Hell Is Other People

OVER AT SURREALISTICALLY Speaking, Amerikasmuse is asking "What's the deal with Black men not being cordial to each other?"

That's not a subject I can add very much to, but widen the net a little and boy, just try and shut me up.

His post (which is actually a voice post; an intriguing innovation if you're vocally adept. You can listen to it as you work on other things, like downloading Carioca or Eddie Diaz videos from, say, Gay Porn Clip) is essentially about basic manners, and the rage the lack of them in our fellow man can provoke in us.

Living in London, this a problem one encounters on average every 2.5 seconds when in a public arena. People are ignorant - how hard is it to say please or thank you? How hard is it to let me off the train first, before you attempt to shove your ill-mannered ass on board (no doubt pulling an idiotic case on wheels behind you at the same time for everyone else to trip up on). Londoners seem to have adopted passive aggression as their sport of choice. God forbid you should step out of my way on the pavement. And a trip out with the pushchair just ain't the same unless you send everybody else scurrying in all directions as you lead the charge. And why are you shoving that disgusting, stinking burger into your face as you walk down the street? Can't you wait until you get home? Oh, and if you must step on my foot, would it hurt to say sorry?

Amerikasmuse talks about black men being rude to black men. This made me wonder; is one group ruder than others? Not so long ago I read an article that suggested the more privileged your background, the less inclined you are to make a good impression with good manners; with people of a less privileged background the reverse was true. That's certainly been my experience in dealing with the public: people in suits are generally monosyllabic or completely mute.

To generalise, white women are the worst culprits (although they probably tie with West Africans, particularly Nigerians). A former colleague, a very sexy Bajan dude, once told me that women, particularly white women, expected men to lick their boots, hence their poor attitude. He also had issues with black women, although those concerned their preconception that he was a sex-crazed pussy hound...

Without a doubt, the group with the best developed social skills (which is what basic manners are) are young, black men of Caribbean descent. This conclusion is based upon observation of the many souls I encounter in my day job, and through my own personal experience of Jamaicans, Bajans, St Lucians, Vincentians et cetera over the years. They possess an almost old-fashioned set of manners - instilled by strict parents who didn't tolerate even so much as a little backchat, and who were immune to the Western hippie bullshit of the '60s that's ultimately landed society in the trouble it's in now...

So be nice when you're out and about. As George Costanza once said, "We're living in a society here!"

Elsewhere - What's the deal with Black men not being cordial to each other?


mike said...

mos def, on the white woman. next time at a crowded club when your pushed by a passerby, turn around, I guarantee it'll be white woman!

god, it's such a stereotype, but true!!

ka-os said...

Imprison them all!

Metroboi said...

100% AGREE! When I was cabin crew (or a flight attendant for those of you across the pond), on flights to Accra and Mombassa (in Africa for those of you who have no sense of geography), I had people hissing and clicking their fingers at me to get my attention.

Do I look like your slave?

Then on the posh flights to The Maldives, Bahamas or Bermuda, I'd get the posh white woman (and man) who would find it necessary to say "Give me a coke."

"Excuse me sir?"

"Give me a Coke".

"Can't quite hear you sir."

"A coke please."

"Oh a Coke please! There you go sir!".

Is it so hard as to be able to offer the manners that your mother taught you?

Whenever I go to see my family in St Lucia or if I go to many other islands in the Caribbean, I am greeted by people I don't know on the street with "Good Afternoon" or "Good Night", and it really does put a smile on my face, to know that some people in the world (and it just happens to be my family's part of the world) have been taught about manners and the fact that manners are FREE and is very easy to incorporate into your life!

The worst culprits I have to say are the pensioners of this London town, who automatically assume they get respect from the rest of society, just because they've got the freedom pass.

Doesn't quite work like that granny. Age is all but a number, and as far as I'm concerned, you're age does not entitle you to my respect, unless you give me the respect that I deserve.

Maybe we'll get it right one day and realise the mistakes that we're making. Maybe one day we'll all be saying please and thank you whenever someone does something for us. Maybe one day we'll be saying good afternoon or good night to people we walk by..

Well, it's nice to dream isn't it??

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