Chivalry died with World War II, one of my professors used to say. He was the same man who made students take off their baseball caps in class.
Common sense’s passing is mourned in its obituary, written by Lori Borgman and first published in 1998.
But we’re still trying to figure out when simple courtesy went extinct. Regardless of its exact date of death, we do know it’s deader than the dodo bird.
There are two ways to deal with this frustrating situation.
We can suffer in silence, holding in the anger until we blow up on one random day and punch our fists through a window or wall.
Or we can shame folks into acting properly.
No, we can’t bring back medieval stocks and pillories – in this day and age overrun with political correctness, such devices would definitely be considered somewhat incorrect.
But we have a better tool – the Internet.
A new Violation Report website lets us rant, rave and blow off steam about discourteous behavior so we no longer have to punch our fist through a window or wall.
Check it out at http://violationreport.com
The site, although useful, is mainly for fun, says Violation Report Commissioner Grant Gold.
“Violation Report provides a bulletin board for the public shaming of discourteous people to procure a community that is more aware of the people around them. It is an entertaining outlet for stress that can be used to popularize the consideration of others and shame inattention and thoughtlessness.”
Brooklynite Gold created the site when he New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, which oversees subway trains, had to enact actual laws to get people to act courteously on the trains.
“Things that were once common knowledge are no longer followed by everybody (such as give up your seat to the elderly, disabled and pregnant; or crowded trains are no excuse for inappropriate touching or behavior),” Grant wrote in an e-mail.
“These are things that were obvious up to a point, and now must be mandated as rules. I thought that was a sign of something wrong in our new world of disconnectedness and I wanted to do something about it.”
While New York City may be the rude capital of the world, we’ll bet Tucson could make it in the running.
To report a violation, all we need to do is take a photo of the violation in action and upload it onto the site with a brief description.
For those who really want to get into it, the site even features courtesy manuals or tickets we can hand out to our discourteous fellows.
Just be ready to run – especially with a new Arizona law soon going into effect that lets folks carry concealed weapons without a permit.
More than 50 violations already appear on the site, reported by everyday citizens who are fed up with courtesy’s extinction.
Most of the reported violations thus far are on subway trains, but we Tucsonans can show New Yorkers we have our share of rude and crude, too.
Heck, we may be able to collect as many as 50 examples of rude motorists from one quick drive to the corner store.
Is public humiliation a good way to shame people into acting polite?
What do you do when you see someone behaving rudely?
How do you relieve stress when you’re fed up with the behavior of those around you?
Do you start random, public fights?
When was the last time you punched a wall?