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Ok, this is slightly off-topic, but I can easily connect it to the movie watching experience. Bear with me.


This week, I attended two convocation ceremonies. (Is that what Americans call it? I'm referring to the traditional event in which a person graduates from university and formally receives their diploma. Gowns, speeches, little cakes at the reception, etc.)


So, I realize that maybe sometimes an academic dignitary is not the most fascinating speaker to listen to. But most of the young graduates and their parents and other family members want to hear him or her anyway. It's a major occasion, a turning point in their lives that deserves this ritual of acknowledgement. And even if some people aren't that interested in the speeches (which are usually not too long), most want to hear their son /daughter's name being called out to go up to the podium and officially, publicly, receive the piece of paper they've worked so hard to get. (Well, not the paper itself, but what it represents.)


At both the graduation ceremonies I was at this week, many people around me talked all the way through it. Even that wouldn't have been too bad, if they'd had the thoughtfulness to whisper to each other. But they just didn't care, they chatted to one another in a regular tone of voice. It didn't seem to occur to them to lower their voices so only their seat mate could hear, or, better yet, keep quiet and wait to share their thoughts and impressions till after the ceremony was over (little iced cakes time.)

It just struck me as singularly rude. I don't believe people always behaved like this.


The connection to movies? Well, as has been stated here on these boards before, many times, most of us have noticed how the amount of distracting and annoying activity - talking out loud (have people forgotten how to whisper?), either to their friends or on the cell phone, cell phones buzzing and ringing and flashing, constantly getting up and moving around, etc. - seems to have increased at first-run movie theatres over the past few years.


I don't want to come across all poe-faced and judgemental, but what the frig, how come every time I'm in a crowd at an event that requires people to be quiet and considerate of others, (whether it's a graduation ceremony or a movie screening) so many feel free to act as though they're hanging out in their own living rooms?

Respect, courtesy, and -oh, maybe a little genuine interest in the proceedings going on up in front of them - should be givens when attending such events.

Oh, and it isn't always young people, either. Most of the loud talkers at the convocations I was at were middle-aged.

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We're in an age of extreme selfishness and bad manners. I blame it on the parents. I had to end a friendship with an older woman who had atrocious manners. And there was a lot about her I liked. But I kept thinking to myself, what sort of home did she come from? Why was she allowed to go out into society with such bad manners, and why all these years later, has she not learned to correct herself?


When people talk instead of being quiet or reverential, it means that they think their thoughts and their words are more important than someone else's. That is selfishness.


We have had repeated examples of bad manners on these forums-- I am not sure you want to take this thread in that direction, but I thought I would reference it. The point is to learn to communicate better and to value each person's point of view and input. We are all equally important.

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I don't want to come across all poe-faced and judgemental, but what the frig, how come every time I'm in a crowd at an event that requires people to be quiet and considerate of others, (whether it's a graduation ceremony or a movie screening) so many feel free to act as though they're hanging out in their own living rooms?



Obviously, they haven't been taught any better. It's difficult to sit in a crowd of noisy people when you're trying to hear. I've found that a lot of it depends on the situation. I was at a commencement in Maine where people wanted to hear the speakers (one was Desmond Tutu), and it was a quiet and respectful audience, even though they were outdoors. It was a small college, and I suppose they were used to being quiet.


Then a little later I was at the commencement ceremonies of the University of Massachusetts (sometimes called Zoo-Mass, it's so big), and we waited hours for the speeches to be over and the diplomas to be given out. You never heard such an unruly bunch. My daughter was getting her degree in physics. We were worn out by the time she made it to the podium.


But I get your point.


A little story for Flag Day USA:


This is about a particular graduation exercise which may give you a laugh: My mother and dad took care of many children for Catholic Charities. These kids weren't adoptable; it was a temporary thing, but they had lots of love to give and gave it willingly. A little girl came to them at one point whose father was too unreliable to take care of her. Her mother had long gone. Mama and Daddy decided to take responsibility for her. After my dad died, things were not easy for my mother, but she got a job (at 55) and kept the little one as her own.


