Book review: Amy Alkon’s I See Rude People

posted at 12:30 pm on November 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

It’s not often that I actually get to finish a book these days.  Most of my day involves keeping up with blogs, newspapers, wire services, and e-mails. and I find that I want a diversion from politics in my down time rather than more immersion in politics.  When I received an advance copy of Amy Alkon’s I See Rude People, it seemed like a fun diversion — and it’s definitely fun, but most definitely has something serious to say about modern living and the price people have to pay to ensure that the world does not treat them like doormats.

Most readers will relate to the various situations Alkon takes from her own life: a stolen car, telemarketers, being surrounded by “underparented children,” and so on.  Perhaps many of them would not personally take the steps Alkon did in challenging others to be more considerate — or in the case of her stolen pink Rambler, become Nancy Drew.  After all, Alkon herself notes that the role of “costly punisher” carries significant risks in social standing, time, and money — but if more people took on that role, the cost of insisting on societal norms would decrease for everyone.

Think of it in terms of the “broken window” philosophy of Rudy Giuliani and Howard Safir in New York City.  Ignoring the petty insults to society encourages larger breakdowns, whereas enforcement of the ground-level norms discourages them.  Alkon hails the French example in her book by noting that French parents insist on proper manners for their children — and are not at all shy about correcting the children of others in public when they transgress etiquette norms.

Alkon layers her book with equal helpings of sociology and personal experiences, but of course it’s the latter that make I See Rude People a page-turner.  She spares no one and few details.  She rips into Bank of America, and in the process exposes some business practices that might have its customers thinking seriously about changing banks.  Alkon balances this by showing how Whole Foods understood the need to treat its customers as though they cared about them, and how they needed only a little prodding to come to that realization.  Alkon also covers her interactions with loud cell-phone conversationalists in public areas who seem clueless about disseminating personal information at the top of their lungs — and how a technological relic of the old Bell system could solve the problem.  And while Elmore Leonard calls the pink Rambler story worth the price of the book alone, Alkon’s story about how some “progressive” bloggers started a rumor that she was a pre-op transsexual will hit closer to home for conservative bloggers.  (No, she’s not, for the record.)

The book just hit the stores this weekend.  It’s a fun, quick, entertaining read, sure to make your blood boil — but also sure to provide more than just moments to which we can all relate.  Alkon gives us a path to follow to demand that people treat us as they should.

Update: Amy wrote a column for the LA Times this week that relates to one of her major points in the book, underparented children, although the episode isn’t included in the book. It was meant to support her argument that inconsiderate people steal time and peace of mind from those around them. Read her blog to see the reaction to that article, and how remaining polite changed the course of a conversation.

Note: Sales made through links provide compensation back to me, at no extra cost to the consumer.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

This rudeness is what liberalism has wrought. The ‘feel good’ generation uses incivility to feel better about itself, individually and collectively.

What’s the line from that Pink Floyd song: “Good manners don’t cost nothing, do they?”

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 12:38 PM

This is why
I’m a Rudy Guy

his ‘broken windows’ approach was…………gold, Jerry, pure gold

Janos Hunyadi on November 27, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Loud cellphone users on the train in the morning are the worst. A good tactic is to join in the conversation. Stare ‘em in the eye and ask at the appropriate time ” Really, and then what happened?” When they respond “Uhhh(indignation)…this is a private conversation!” I tell them, no…no it’s not. I now know all about your aunts operation and must know all the gory details due to you being so loud. How it goes from there depends on the reaction. I’m as polite or rude as the person I’m dealing with.

Sefton on November 27, 2009 at 12:46 PM

I might buy the book for the Pink Rambler story. Many moons ago my husband’s motorcycle was stolen from a stop he made after working the night shift. After a call to the police, we did a little investigating and found the temporary hiding place of the bike a several businesses down the block. When the police were contacted again, they were not interested in waiting to see who the thief was, it was a “joke”. The joke cost the price of a new ignition and locking forks, very funny.

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 12:47 PM

About that kid on the plane. My oldest knows we will bust his butt if he acts out. We will not hesitate to spank him. I think the last time we had to spank him was 2-3 years ago.

