Mind your manners, they may come back in style.
My Dad used to say that. So far it hasn't happened.
That's the problem.
This social decay and fear and loathing on all sides? The end of civilization as we know it? The grim slide into the abyss? Our jolly ride in the hellbound handcart?
It all boils down to bad manners.
In the South, for years, we've had good manners because in the South, for years, most of us have had guns...except for black people which, fortunately, has now been largely corrected. Now everybody has guns!
Which is why you're not going to see any Columbines in this section of the country. You may get the occasional chalk outline or two in the High School Gymnasium but none of this mass slaughter shit.* Why?
First, even the dumb jocks down here are smart enough to assume that a deranged social outcast in a trenchcoat is probably fairly well-armed.
Second, if the "Dorks for Satan" ever do blow off their A-V volunteer work for an extracurriculur killing spree, they would find, not a helpless pack of sheep for the slaughter, but a well-armed student populace.
Down here, we treat each other with respect because everybody knows that everybody else is potentially armed.
At least, that is, until all these outsiders with their fancy ideas and metal detectors started coming down here from up north and taking jobs in school administration.
It's all about manners.
Yes. I may drive like a maniac, but I'm a polite maniac. If I see you've got your turn signal on, I'll let you change lanes in front of me -- after which I'll have the common decency to slide over to the next lane, after using my turn signal, then speed up to get ahead of you, then change lanes again, and get back in front of you. I'll be way the hell in front of you. Even then, I'll use my turn signal.
Because you might shoot me.
But now our manners are going to hell.
The water fountain at the YMCA I go to now has a sign: PLEASE DON'T SPIT IN THE WATER FOUNTAIN. Can you see what a commentary on society it is that we actually need a sign like that? Like some guy is going, hock, hock, hocckkkkkkk, working up a nice, phlegmy blue oyster in the old mouth cavity ready to send it hurtling like some snot meteor into the drinking fountain -- but, then he stops -- ohmyGOD, there's a sign! Oh, I didn't realize they had a problem with that...thank God they warned me in time! So he swallows it. Gulp. Right.
PLEASE DON'T WASH BALLS IN SINK.
THANK YOU FOR NOT MASTURBATING IN SHOWER.
THE LACK OF STEAMING TURDS ON TILE FLOOR IS APPRECIATED BY EVERYONE.
Which is what they say in the movie theaters: SILENCE IS APPRECIATED BY EVERYONE...instead of: SHUT THE FUCK UP. No, no. We don't want to put it that bluntly. Better to say it in the inoffensive passive voice so our moviegoers will work their way through the following enthymene:
SILENCE IS APPRECIATED BY EVERYONE
I AM TALKING
THEREFORE: IT IS NOT SILENT
THEREFORE: EVERYONE WILL NOT APPRECIATE THE LACK OF SILENCE
THEREFORE: EVERYONE WILL NOT APPRECIATE ME
ASSUMING THE CONDITIONAL HYPOTHETICAL THAT I STOP TALKING
THEREFORE: I WILL THEN BE SILENT
THEREFORE: EVERYONE WILL APPRECIATE THE SILENCE
THEREFORE: EVERYONE WILL THEN APPRECIATE ME
ASSUMING I WISH EVERYONE TO APPRECIATE ME
I WILL WANT IT TO BE SILENT
I WILL THEREFORE, THEN
Far better than the much ruder SHUT THE FUCK UP, dontcha think?
But the movie is running and everybody's still talking. Subtle hints don't work with rude motherfuckers.