdotal, but I believe I read an article once about archaeologists finding letters between two bureaucrats in early China, letters over a thousand years old. And in these letters, one of the bureaucrats (apparently brothers or cousins or some such) bemoans the lack of manners of young people. All the young men want to do is drink and chase girls... "not like WE were back when we were young". That sort of thing.

I find that refreshing. I seriously doubt things are "worse than they ever were before". I doubt these are the most {fill in the blank} times in the history of the world. People are no ruder, less civilized, more dangerous, lazier, more stupid, or any other adjective than folks were in the past. We just perceive them to be. Every generation wants to believe they're living in the end times. No generation has yet to be right. Why should we be any different?

As for PC, as you say Cass, at it's core it's merely politeness. But like anything else, it's best in moderation. When you start claiming WORDS are discriminatory, you've lost the high ground. "Vertically challenged" instead of "short". "Differently abled" instead of "handicapped". And my absolute least favorite "herstory" (because "history" is sexist don't you know).

It's when you get accused of being some kind of -ist when you fail to use THEIR words that make me want to rhetorically smack them in the mouth. Let me share a story.

It's 1999. I'm taking advantage of my GI Bill after ETSing the Army. I'm in an upper level History class (taught by the Chair of the Political Science department). The topic? Vietnam. First day of class, we get "If you served in the military during the Vietnam conflict, you need to drop my class today." Yay. The stage is set, and what comes the rest of the semester is exactly what you'd expect.

But our first day is not done... "In MY class, we don't use AD and BC, we use CE and BCE... who can tell me WHY?" Seeing as how I'm fairly up to date in my PC BS, I answer her "Common Era and Before Common Era, because it doesn't refer to the birth of Christ." Like a good dog, she verbally pats me on the head "VERY good." She's about to move on, when I interject, "but ma'am... 1 CE is the exact same date as 1 AD, and while it doesn't REFERENCE the birth of Christ, isn't it still based on the same event?"

She looks confused, "Huh... I never thought of that before!" Of course you didn't you silly PC moron, I doubt you've had an original thought about much of anything.

But we're STILL not done. She spends a great deal of time writing the following on the whiteboard (because chalkboards are SO passe):
Mao Tze Dong

She then informs us that this is THE correct spelling of Chairman Mao's name, and she will not accept any other. Smart ass that I am, I had to interject, "Excuse me, ma'am? We're not spelling his name in pictographs, correct? Then by definition, we're ALWAYS spelling it 'wrong', the best we can do is transliterate his name. It's the same problem we have with Qadaffi vs Khadaffi... both are right and wrong." Once again, "Huh... I never though of that before."

The fact is, SOMEONE in her past had informed her that it was CORRECT to use CE and BCE, and she accepted that without bothering to understand WHY. Ditto on the Mao Tze Dong vs Mao Se Tung or any other spelling. She had merely accepted that there WAS a correct spelling without bothering to think about the WHY. Both were merely the "PC" way of doing it. Amazingly, I passed the class with an "A", mainly because I realized very quickly, she didn't want thought and analysis from her students, she wanted us to repeat her talking points back to her.

Oh, as a side note, those of you who actually served in the RVN might be interested to hear what this professor passed off as "facts" of the war. Did you know that we dropped all of that Agent Orange on the rice paddies of North Vietnam in an effort to starve them out? The inconvenient fact that some 95% of AO was used in SOUTH Vietnam on JUNGLES means that we just had some MIGHTY bad aim, I guess. Oh and it's also NEVER been proven that the Russians were supplying the North with arms and trainers, that was just propoganda. Because, you know, those wonderfully creative Vietnamese were clearly building their own Soviet designed SAMs and MiGs with their homegrown industry.

Don't let facts get in the way of a good story I guess. :P

Posted by: MikeD at May 5, 2009 04:57 PM

The social compact exists b/c men decide that by banding together and ceding some of their rights to a central authority, it will offer them more protection than they have as individuals from the predations of stronger or less principled men.

IOW, their fellow citizens.

As societies become more crowded and more diverse, you have more to fear from your fellow men b/c you can't get away from them. This is similar to the reason isolationism is no longer a sustainable foreign policy: we quite literally can't get away from other countries/cultures anymore. We can't block the flow of people, information, money, disease.

And so, we need more laws.

It really comes down to math in the end. Now if you fear the government more than you fear other men, I guess this is a bad thing.

