Friday, December 02, 2005

The Friday Furo Questus

Questus Furore - Crass Class

I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone.
- Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
Cathy Siepp has an interesting piece on manners over at National Review today.

One of the most glaring but difficult to address issues in our modern society is how good manners and civility have vanished from modern society. Now rude and crass behavior and even outright crudity is celebrated as expressions of individual freedom, rather than the failures of self-control they actually represent. How this state of affairs came to pass is difficult to say (I blame the sixties) - but it is a sad state of affairs.

I once heard manners described as "the grease of society." It's a great turn of phrase that also is true. And much of the friction of present times could be relieved with more attention paid to manners.

The obvious place to start is with ourselves. I know I fall short more often than I care to admit, but practicing good manners is a process, not an endpoint. It's not hard; I imagine we all already know what to do. Open doors for the ladies; apologize for bumping into people; remembering to say "please" and "thank you" to everyone for anything. It doesn't take much to be civil.

But it doesn't take anything to be a boor.

Recommended Reading
Victor Davis Hanson, "A Moral War."

Jay Nordlinger's latest Impromptu.

So who is "Tookie" Williams, founder of the Crips? Jack Dunphy explains.

If you want to understand part of the problem behind GM's current financial woes, read Henry Payne.

Stan Berenstein, creator of the Berenstein Bears, has died. John J. Miller looks back.

And last but not least, Jonah Goldberg: “Eat Yuletide, You Atheistic Bastard!”

Patrolling The Front on hiatus this week, and will return next week. The Christmas crunch of work, school, and social life has combined to seriously hamper the rate of postings.

There is also an important announcement to make - but I'll let Jamo announce it when he is good and ready.

Thought of the Week
"One of the best models of good government is the Umpire Model. Government is here not to play the game of life for us, nor coach us on how to play best. It's here to help us play the game peaceably by deciding a few tough calls. It adjudicates conflicts. Of course, the model isn't perfect. Today's government does way too much coaching and managing as well as actual playing...and even cutting the grass on the field; government's not just for umpires any more."
Paul Jacob

Churchill Quote of the Week
"The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without. The come from within. They do not come from the cottages of the wage-earners. They come from a peculiar type of brainy people always found in our country, who, if they add something to its culture, take much from its strength. Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians ... Nothing can save England if she will not save herself. If we lose faith in ourselves, in our capacity to guide and govern, if we lose our will to live, then indeed our story is told."
Sir Winston Churchill, April 24, 1933


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