She was not easy to manage, because she didn't like school, and wouldn't go unless she was taken there. Finally she made it through high school, and came graduation day, my sisters and my mother were seated in the auditorium as the procession of graduates came down the aisle. After our girl graduate had passed, Mama sneaked her hand into her bag and pulled out a little American flag and began waving it just out of sight.


One of my sisters saw it and began chuckling under her breath. The others looked and did the same. Once they were outside they all howled with laughter.


Our recalcitrant student grew up to be a nice responsible wife and mother, with a career in nursing. She's a grandmother now.

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Great post, Dothery. I love your stories ;)


Speaking of selfishness, how about posters that constantly bump up threads they've posted on, without adding anything to them or showing an edit? That's the height of selfishness and ego, they believe that their posts are MORE important than everyone else's. It's a terrible habit and is terribly annoying.

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*Miss W* -- what does "what the frig" mean? Is it a new expression that you young people use?


*Lavender* -- I sometime notice that I've made a typo, and correct it without showing an edit, which causes the thread to be bumped up. I feel to show an edit would make people look for something new, when it's only a correction of grammar and/or fixing a typo.


P.S. -- I thought this thread was going to be about David Manners.


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LOL- Afraid not, Swithin, No David on this thread yet.LOL - yes we do that, but I have noticed as I wrote that lately there are posts with NO changes made at all, no grammatical changes, in fact there was one that was bumped that still HAD the same mistakes, no edit of the post and yet bumped up apparently to just get attention. It's like pushing up to the head of the line, that person thinking they are more important than anyone else. Not Good manners.


Just edited a spelling error and added a couple of words.


Edited by: lavenderblue19 on Jun 14, 2013 8:17 PM

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It has been a thing for as long as I can remember to go to church with a new friend. It is by this that I learn more of them and their ways.


I can not say that I am shocked or appalled at the way some people here dress for church or that talking is allowed during services. I must say rather than it saddens me. It has always been with me that that is the one place you are at your best in all ways. It disturbs me that such manners are their best.


I will not attend my commencement because it would not be convenient in several ways and I look a fright in such a gown. I have been told that I will be able to buy a DVD of the proceedings.

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Essentially, all commencements are a drag and the proceedings are boring as hell.



The speeches given by the Valedictorians, who are SUPPOSED to be the smartest of the class, are usually the same old, pithy "follow your dreams" speeches those prigs have been giving for decades. The speech the valedictorian gave at MY high school commencement 40-odd years ago was the same speech given at my NIECE'S commencement last year! In essence, anyway.



Nonetheless, the above facts are little if any excuse for boorish behavior.



Sadly, public gatherings or movie theaters aren't the only places to which this kind of crap is limited. In fact, inconsiderate behavior seems to have NO limits these days. I've witnessed fist fights in funeral homes. Heard dirty jokes being told, not too quietly, in the back of a church. Just the other day, in my wife's podiatrist's office, a woman was talking on her cell phone in the waiting room. Ironically, she was seated under a HUGE sign imploring people to "Please turn off all cell phones"!



I wish I could proffer an intelligent explanation as to why this is. I'm baffled by it all myself.



It's just lucky for those ladies who talked so loud behind you at the ceremony that my MOTHER wasn't in front of them. She had just enough indignation for inconsiderate people that she likely would have turned in her seat and informed them that, "If you two don't pipe down, your voices are going to sound funny with my SHOES stuffed down your throats!"






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I remember attending a film back in the early 2000's in Schaumburg, Illinois with my wife Annie and we were sitting there for about 15 minutes before the film trailers were going to start and just behind us there sat a young mother and her daughter. Well from the moment Annie and I sat down, the mother was yakking away on her cell phone. Even during the trailers I could hear her talking. Just before the movie started she was still speaking. I turned around and said to her:


"Excuse me ma'am, I paid twenty bucks for my wife and I to come here today to watch this movie. I did not pay twenty bucks so I could sit here for two hours and listen to everything that is going on with your life. If you would, could you please be quiet so that we might be able to watch this movie without any of your commentary. Thank you."