My youngest has been so much better since he had tubes in his ears, but he can be a pill in public. Not as bad as some kids I have seen, but he can be….charming in his own way. Most of the time, he will be just fine. If we were traveling by air, and there was no way to calm him down, well, there is such a risk if he gets airsick donchaknow—better give him some Dramamine, stat!

Sekhmet on November 27, 2009 at 12:50 PM

French parents insist on proper manners for their children — and are not at all shy about correcting the children of others in public when they transgress etiquette norms.

Advantage: France. I’d like to issue this warning to my friends and acquaintances: You drop by my house with your kids unannounced, and they pick up/touch/play with my valuables, I’m going to tell them to knock it off. When you complain that I’m destroying their senses of self worth, I’m going to exercise mine and ask you to leave the premises. The kids I feel sorry for. The lazy, bad, trend-following parents not so much.

Kalifornia Kafir on November 27, 2009 at 12:54 PM

I must be lucky in my ‘hood, because the parents around here are fair but firm with all the neighborhood kids. If a kid messes up, they get a lecture, and later they are dragged right back to where the crime occurred to issue a formal apology.

Bishop on November 27, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Japan also is draconian in demanding societal members adhere to the basic and advanced tenets of good manners.

Much more so than France.

moc23 on November 27, 2009 at 1:04 PM

I agree with Amy somewhat, but I disagree about noisy children playing in the neighborhood. If children aren’t laughing, hollering, screeming, crying, chasing, and generally making a ruckus, they aren’t being children.

I keep the a couple of windows open, and children playing doesn’t bother me. Playing even loudly is not rude, that’s what children do. People who get annoyed or upset when children are playing are the inconsiderate ones.

What is inconsiderate? Trying to enforce a “quiet zone” around your block and being the neighborhood grouch to children.

Rode Werk on November 27, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Justifiable homicide: inconsiderate, loud cell-phone conversations carried on within centimeters of an unappreciative audience.

Dear narcissists, we do not give a dessicated turd for your intimate secrets. Turn it off and go away!

VoyskaPVO on November 27, 2009 at 1:05 PM

French parents insist on proper manners for their children — and are not at all shy about correcting the children of others in public when they transgress etiquette norms.

Recently I asked a young parent of a non-stop screaming (not crying, just screaming for the fun of it) child in a shopping cart to please try to stop the child from screaming. She indignantly told me that if I didn’t like it, I should stay home.

petefrt on November 27, 2009 at 1:06 PM

The problem with traditions, like teaching your children good manners and self-control, is that if you only teach the how, and not the why, the traditions just don’t get passed on. People have to know the consequences of not doing it as well. That’s where too many of the Baby Boomers let everybody down. They retained some of the how, but they didn’t care much about the why, and didn’t teach their kids the why.

RBMN on November 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Thanks, Captain, for the tip. I was about to order Vince Flynn’s new book from Amazon, so I can get this one, too, and save on the shipping costs.

Amy’s a gal after my own heart. Can’t wait to get her book.

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Loud cellphone users on the train in the morning are the worst.
Sefton on November 27, 2009 at 12:46 PM

The worst (for me) is when people get on with their ipods or walkmen or whatever and turn the volume up so that people sitting 10 feet away can hear the lyrics.

CityFish on November 27, 2009 at 1:13 PM

I have 6 grown children and I am constantly appalled at the way children are allowed to behave and the excuses people make for their children’s misbehavior. The plane story is a case in point. Even the best behaved child can have a bad day. I had it happen with mine. That does not excuse the mother’s reaction and her sense of entitlement to special treatment because her little darling was naughty enough to get kicked off of a plane. Very few children can behave for the entire length of a plane ride at that age. If you have one who cannot, make other arrangements. They WILL grow out of it, if you take the time to train them. Until then do everyone a favor and stay home.

Lily on November 27, 2009 at 1:17 PM

This thread is threatening to turn into a bi!chfest with me being the Head Bi!ch but I was at a gas station last week and the gentleman beside me had his radio, bass at the max, so loud that the twenty feet tall aluminum rain awning over the pumps was vibrating. WTF?