Me? I don't trust either but on balance I'd prefer not to worry about being murdered every time I step outside or about being mugged and robbed every time I go to the grocery store. Lawlessness is not an attractive option to me.

A single year in college watching how guys behave when there is very little standing between them and whatever they can get away from cured me of undue optimism regarding human nature. In general, people behave b/c that is less pleasant than the alternative.

I would prefer that there be an alternative, even if I chafe under the yoke at times. But then I'm a woman and wouldn't last 20 seconds in a dog eat dog world. Your mileage may differ because you're more able to defend yourself.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2009 05:00 PM

And FWIW, many of the abuses Mike cites are simply the result of adaptation. People who would blendh at the sight of open aggression and attempts at dominance show no compunction/discomfort with using government/collective bullying to do exactly the same thing.

So we're back to the same question: is government the problem? Or the solution? :p

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2009 05:04 PM

Answer: if government is doing what I want, it's the solution.

If not, it's the problem!

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2009 05:05 PM

I can conduct dialogues with myself all day!

Posted by: Onan the Barbarianess at May 5, 2009 05:05 PM

I didn't want to interrupt... =8^}

Posted by: Thurston Howell_hun III at May 5, 2009 05:15 PM

I think you misunderstood. I'm not advocating anarchy, but I've got three quick examples of the types of things I think are indicative of the problem.

The first is a comment made by a Texan: "In this state we have over 2300 felonies. Eleven of them involving oysters".

I know eating bad shellfish can make you sick, but come on, does it really take 11 felonies and who knows how many misdemeaners? I'm pretty certain the guy in the federal pen because he transported his lobsters in the wrong color container is real remorseful for having hurt someone.

The second is that we just passed a law banning texting while driving in Tennessee. Sounds fine, right? Protecting people from the stupid actions of their fellow citizen's. But distracted driving is already illegal. But somehow, making it illegaler is supposed to help?

Last, in Tennessee, it is a felony to drive across state lines to take advantage of the lower taxes on cigarettes if by doing so you bilk the state out of a whopping $50 of revenue.

Now, I'm all for laws that protect me from you, but a felony for trying to save $50?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2009 05:24 PM

The gov't can be both a problem and a solution. It is a necessary evil.

The purpose of gov't is clearly spelled out in the DoI: We hold these truths to be self evident...That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men.

I can clearly tell who's rights were infringed when someone steals a TV. But who's rights were infringed by transporting lobsters in the wrong color container?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2009 05:33 PM

I didn't want to interrupt...

That's OK. I was almost there.

Posted by: Onan the Barbarianess at May 5, 2009 05:37 PM

Yu-Ain, you are going to love my next post :p

Posted by: Onan the Barbarianess at May 5, 2009 05:37 PM

Thanks, Cassandra. Your posts are usually a good thinking springboard for me so I’m happy when I return the favor. And, bubba-hun, you may indeed be so bold and thank you for so being.

I went looking for the source of the Heinlein quote since it didn’t sound familiar and I found both a source (the book “Friday” from 1982) and a longer version of it at this blog. Here’s where this version begins (guess what my favorite line is):

What are the marks of a sick culture?

It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group. A racial group. Or a religion. Or a language. Anything, as long as it isn’t the whole population.

A very bad sign. Particularism. It was once considered a Spanish vice but any country can fall sick with it. Dominance of males over females seems to be one of the symptoms.

Before a revolution can take place, the population must lose faith in both the police and the courts.

High taxation is important and so is inflation of the currency and the ratio of the productive to those on the public payroll. But that’s old hat; everybody knows that a country is on the skids when its income and outgo get out of balance and stay that way - even though there are always endless attempts to wish it way by legislation. But I started looking for little signs and what some call silly-season symptoms.

I want to mention one of the obvious symptoms: Violence. Muggings. Sniping. Arson. Bombing. ...

I’m going to have to read this book.

Also, I flipped through some of the other entries in the Sidelines site. Some are cruel, some are hysterical, some are both - thanks for the link.

Posted by: Elise at May 5, 2009 05:41 PM

I'll not argue with your point YAG, I agree with it. And it seems to go right well with the observation Elise made,

"And I often wonder if our drive to pass more laws, regulate more behavior might arise partly from the crumbling of any societal agreement about what behavior is appropriate."
I've often dreamed of an amendment to the Constitution (convention anyone?) that requires the repeal of at least one law for every new law that is proposed. That and a law mandating the restoration of at least one set of stocks, to be used as punishment for misdemeanors, at every county seat. =;^}

Ignorance of the law may be no excuse, but any more it is, in practical terms, unavoidable.