With that I looked at her and her face started to get really red, and she immediately said into her phone that she would call as soon as the movie was over. I turned back around and we did not here a peep from her again.


Later, Annie had to go to the ladies room. When she returned, the lady and her child were no longer sitting behind us. I guess she had to continue her conversation somewhere else inside the theater. There are ways to instruct others on what is acceptable and it is really up to you to tell others to be quiet or refrain from unruly behavior, when you see it happening.

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If ya ask ME, I THINK the BEGINNING of this slow and steady slide downward in "manners" can be traced directly back to THESE fellows HERE, and when the American hoi polloi began purchasing tickets to watch THEIR oh so "less than good mannered" antics while mixing among the more "refined" members of our society!!!




(...AND I for ONE say BRAVO!...but then again, I WOULD, wouldn't I)



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Totally agree. I think cell phones are the root of most bad manners. I feel like I'm out of the loop because I'm not of the club that constantly has a cell phone to his or her ear. There's a time and place for everything, people. Movie theaters and events should be cell phone free, unless you have an emergency.

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Well, as is usually the case with you, Dargo, I suspect your tongue is planted firmly in your cheek with that last post.

I love the Marx brothers and their manic celebration of chaos in the face of stodginess and snobbishness. They're not only a walking - make that dancing, skipping, twirling, and mocking -3-man iconoclast, (sometimes 4-man), they're also hilarious.

However, I don't think their antics can be compared in any way to the rude and selfish people who talk all the way through a movie or special event. For one thing, they're thumbing their noses at the rich and pretentious, they're kind of "making a statement" (no, I don't think the Marx brothers were political - maybe anti-political), they're a crazy disorderly whirl of fresh air in the face of pompous people who take themselves too seriously.

And, more than any of this, they're performers. They're in a movie (and before that, a stage, from their vaudeville days) , so they're not actually in fact disturbing or being disrespectful to anybody. They're supposed to be like that, we expect them to be like that. They're entertaining us.


Hardly to be compared to a real life situation in which we require others to be quiet. And when they're not, they don't make us laugh, they're not clever and talented like Groucho and company, they're just being stupid and selfish.



Now, why I bothered to go into this big "counter-argument" with you when I know you were just being "Dargo", I cannot say. Maybe because I like the Marx brothers too much to have them be compared, even jokingly, to the fools who spoil others' time with their selfishness.

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So WAIT here, MissW!


Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me here that the next time my wife and I visit The Big Apple and maybe go to The Met to watch a performance of Il Trovatore, that it would be considered "bad manners" to secretly insert into the Orchestra's sheet music a page of "Take Me Out to The Ballgame", and THEN for us to run up onstage and begin to a rousing game of Catch with the Mrs.???


Well, if you're RIGHT, then I'm CERTAINLY glad you've told me this NOW and before I would've made a complete and udder..err UTTER fool of myself !


(...the wife's on her own here, of course!)



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Sepiatone, not that this matters, but they were university graduation ceremonies I attended, not high school ones. The same expectation of courtesy applies to both of course, but I suppose in the case of a university graduation event (called "convocation" in Ontario), it's just that much more of a big deal because the student has worked so long and hard to achieve it, and this should be recognized.


I do agree that the speeches at such occasions are indeed rather dull and conventional, at least most of the time. And of course, the only moment most people really care about is the one in which their son or daughter's name is called and they walk up to the podium and receive their degree (the piece of paper, that is). Still, out of respect for all the other families who obviously feel the same about their son or daughter, everyone needs to be reasonably quiet and well-behaved through the entire ceremony.

Unfortunately, most of us are not comfortable with "ssh-ing" others, even when it is completely justified. I did at one point turn around and stare pointedly at the talkative offenders, but they just ignored me. And I thought I'd done a pretty good imitation of giving someone the "evil eye" !

