Friday, September 21, 2007

On manners, part two

That there is serious decline in manners in modern society should be plain to anyone who has traveled on the Toronto subway during rush hour. The simple courtesy of waiting until others have exited the train before entering is apparently far too onerous for some people. Maybe they are trying to get a seat. Maybe their feet are aching. Maybe they are just jerks. Whatever the motivation, the act is rude and disruptive.

Not nearly as rude or disruptive, however, as those passengers who play their music over loudspeakers. In general, this is an act reserved for teenaged males, who for some reason feel the need to share their inevitably dreadful hip-hop with the rest of us. The lack of respect for other people’s space shown in these situations is astounding.

There’s also the far more prevalent problem of passengers playing music so loudly through their headphones that they may as well be using loudspeakers. This act has no age or gender barriers. Whether they are unaware that they are polluting the train with noise or just don’t give a damn, I don’t know. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Ignorance and insolence cause the same damages.

What troubles me equally is the passivity of others—including myself. Here we see Canadian politeness (read: meekness) at its worst—no one wants to say anything, either because we’re afraid of being perceived as rude, or (more often) because we don’t want the hassle.

The decline in manners will continue unless we do something about it. The only solution is through social enforcement. This kind of rude behaviour needs to be admonished and corrected by those of us who know better, and by those of us who care about the quality of our public spaces and social interactions.

2 Comments:

Blogger Leaf said...

you're becoming a real crank. just saying

11:14 AM  
Blogger Marco Ursi said...

I've always been a real crank.

6:48 AM  

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