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

When a rude cell phoner is next to me, I’ll get their attention, smile, and then speak loudly right at them saying things that would indicate to the person on the line that we’re in a bar somewhere. The looks I get in return are generally priceless. And the fun I have is wonderful.

Josiah on November 27, 2009 at 1:21 PM

I had lunch the other day at a busy restaurant (noon, workday) and a lady sat and enjoyed her lunch as her two “children” (I’m guessing 2 and 3 years old) ran around the place like it was a playground.

Getting in the way of servers, getting in front of and behind the entrance door, even leaving the building to play outside next to the street. This was the only time she seemed to pay attention as she told the 3-year-old to go outside and keep an eye on the 2-year-old. This was no fast food restaurant, it was a mid-scale ethnic restaurant.

I realize children of that age are a handful, but, Good-Lord, they need parents!

cntrlfrk on November 27, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Justifiable homicide: inconsiderate, loud cell-phone conversations carried on within centimeters of an unappreciative audience.
Dear narcissists, we do not give a dessicated turd for your intimate secrets. Turn it off and go away!

VoyskaPVO on November 27, 2009 at 1:05 PM

I wish someone would invent a portable scrambler or whatever that could be pointed discretely at such offenders, obliterating their calls but not messing up legitimate calls in the vicinity.

Even if it was illegal, I’d pay just about any price and, who knows, maybe use some of that cash for appliance money.

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 1:28 PM

This thread is threatening to turn into a bi!chfest with me being the Head Bi!ch but I was at a gas station last week and the gentleman beside me had his radio, bass at the max, so loud that the twenty feet tall aluminum rain awning over the pumps was vibrating. WTF?

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

I see this more as a comment on liberal ideals rather than a b*tchfest.

Conservative parents keep their children in line, tending to politeness. Lib parents, by their nature, demand freedom to be as they want for the moment.

Kids misbehaving? “Don’t impose your values on me.”

Kid sets the barn on fire? “Time out!”

Kid nails the neighbor’s poodle to a piece of plywood and does a Dr. House surgery without anesthesia? “He was learning Biology.”

Libs always make excuses. I saw it a number of times.

This is ‘progress’?

Lib parents just don’t want their responsibility.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM

This thread is threatening to turn into a bi!chfest with me being the Head Bi!ch but I was at a gas station last week and the gentleman beside me had his radio, bass at the max, so loud that the twenty feet tall aluminum rain awning over the pumps was vibrating. WTF?

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

I always ask this type if they “like that crap better than music”, They never turn it down but the snark makes me feel better.

thomasaur on November 27, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Exactly. And, of course, most of those lib parents had lib parents themselves.

Life without limits or rules. That’s their philosophy… but only for them.

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Exactly. And, of course, most of those lib parents had lib parents themselves.

Life without limits or rules. That’s their philosophy… but only for them.

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Agreed!

I saw it a number of times, in public.

Common civility among libs is really an antiquated notion. And the trolls here prove that day after day, being themselves.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 1:41 PM

This thread is threatening to turn into a bi!chfest with me being the Head Bi!ch…

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

That’s okay by me. Plus a b!tchfest allows some of us boys to play B!tch For a Day.

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 1:42 PM

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 1:28 PM

There’s the small consolation that these people’s cell phone use may lead to health issues down the road if you buy into the off-again, on-again reports of studies dedicated to the issue.

What I cannot fathom is the seemingly incessant need of many people to jabber on the phone constantly. Are they so afraid of being alone with their own thoughts that this is their only means of escape? Excessive text messaging is another manifestation of the issue (I have a niece who consistently sends / receives over 1500 text messages per month).

ya2daup on November 27, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Last April I had to fly from FL to TX and I finally remembered to bring my new noise-canceling headphones. Good thing! I was in the second row of Coach and about 6 rows ahead of me in First Class was a woman traveling with her dog. The dog started barking when the engines started and continued to bark 5-10 times per minute for the entire flight. For those that know dogs, these were loud angry barks, not quiet little woofs. The woman could be heard talking to the dog “Quiet Muffy – pssst, you have to be quiet” but the dog barked the whole trip.

