Are people getting more stupid?

Driving Salute

I find myself asking that question a lot more than I used to.

When I’m out and about interacting with people I’m often struck by the complete and utter moronic behavior so many people display.

From the idiot forcing his way into traffic to get one car length ahead, completely oblivious to the fact that he just put 30 other people at risk.

To the impatient crazy lady in a parking lot who wants the parking space you’re attempting to vacate, but who has positioned her car in such a way that you can’t back out.

People are apparently getting more stupid by the moment.

The catalyst for me writing about this is what I witnessed at a busy Starbucks the other day. 

The situation was this:

A young lady was obviously doing her homework, she had he computer out, a book and several papers scattered on a table she was sitting at.

Her boyfriend had just left. Based on the snippet of conversation between them I think he had a class. As he was leaving he picked up the young lady’s purse and backpack then placed these items on the chair he was vacating. 

The young lady was hispanic and reminded me a bit of my niece.

She plugged a set of headphones into her computer and was listening to music while she was reading a large textbook and taking notes. I wouldn’t say she was completely oblivious to her surroundings but she was very focused on what she was doing.


After 10 or 15 minutes, a tall white blond woman walked over to the young lady’s table and without saying a word or attempting to get the young student’s attention, moved the girls backpack and purse to the floor and started to take the chair out onto the patio.

This startled the young student and honestly pissed me off.

So… well, I made a scene!

I pointed out to Blondie that she was completely in the wrong. That it was customary to ask if someone was using a chair before taking it, and that she was demonstrating the height of rudeness.

I went on to point out, had Blondie been sitting at the table and a hispanic person touched her stuff, she’d have been on the phone to 911 claiming that the hispanic person was trying to steal her purse.

At this point several other students of various ethnic origins were looking at Blondie who was very embarrassed and trying to explain herself. These folks were looking at me too, but with kindness and shaking their heads in agreement. 

Spun Up

I was pretty angry, I guess the violation of good manners and politeness on the part of Blondie really touched a nerve. I was about to really read this woman the riot act when there was a gentle hand on my shoulder.

The young student smiled and said, “It’s ok she can have the chair, thank you for speaking up.”

I nodded, quieted by this classy young lady’s kindness. 

Blondie slowly went out to the patio carrying her hard won chair.

Once there, she had a very animated conversation with another woman. There was a lot of pointing at me involved in that conversation.

I was trying to figure out why I was so annoyed. I suppose part of it was the student’s similarity to my niece. But I think a larger part of it was that the Blond woman just acted so entitled, like the young lady wasn’t important.

The blond lady demonstrated the absolute worst behavior, I don’t think it was racially motivated I think she simply was a thoughtless rude bitch.

But context is everything. Maybe it was racist, maybe the blond lady, like myself is simply tired of being called a racist at every turn and she’s generically rude to everyone.

Civics Textbook

As I was driving away I was thinking perhaps many of the problems we have in this country aren’t actually racially rooted, but instead are side effects of really poor manners and lack of respect for others.

Somewhere, there is a 8th grade Civics teacher laughing her ass off. Because in the 8th grade I was the little heathen she was trying to smack into shape.

Yeah, when I was in the 8th grade we had Civics, which was a lot more than the political aspects of living in our society. We were taught manners, and the basics of ethics, fair play, and how to be generally decent to each other. 

I don’t remember the teacher’s name, But I do remember her threatening to fail my sorry ass if I didn’t get with the program. My parents had already done a very good job of teaching me manners, right vs. wrong, etc. But for some reason in that Civics class I was a complete animal. 

I think perhaps we need to bring back those classes.