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What ever happened to reasoned discourse? Who flipped the handle to flush civility and manners and respect for others down the toilet?

In Cyberland, we’re told, writing all caps is the equivalent of shouting; thus, the headline above, to emphasize the anger abroad in the land. Nowadays, everyone is mad, and they want the whole world to know it. It’s as if everyone who has access to a keyboard, an internet connection, and a social media account has a gigantic burr under his/her saddle.

What ever happened to reasoned discourse? Who flipped the handle to flush civility and manners and respect for others down the toilet?

Have we become so depersonalized by the 24/7 blather of media talking heads, politicians of one stripe or another preening and posturing, and everyday citizens with a cause/issue/gripe about this, that, or the other, that we feel compelled to be constantly spewing invective about perceived wrongs, slights, inadequacies in politics, government, education, religion, you name it?

Are we so well off as a society, so pampered and cosseted, that we’ve completely lost sight of what an ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL COUNTRY WE’RE SO BLESSED TO LIVE IN? So outraged about petty issues that don’t amount to a hill of beans, that we can no longer bear to work together on measures for the common good? Must everything be us versus them, with a diehard aversion to anything remotely resembling compromise?

Have we become so inured to the TV footage of millions of men, women, and children in other countries being heartlessly bombed, shot, gassed, maimed, persecuted by their own despotic leaders — men and women who want nothing but to live their lives in some semblance of peace and stability and see their children have normal childhoods — that we can’t GIVE THANKS EVERY DAY THAT BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD AND PLACE OF BIRTH we could be one of those unfortunates?

leremy-iStock-Getty ImagesFacebook art

I have steadfastly refused to have a Facebook account, but I do have access, and now and then ramble through to see what people are posting. After half a century-plus in the media arena, I’ve pretty much read and heard it all, but I still cringe at the rampant vulgarities, obscenities, vitriolic insults, character assassinations that are commonplace in Facebook posts ... over the most inconsequential topics. And on Twitter, and in comments on such innocuous sites as Yahoo Finance, for cryin’ out loud, where so-called discussion boards are rarely about a stock’s merits or demerits, but rather, name-calling, insults, and vulgarities.

I know: Freedom of speech. First amendment rights. But a good portion of the posting populace could stand a good mouth (or brain) washing-out with soap.
I am, I realize, an anachronism in today’s world, in which manners, and civility, and politeness, and respect for others are summarily being trashed in the name of free speech.

We, as a society, at least to my antediluvian way of thinking, are much the loser for it.

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