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Bloviating Zeppelin: Welcome To 2008: Another Year

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Welcome To 2008: Another Year

. . . of rudeness and self indulgence; more of the American "It's All About Me" syndrome.

FORT WORTH (CBS 11 News) ― A passenger on a Fort Worth bus says the T. Bus Service discriminated against her religion.

Christine Lutz says she was reading her Bible to her children [out loud - BZ] when the bus driver asked her to stop or get off the bus.

Lutz, a Seventh Day Adventist, and her children were on their way to church.

I have to admit, with my current frame of mind, this story simply lit my afterburner. But there's more:
Or was it a clear cut case of policy?

"Anyone who is loud will be asked to be quiet," said representative Joan Hunter. "That is a standard policy across country in the transit industry."

It doesn't matter what is said, the T has a policy of no loud or abusive behavior.

Maybe I don't know the whole story; obviously I wasn't there. But this smacks to me of more people simply pulling out the Victim Card and, you know what? I am really, really getting tired of this crap. This isn't about religion; this is about common courtesy or, more pointedly, the lack thereof.

Here's the deal: if it was the policy of the transit district, then they did nothing more than their jobs. As I would expect them to do. And this sounds like nothing more than adherence to policy. At least they have a policy.

Here's my thought on this and many other public matters:

When in public, I have a societal obligation to those persons around me. One of those obligations is to not be obnoxious or loud.

If she had been reading a Michelle Malkin book to her kids out loud I would have had the same reaction: try conducting your verbal reading sessions in the privacy of your very own home. I'm not riding a bus to listen to anyone read anything out loud; I'm riding the bus to get from Point A to Point B and nothing else. I don't want to know about your life and, quite frankly, I couldn't care less. I have a task to perform. Let me do it with the minimum of disturbances and I'll reciprocate in kind.

And that is not to minimize my obligations to our society -- our society being, of course, a cooperative. An incomplete list of my obligations would include (off the top of my head) some of the following:

- If not courteous, at least be civil;
- Courtesy, however, should be our public goals;
- To be cooperative, collected, considerate of others;
- To watch language (I have trouble with this, as my print readers know);
- To not be rude or obnoxious or loud;
- To wait for my turn when in a line;
- To not treat my public experience as though I was the only one involved or present.
- Say please;
- Say thank you; saying "no problem" is not the same;
- To chew gum or food with my damned mouth closed;
- To hold open doors for those closely following me, woman or man;

I once again repeat: society is a cooperative.

  • I feel it is my obligation to move my shopping cart to the complete side of the aisle when looking for a specific item.
  • I feel it is my duty to stay out of the fast lane if I don't feel like exceeding the speed limit, or when looking for an address, etc.
  • I feel it is my duty to pay attention to traffic lights and get safely through intersections quickly enough that as many of those behind me may enjoy the same luxury.
  • When paying, I feel it's my obligation to have all my money ready when it's my turn, and not to dig in my pockets, check slowly in my wallet/purse for each and every little coin.

Just this afternoon, for example, a carload of ignorant little white teens decided they owned the entire aisle in a parking lot when the driver was on the cell phone and no one was getting out or picked up. They were completely oblivious. Because I deigned to not wait for them and came within inches of their thrashed Honda to pass, I got the hairy eyeball and the finger-flip from them collectively.

Just this afternoon, when the wife and I went to go see "Water Horse" at a small local theatre, a mother brought her (estimated) 12-year-old daughter and an infant. The infant squalled and made noise throughout the first portion of the film until I said: "Do you mind? Everyone here paid money to hear the film, not your child." How is it that an adult even remotely thinks an infant is going to sit still through an entire movie? Are people actually that stupid? And to stave off the next assumed counter-argument: NO. It is NOT my job to "accommodate" this mother in the theatre. Parents have been "doing without movies" when their children were infants for years prior to her showing up today. This was simply rude and endemic of societal self-centeredness.

As I've written before, when in public and particularly in venues when I have PAID FOR AN EXPERIENCE such as a movie, a restaurant, a museum, a play, I do not pay to listen to you blather away on your stupid cell phone; I don't pay for your children or your infants to shriek at the tops of their lungs, throw food on the floor or run about the area; I don't pay to listen to your loud, drunk proclamations over more glasses of beer; I don't pay to listen to your loud voice carry throughout the venue whilst you regale your idiot friends over a bad shampoo. And OH so MUCH more!

Welcome to 2008, everyone; looks like it'll be more of the same: ignorant people playing various Victim Cards thinking (due to parental training) that it's all about them.

Those are just a very few of my Public Hot Buttons. What might yours be?



Anonymous Just a person. said...

My first post of the new year.
I agree.
Simple as that.
Thank you.

Mon Dec 31, 11:17:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Just A Person:

Thanks. Thanks for visiting. Thanks for reading. And thanks for commenting. Simple as that.


Mon Dec 31, 11:34:00 PM PST  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

I believe it was Dave Barry who first identified this, with couples bringing their infants to high class dining establishments and other venues that parents have not traditionally brought such children to. Not *get a babysitter*, but bring a squalling infant to not only public dining, but public dining noted for its quiet atmosphere. He used the following idea to describe the mindset:

"Hey, lets bring a moose to the opera!"

Bringing a moose to the opera is now the operational term here to describe anyone who thinks of themselves and how grand their life is *first* and not think of those around them.

If you want to declaim something loudly for the whole world to hear, you will find that streetcorners and some public parks serve that well: bring a soap box. Late night tv works, too, as the infomercials prove.