If this was the last part of moving to TX and the woman brought the dog on the only way she could get the dog to TX, I could kind of understand. But if she is one of those people that take their dog with them everywhere, and she regularly flies with her dog and inflicts the noisy dog to the 50 people within earshot, she is nothing but rude and inconsiderate.

All the people around me in Coach were pissed and I can only imagine what the people in First thought of the woman and her dog.

rockbend on November 27, 2009 at 1:52 PM

This thread is threatening to turn into a bi!chfest with me being the Head Bi!ch but I was at a gas station last week and the gentleman beside me had his radio, bass at the max, so loud that the twenty feet tall aluminum rain awning over the pumps was vibrating. WTF?

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

My 18 year old son came home one day, and he had installed on his truck, using his own money, a damned bass system like you described.

He was given two choices. Take it out and try to get a refund or he could keep it and I’d sell the truck and pocket the money. Guess which option he chose.

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 1:55 PM

thomasaur on November 27, 2009 at 1:32 PM

I am not brave enough to question rather large gentleman about musical tastes since I was only going to be there long enough to pump my gas. Not a hill worth dieing on. BIG GUY!

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 1:57 PM

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Seems fair to me.

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 1:59 PM

If we want to see rude people, look at the libs who post here.

Take simplesimon first and foremost: His fave term for us: ‘racefan’. By his own declared measure, directly or otherwise, he speaks fully for the Left.

Off the top, he seeks to devalue and denigrate us. By his own actions and words, we don’t rate. THAT outlook on his part isn’t polite on any level. Again, and as usual, libs are the most rude people on the planet.

Toss in Grow Fins, plus all the others.

We cons here on HA have tried being polite. Yes,m we botch it now and again, even among ourselves. Hey–sh*t happens. But at least we can manage to come to common terms.

The lasting and binding rudeness comes invariably from the Left. It’s not from among us.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:01 PM

I am not brave enough
Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Since when?

You have guts, class, and a lot of other good things.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM

I remember the day my mother tore up the a$$ of my oldest (four at the time) because he dug sand out of an ashtray in Sears and put it into a chair they had on the floor. An ashtray in a store. It wasn’t too long after that they you started hearing about the police being called on parents who disciplined their kids in public. Obviously that can go either way, so if I had one act out in public we just went home immediately.

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:03 PM

It’s easy to be “tough” on the internet. I like to think I pick my battles.

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 2:05 PM

The libs forced that on us. If I messed up and got spanked, tough boobies on me.

A whole new world now. Not set by us, hon, but by the libs.

While I never likes being spanked, by Dad did me a favor. I don’t use myself as a model, but I point to my children. They are excellent people, honorable Citizens who live and love their families in all the right ways.

I just say I did all right by them.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:10 PM

It’s easy to be “tough” on the internet. I like to think I pick my battles.

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 2:07 PM

What you are on the Net is what you are RT. After all, our deepest characters come out no matter where we are. It’s impossible to dodge that.

What I said earlier stands and has a long time.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Exactly right! +10000

AsianGirlInTights on November 27, 2009 at 2:17 PM

CityFish on November 27, 2009 at 1:13 PM

I would laugh at my students who would try to sneak their earbuds up through their clothes to try to listen to their IPODs. They would sit in the back of the class and turn the volume on loud. They just couldn’t figure out how I knew.

chemman on November 27, 2009 at 2:19 PM

AsianGirlInTights on November 27, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Thanks!

I hate libs, of that there is no uncertainty. Part of that revulsion is how simplesimon treats us, like with his term of ‘racefan’.

Him, being a lib, as determined us and that’s BS. So, as he judges us, I call him as a spokesperson for ALL libs who post here.

Am I being unfair? Maybe.

I give back by the same measure to which I’m also held.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:22 PM

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 1:55 PM

O/T I hope you wander back on this thread. I forgot to mention in the movie The Blindside, it starts of with several replays at different angles of the Lawrence Taylor hit on Joe Theisman. I had my eyes closed because I saw it originally and knew what was coming. By my 25 year old son’s reaction I know that they ultimately showed the most gruesome shot. Just a heads up if anyone is squeemish from someone who decide to forgo the memory.

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 2:07 PM

For whatever this might be worth, I find you to have one of the most sensible minds on this site. There are others, to be sure, but you’re among them.

