Sunday, April 19, 2009

Quick Hit: Pot, meet kettle.

Clementine Ford's latest column, Thank you and please are two little keys, has me sitting here saying to myself "Did she really just say that?" in a kind of stunned horror.

The piece is supposedly about the importance of good manners but how on earth she can reconcile this:
The problem as I see it is a general lack of respect for our fellow human beings across the board. Having good manners is really no more complicated than treating other people as you would like to be treated.
with what follows is beyond my comprehension.

Just to pull out 2 things that really got my blood boiling. First up some parent bashing:
And if you must insist on bringing your children to the supermarket, please observe the universally acknowledged hours for this kind of activity. These take place between 9am and 3pm on Mondays.
What? Mon 9am - 3pm?! Yeah right, because no parent ever has to work during school hours and all parents owe it to the childless members of the population to ensure that they are never disturbed by having to share a public space with someone else's offspring. (If there's going to be gratuitous use of unfunny hyperbole then I'm bringing out the heavy sarcasm in retaliation.)

And right at the end this invitation to air your prejudices:
WHAT PARTICULAR TRAITS OR BEHAVIORS DO YOU FIND RUDE? IS IT BAD DRIVERS OR SLOW WALKERS WHO REALLY GET YOUR GOAT? LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW AND I’LL BE WITH YOU FROM MIDDAY TO VENT WITH GUSTO!
Slow walkers. She really did put that in there. I'm not imagining it. Holy shit.

If it's not immediately obvious to you why that last one is so horrifically wrong, here's some reading for you to do - read the comments too.

H/T lauredhel on twitter

14 comments:

Dina said...

Oops.

I never realized there were specified hours for us to take our children out. I missed the memo on that one.

Yeah. Slow walking one is ridiculous. I'd like to imagine that she's referring to healthy young people who are simply taking their time for the hell of it. Sad if she's referring to people who have a physical reason for doing so.

Slow driving. I'm guilty of this every so often. I'm a scared driver at times. And if I get really nervous, or if I'm lost, I'll be slow. I TRY not to be.

Vevay Anderson said...

This is hilarious! I mistakenly thought the specified shopping with children hours were from 10-6. Glad to have that cleared up!

FranticMommy said...

The only time I get irritated is when Mom's have bawling, exhausted kids in the supermarket around 9:50 p.m in the evening. I want to give the parents a major swat and tell them to get those poor tired babies in bed!

Mim said...

FranticMommy - Really? On the very rare occasion when I've encountered something like that the first thing that pops into my head is to feel sorry for the poor parent. For all we onlookers know they may be there with the kids because circumstances beyond their control left them with no other time in which to do their shopping.

Which isn't to say people don't sometimes make decisions which in hindsight were just plain stupid, been there done that myself. But on the whole I try to reserve judgment when I don't know the whole story.

Dina said...

"But on the whole I try to reserve judgment when I don't know the whole story."

I think that's VERY wise.

Pen said...

Aaaaargh. Funny how it's rude when it has a perceived negative impact on her, but she's allowed to treat people however she wants in her comments without having to think about how that might affect other people. Aaaargh again.

My son looks healthy and is young, but has a neurological problem which means he walks slowly. I've read the thread you linked to Mim, it came as a shock to understand that other people were so horrendously insensitive.

And how does she think you manage to train children to have good manners when they are obviously supposed to be locked away from interacting with other human beings. Aaargh aaargh aaargh. Aaaargh.

troubleinchina said...

Both her original post and her comments have left me seeing red. "Oh, I was just kidding, it's all light-hearted! You're so sensitive!"

*headddesk*

Mim said...

troubleinchina - Ah yes, the classic "can't you take a joke?" defense. My answer: No, particularly when it's not even funny.

Alix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lauredhel said...

Alix: that is extremely not ok. On any level.

Alix said...

My sincere apologies to Mim and lauredhel...
My comment was meant to be funny - sorry it wasn't and came off sounding like a serious threat. That was not my intention.

Please feel free to remove my comment. Your blog format is different than mine and I can't figure out how to do it myself.

Again, sorry!

Mim said...

Thank you Alix, looks like you did manage to delete it :) Knowing you from your blog, I could hear your "voice" and understood your intent but for others it really wouldn't have been clear.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Ariane said...

I notice hypocrisy isn't on her list.

If the universe could just arrange for me to be able to only ever take the kids to sanctioned places at sanctioned times, I'd be most grateful.

Of course this morning I was feeling most self righteous driving behind a car on the M5 which couldn't top 60 because it had no rear window. I mean there are plenty of legitmate targets without picking on those who have no choice.