Posted by: Thurston Howell_hun III at May 5, 2009 05:42 PM

And I try to adhere to the laws of the land. *said for the benefit of the two fellows in the black Crown Vic parked out front*

Ok, I'll admit that there is possibly, one exception...

Posted by: Thurston Howell_hun III at May 5, 2009 05:48 PM

I'd settle for 2 amendments.

One that requires you to cite chapter and verse of the Constitution that grants the power to enact said legislation and another that congress can not spend funds to excersize powers not enumerated.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2009 06:09 PM

Ignorance of the law may be no excuse, but any more it is, in practical terms, unavoidable.

And when being a criminal is unavoidable, is breaking that *next* law really a big deal?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2009 06:15 PM

I've often dreamed of an amendment to the Constitution (convention anyone?) that requires the repeal of at least one law for every new law that is proposed.

I want the Vulcan legislature as described in the book "Spock's World". Three houses:

One house does nothing but propose and write legislation.

One house does nothing but debate and decide whether to pass the proposed legislation.

One house does nothing but get rid of existing laws.

(I'm beginning to worry a little about my tendency to see life through a SciFi lens.)

Posted by: Elise at May 5, 2009 06:31 PM

"And when being a criminal is unavoidable, is breaking that *next* law really a big deal?"
Apparently not if you are either a career criminal or a career politician.

Whoops. Was I being redundant?

Posted by: Thurston Howell_hun III at May 5, 2009 06:35 PM

Breaking the next big law? Is that the one on the books or the one being enforced by the thought police?

You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

Posted by: Cricket at May 5, 2009 09:10 PM

Making laws concerning and controlling many aspects of human activity is bound to criminalize the many. Even if you don't get caught (I drive over the speed limit all the time), the government and society, as composed, make you guilty. I once had a woman friend who was a doctor and also something of an Ayn Rand fan (she had acually had dinner with Leonard Peikoff), and when I made a joke about not wearing a seatbelt sometimes as a little bit of rebellion, she thought that was stupid. So her career and professional judgement won out over her so-called Libertarian mindset.

I amuse myself with little displays of rebellion, such as giving the local Homeowner's Assocciation a hard time by defying the deed restrictions in small ways, driving over the speed limit, not always wearing a seatbelt, and leaving a mess on my desk (which makes the biggest boss in my company mad, because he is a neat freak).
This sort of thing makes me feel like a "free man", but frankly I am not. I have too many obligations that I must meet, in supporting my family, and I'm not really a revolutionary of any sort. I am not now or will ever be wealthy enough to tell those who order me about to "stick it!". I lead a pretty ho-hum life.

Rudeness, I think, is just an abrasive reaction people make to reject the controls and obligations they must meet (but inwardly reject). It is the sign that some weak souls do to fly the flag of "independence". It's not really raging individualism; confident individualists I know are almost always polite; they have too much self-confidence.
The insecure man or woman can always be counted on to be rude when it doesn't really count. Big time rudeness (such as Keith Olbermann on MSDNC) is almost certainly a calculated act to dominate or intimidate; to cow those weaker and encourage like minded people to be more combative. A bad example to us all.
Robert Heinlein was big on chivalry. His life was a lot less than perfection, but I could not think of him ever being intentionally rude to anyone who didn't first ask for it in spades. Whether we are, as a society, more "rude" now than before, is debatable. But I would say that as a public social standard, rudeness is used more as excuse for defying that which we disagree with than ever before in my life, that I remember.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 5, 2009 09:16 PM

Ignorance of the law may be no excuse, but any more it is, in practical terms, unavoidable.

Especially so with regards to that pesky US Tax Code 'n' financial disclosure 'n' stuff.

Buuuut, to complete the circle --

This made me smile.

It made me grin out loud. Would that be a certain pigtailed BlogPrincess demonstrating the proper method of clinging to a Mattel "stick-em-cap" carbine?

Posted by: BillT at May 6, 2009 06:16 AM

Some day, I'll post a few photos of me when I was little. I look so different now that there can be no harm in that, and anyway I love old photos.

But this ain't me :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2009 08:36 AM

Hmmmmm -- so the li'l gunslinger would be a contemporary of those new autos, then.

If it *was* a pic of you, naturally they'd have to have achieved "classic" status several years before you appeared on the scene.

*hem*

*Several* years.

*grin*

Posted by: BillT at May 6, 2009 01:32 PM

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