You make a lot of sense, and have passion.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:27 PM

The cell phone thing kills me. It never fails that I’m in a checkout line somewhere and the person in front of me is gabbing away, holding everyone up because they’re distracted by the phone. I think its rude to not only fellow customers but also to the cashier.

But, on a bigger scale I blame Facebook, MySpace, etc for a lot of the breakdown in manners. Nothing is private anymore, and consideration isn’t given to others…its as if they see themselves still in that online cocoon instead of out and about among the population. Also explains why no one knows how to talk or spell anymore.

changer1701 on November 27, 2009 at 2:29 PM

changer1701 on November 27, 2009 at 2:29 PM

The result of the ‘me’ and ‘feel good’ generation.

I find that sick and sad. My Dad fought in WWII. I’m raised on values that are better. Current libs don’t hold to such things.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Why thank you, I am sure being 56 probably has more to do with it then anything else.

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Why thank you, I am sure being 56 probably has more to do with it then anything else.

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Oh, gee! You mentioned age. I’m 51.

But your age has nothing to do with anything. I know a lot of libs older than you have no clue about anything. An they’re of our generation.

Dingblasted idiots!

Keep going as you do. I always have your back.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Oh, gee! You mentioned age. I’m 51.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:48 PM

51!?! I thought you were younger.

AsianGirlInTights on November 27, 2009 at 2:58 PM

51!?! I thought you were younger.

AsianGirlInTights on November 27, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Nope. I’m 51.

And, really, I’m glad I’m not younger. I’ve learned a lot these years that I wouldn’t trade for all the gold in the world.

The things I’ve seen, the beauties I’ve witnessed–it’s all been good and wonderful.

I mean–I watched Man on the Moon live, as it happened.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 3:02 PM

I mean–I watched Man on the Moon live, as it happened.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 3:02 PM

‘Liam’ seemed like a younger person’s name to me somehow.

I can see what you mean about the experiences and not wanting to trade them though. That’s the whole point in living a good long life.

AsianGirlInTights on November 27, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Thanks for the update from last night. On second thought, I probably won’t take my 7 year old son, just the one who’s 18.

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 3:11 PM

AsianGirlInTights on November 27, 2009 at 3:11 PM

“Liam” is short for my real name, both of which mean ‘determined guardian’. Everyone used to call me ‘Billy’, but I’m a grown up man now.

“Liam” is Irish, which is my indirect lineage. I consider myself a Scot, going back to 536AD.

I’ve seen so many beauties and, being a history nut, love everything the God of Creation has given me.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Why thank you, I am sure being 56 probably has more to do with it then anything else.

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Well, I’m 59, but still feel 30 and unfortunately often live that age. But I do read on a 63 year old level. -_*

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 3:20 PM

I mean–I watched Man on the Moon live, as it happened.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Me, too… on a black and white TV.

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Me, too… on a black and white TV.

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Yes! A big console that had a record payer in it!

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 3:28 PM

As I posted at the author’s blog (Thanks, Ed, for the ‘heads up’!) Unfortunate parents who lack the common sense to control their children often have too much self-involvement to even see the dilemma they create by not properly constraining their kids.

For example: I’m seriously disabled with a rare and crippling form of Rheumatoid Arthritis. In large Wal*Mart type stores I use the scooter to get around. In smaller markets and stores where the isles are narrower I usually hobble around with my cane so that I don’t cause squeezing in the small isles.

But while shopping recently in a smaller market, as I was attempting to maneuver down an isle that had a large power pole next to one of the racks, opposite and coming towards me was a mother wheeling her kid around in the kid-type shopping cart that looks like a truck or auto. She came around the post as I was approaching it, took all of center isle and barreled towards me without a single concern. As a mom wheeling a small kid around, she was convinced she had the ‘right of way’ as her cart was not as maneuverable as I was hobbling with a cane. There was no choice but to bite my lip and move aside so she could pass.

This is not the first time that moms pushing kids around in carts or walkers have almost run me over as they assume the ‘right of way’, and it is rapidly becoming a pet peeve of mine.