Anytime where people are captive, like in restaurants, public conveyances, theaters and the opera the operable terms are: STFD and STFU. This is *our* society not just *your* society... and please... don't bring a moose to the opera... it upsets the moose no end.

Tue Jan 01, 04:11:00 AM PST  
Blogger J C said...

"Methinks thou doest protest too much..."
You are well named! 'chuckle'
Happy New Year!!

Tue Jan 01, 07:06:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bushwack said...

You about summed up all of mine as well.

I guess the biggest would be fast lane drivers going slow.. this pisses me off to no end, if more than 3 folks pass you on the RIGHT, MOVE OVER!

The other one is public self serving ingrates. Oblivious to those around them, like they are the only ones in the theater/grocery store or whatever...

One more, Memorial day, a guy was in front of me at the 7-11, buying a 18 pack of Coors Light, I told him "I'd buy him an 18 pack of Bud Light if he'd put the Coors back...He said "Really?" I said "Yep" and I even took the Coors back for him, got the Bud light and payed for it..Not so much as a Thank you, just a "cool"....

The guy was WHITE, mid 30's looked like he had some self worth....

I left shortly after him, I said "Oh and YOU'RE WELCOME!" With a little attitude....I got a shoulder shrug, I told him that beer was WAY too good for him.

Oh well I have since bought several beers for grateful folks that actually appreciate the effort...

Have a great New Year BZ, and realize for every idiot you run across, there are several more you won't have to see....LMAO.

Tue Jan 01, 12:36:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent point about common courtesy and civility. Most of us know when we do something that makes people around us uncomfortable. Yet there are those who persist. Everything from loud cell phone conversations to vulgar language. When was the last time you heard someone say, "I beg your pardon" or "excuse me"?

Thanks for a well thought out post.

Tue Jan 01, 12:41:00 PM PST  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Way to ring in the New Year!

My fellow citizens piss me off, all the time, with their public behavior that is rude, obnoxious, ill-mannered, and inconsiderate.

Tue Jan 01, 02:00:00 PM PST  
Anonymous americaneocon said...

Happy New Year, BZ!

American Power

Tue Jan 01, 02:30:00 PM PST  
Blogger shoprat said...

Personally I can't stand people who try to do 100 mph on a two lane highway who get behind you and insist that you speed up or they ride you, and equally annoying is people who go down rural roads at 15 mph (55 zone) and ride down the middle of the road making it impossible to pas. (believe it or not there are a lot people around here who do.) Both extremes annoy me.

Tue Jan 01, 04:13:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

AJ: and so aptly named by Mr. Barry! I concur!

JC: thanks for visting and please return, and thanks for the comment -- but in my opinion I state the obvious. We seem to have little concern for our fellow humans in public, and people believe it's the public's responsibility to cater to the individual rude person or their family and, if you dare to intrude on THEIR intrusion, then YOU are the Bad Guy.

Bushwack: "Have a great New Year BZ, and realize for every idiot you run across, there are several more you won't have to see...." Now, I REALLY like that one!

Cerebus: thank you indeed, to one who clearly espouses civility in their life!

Wordsmith: thank you sir, and thanks for having such a great blog as yours! May 2008 be GREAT for you!

Americaneocon: hey, thanks for visiting and commenting; please come back for future visits! I'll go take a peek at your site!

Shoprat: hear, hear! Particularly when there isn't much you can do about it due to the configuration of the roadway!


Tue Jan 01, 06:32:00 PM PST  
Blogger Just John said...

Well said BZ. I particularly despise the inconsiderate clowns that bring their undisciplined brats into restaurants, and then act oblivious as their offspring run around the place screaming and carrying on. I think that one tops my list...

Tue Jan 01, 07:31:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

JJ: I am completely with you on that, my brother. I NEVER got away with that as a child; why should anyone else have to suffer unbridled children foisted upon the public by ignorant and self-centered parental units, eh?


Tue Jan 01, 08:08:00 PM PST  
Blogger reeciebird said...

While I agree about not bringing obnoxious children to non-child friendly venues, I have to take exception to reading quietly to small children on a bus. Older kids can amuse themselves, but a quiet, audible activity like reading appropriate material is preferrable to screaming, bored kids. And unlike movie theatres and restaurants, transportation is a necessity, not an optional leisure activity. Or do none of you have children? Children are absolutely necessary and beneficial to society and need some leeway. You can't stay locked in your house for the first five years of a child's life just because they might make a noise once in a while.

Wed Jan 02, 09:17:00 AM PST  
Blogger Rivka said...

I have 4 boys 8,7,5 and 3. We take them to movies, but they behave well so we don't have a problem, however we didn't frequent movies when they were infants.

Really, there is a solution the noisy kids issue.. Parents with infants or UNTRAINED kids need to join Netflix.

Wed Jan 02, 11:00:00 AM PST  
Blogger Rivka said...

There is one huge issue that really gets me: Parents that don't discipline their kids and could care less about their character development. This includes parents who don't spank.

Their kids grow up to be nuisances' to society and their kids are the ones who bully mine. (I have had a few incidences already of 2nd and 3rd graders flipping off adults, and 9-10 year olds calling my eldest who is into science a nerd telling him Science sucks.) My kids don't even know what flip off means, and don't know the F word either.

Wed Jan 02, 11:11:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Henry said...

My wife and I have been saying almost all of this stuff for the past several years.

You don't even want to know about my feelings on the supermarket experience....

Happy New Year BZ!

Wed Jan 02, 11:59:00 AM PST  

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