KendraWilder on November 27, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Bank of America

Yes, they have been alternately crooked & incompetent in their dealings with me.

jgapinoy on November 27, 2009 at 4:28 PM

In a different vein, in part I blame Dr. Spock who published a book back in 1946, and went on into the ’50s and ’60s as the go-to guy for all things related to raising children. Parents became so involved with making their kids feel secure and loved no matter how bad they were that the kids grew up spoiled rotten, resulting in the hedonistic, self-involved segment of the Baby Boom generation. I saw this play out as my mother applied his philosophy to the youngest of her six kids, who was 12 years younger than myself, the oldest girl of the six.

Sure enough, the youngest became so spoiled and self-involved that she was literally a very unlikeable person to be around, and remains so self-involved at this stage of her life that I usually cut her short on telephone calls because I get tired of hearing the same routine over and over unchanging.

In much later years, not too many before he died, Dr. Spock, in a moment of candor, admitted that he’d called it wrong in many ways, and in retrospect regretted helping to create the “ME” generation that we’re now dealing with in Baby Boomer liberal/progressive activists.

KendraWilder on November 27, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Tail-gaters & constant high-beam users are the worst of the worst in the annals of rudeness.

jgapinoy on November 27, 2009 at 4:31 PM

KendraWilder on November 27, 2009 at 4:30 PM

With his divorce & a suicide in his lineage, Spock wasn’t the family expert many thought he was.

jgapinoy on November 27, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Dang. She fine.

fossten on November 27, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Just makes me wonder, just how right Heinlein was when he made the quote in the book, “Friday”:

“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 is a riot…”

DaSaintFan on November 27, 2009 at 5:29 PM

*** That does not excuse the mother’s reaction and her sense of entitlement to special treatment because her little darling was naughty enough to get kicked off of a plane. ***
Lily on November 27, 2009 at 1:17 PM

The story doesn’t talk about what the flight crew did, or didn’t do, before the pilot decided to turn the plane around. Did anyone try to calm the kid down?

Tail-gaters & constant high-beam users are the worst of the worst in the annals of rudeness.
jgapinoy on November 27, 2009 at 4:31 PM

I hate tailgaters, too, but have found myself tailgating people when they do things like drive 5-10 mph below the posted speed limit in the left lane. So I guess I hate myself. :)

Outlander on November 27, 2009 at 6:26 PM

Me, too… on a black and white TV.

TXUS on November 27, 2009 at 3:25 PM

We didn’t evem have electricity back then. We had to watch TV by candlelight.

davidk on November 27, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Thanks!

I hate libs, of that there is no uncertainty. Part of that revulsion is how simplesimon treats us, like with his term of ‘racefan’.

Him, being a lib, as determined us and that’s BS. So, as he judges us, I call him as a spokesperson for ALL libs who post here.

Am I being unfair? Maybe.

I give back by the same measure to which I’m also held.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 2:22 PM

simpleton is a turd in the pool no more no less…

huckelberry on November 27, 2009 at 6:57 PM

simpleton is a turd in the pool no more no less…

huckelberry on November 27, 2009 at 6:57 PM

He’s simply hateful, and a lib. I use him as the model against the other libs who post here.

Unfair, maybe. But none of the other libs deny him.

He’s a tool for me, my being on the Right.

Liam on November 27, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Japan also is draconian in demanding societal members adhere to the basic and advanced tenets of good manners.

I think this is a myth, because in my personal experience I’ve seen no evidence of this whatsoever. Spending time Honolulu (a.k.a. Tokyo East), I’ve had Japanese not hold the door for my wife, not excuse themselves for cutting in front of you or cutting in line. I’ve also seen the same behavior in Tokyo, too. Pushing and shoving on the trains, barging through open doors without consideration for others. I know the bowing thing makes it seem like they are all well mannered and polite, but that’s about as far as it goes IMHO.

Fed45 on November 27, 2009 at 8:03 PM

Thank’s for the heads up about Amy, Ed. I found her column about 6 months ago, and have been following sporatically. I haven’t been back for several months now–but she got me with her story about obnoxious drinkers being loud at 2-3am in morning. Then I read her story about her stolen car and I was hooked big time! For those of you who don’t know her work–you REALLY need to read her! She is great–and I am so glad you told us the book was out–I have wanted to get it since I read her columns. She even personally replied to me when I first started reading her!

For anyone that hasn’t read her story about the stolen car–it’s priceless! Thanks again for the heads up!

lovingmyUSA on November 27, 2009 at 9:09 PM

I agree with Amy somewhat, but I disagree about noisy children playing in the neighborhood. If children aren’t laughing, hollering, screeming, crying, chasing, and generally making a ruckus, they aren’t being children.

I keep the a couple of windows open, and children playing doesn’t bother me. Playing even loudly is not rude, that’s what children do. People who get annoyed or upset when children are playing are the inconsiderate ones.

What is inconsiderate? Trying to enforce a “quiet zone” around your block and being the neighborhood grouch to children.

Rode Werk on November 27, 2009 at 1:04 PM

I completely agree. More than birdsong, I like the sound of children playing in the neighborhood. It’s the sound of life.

atheling on November 28, 2009 at 1:43 AM

Page turner.

Head turner, too. There’s just something about redheads.

UltimateBob on November 28, 2009 at 1:48 AM

I’m afraid to read this book. I become more and more of a misanthrope, and I feel like the rude, loud people are winning. They’re taking over the world.

A couple of summers ago some parents in the neighborhood bought their darling, precious teenage son an ATV. He started riding it around our quiet, rural subdivision with a hell’s fury, jeopardizing himself along with the handful of neighbors we have. I stopped the boy one afternoon and explained to him that he was breaking several different state laws and that he could be fined and his machine could be impounded.

He looked me in the eye and said “Fuck you!”

One evening he and a friend started zipping around the neighborhood on the ATV and a mini-bike. When they stopped, I went into the boy’s yard and told them that they were going to stop or I would turn the matter over to the authorities.

They threatened me physically, and I told them that it would be a terrible, terrible mistake on their part. I never threatened them, though. A little while later some sassy woman came into my backyard and started screaming at me that her boy had every right to ride his mini-bike on the road around our houses and wouldn’t listen to me about what the state law said about it.

She threatened me physically, and I went after her and scared the holy hell out of her. I’m a polite and quiet person but no redneck woman is going to sass me on my own property.

A few minutes later the boys started racing around again with an emphasis of staying near my property. I called the county sheriff, and deputy came out and fined them. He had to re-explain to their parents what the state law says about riding ATV’s on county and state roads.

I thought I’d be the bad guy of the neighborhood, but the other neighbors started telling me that they’re glad I made a stand because they were afraid to.

I thought it was amazing that adults would cower to a punk teenage kid. That’s the problem. Yeah, sure I would’ve loved to beat that kid to a pulp, but that would’ve landed me in jail.

If I behaved that way at a similar age, my parents would’ve killed me. I would’ve had to go from door-to-door apologizing for my behavior. Parents don’t care. Children run everything.

I live in a semi-rural area, but the yuppies are coming, some are already here. My children’s school has a “car-rider line.” These families who have fled the taxation of the nearby town bring their kids to school, but the kids won’t get out of the car until a teacher or school employee opens the door for them. They think they’re some sort of little sultan. Then the parents sit an watch their kid all the way into the school, as if something could happen to them in the 15 or 20 feet they have to walk into the building.

Spoiled! Spoiled! Spoiled! Their parents are doing them no favors, and they are weakening the nation in the process.

My wife says that there’s a Jimmy Buffett song that fits me (can’t remember the title):

“I’m just trying to get by being quiet and shy
in a world full of pushing and shove.”

Ampleforth on November 28, 2009 at 9:31 AM

Cindy Munford on November 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Here’s an old trick that frequently works well. If a car with a piercingly loud audio system, especially one dialed to the maximum window-rattling bass, pulls up anywhere near you on the street, just try to catch the eye of the driver, and when you do, mouth a few nonsense words — and do it with a big smile so they do not conclude you are annoyed by the noise.

Nine times out of ten the person will turn down the sound in order to ask you to repeat what you just said.

Then, just smile and say, “Thank you!” And then turn and walk away. You’ll get a good chuckle from anyone around you who witnesses it.

Trochilus on November 28, 2009 at 9:55 AM