I guess what puzzles me as much as anything is, why are the loud talkers and cell phone users etc. even there, if they're not interested in the proceedings? I suppose this especially applies to movie screenings, since they paid money to be there, and they were, presumably, interested enough to do so. How come, once they're seated in the theatre, they show no interest in the film playing up on the screen, the one they paid to see?


fxreyman, I will say, I disagree with you on one point: I don't really care about trailers much, I don't see them as in any way connected with the movie I paid to see, and I don't really mind if people talk through them. In fact, I have talked through them myself. It's not the preview you're there to see, it's the actual movie. Now, once that begins, starting with the opening credits, I shut up.



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> I don't really care about trailers much,


Yeah, well, just remember THAT'S the same thought Desi and Lucy had BEFORE they met that fast-talkin' salesman TOO, ya know!


(...so let this be a warning to ya, lady!)

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You're right, MissW. Convocation, commencement, high school or college, makes no difference. I mentioned that I was at my niece's commencement. Fortunately, I can report that the folks in small town Gladwin, MI were just a polite and considerate as can be. None of the rudeness you've described that happened in your case. The GRADUATES displayed a bit of it, but as it was THEIR graduation, I'd give it a pass.



Dargo, I used to entertain thoughts of how people in Detroit's Orchestra Hall would react if I, during a DSO concert, opened a bag of potato chips and started crunching on 'em. Fun to THINK about, but something I wouldn't actually DO.

( And no, NOT the small 99 cent bags, but the big FAMILY sized bag!)



Just the other night, on TV, Jeff Foxworthy told about hearing the sound of a BEER CAN being opened right after the preacher, in CHURCH, finished delivering a eulogy at his Aunt's funeral service. Everyone looked in the direction of the sound, and there was one of his Uncles, looking baffled as if asking, "What?"






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> {quote:title=darkblue wrote:}{quote}

> I believe the current situation - people no longer knowing how to behave properly - began, en mass, with a movie called 'Animal House'.


I have heard it presented that the demise of American manners began with: Howdy Doody. It is argued that examples seen by children before then were that disrespect towards their elders had repercussions. This program lacked any negative results when behaviour was bad. It presented bad manners as a game where a child would feel rewarded with greater confidence for each insult or example of disrespect they could perform.


The generation raised with that influence were not equipped to instill in their children any form of manners or respect for others.


I have heard also that American manners degraded because of jet airplanes. It was at one time that it was mostly only wealthy people who could travel and their natural character was impervious to outside influences. Jet airplanes made it possible for normal people to become exposed in great numbers to the French who have never had any manners and these travelers were influenced by them.


Jet airplanes also made it possible for normal people to have contact with Belgians and we all know where that leads. :)

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>I have heard also that American manners degraded because of jet airplanes. It was at one time that it was mostly only wealthy people who could travel and their natural character was impervious to outside influences. Jet airplanes made it possible for normal people to become exposed in great numbers to the French who have never had any manners and these travelers were influenced by them. Jet airplanes also made it possible for normal people to have contact with Belgians and we all know where that leads.




And you people think I AM a master of this whole tongue-in-cheek thing around here, do YA?! ;)


Actually Sans, you remind me here of how I will sometimes reply to others when they complain about the "inconvenience of modern air travel".


Being a retired airline employee who started working with the airlines in 1970 and when it was comparatively expensive to fly to one's destination, and thus allowing only the "middle-MIDDLE" class and higher on the economic scale to use the services of airlines, and when air travel was still considered somewhat a "glamorous" form of travel, AND before Deregulation of the industry would force extreme competitiveness among the air carriers to create these "cattle cars" full of impatient people we know of as American air travel today...well...I love telling people the following story....


When I first started working in the airline biz, whenever people would ask me what I did for a living and when I would tell them I work for an airline, they would usually say something such as: "WOW! REALLY? How great is THAT! I hear it's pretty tough to get a job in that industry and that the pay is pretty good, along with all the free travel you get. Man, you're lucky! Do you think you could get me a job there TOO?"


And THEN just a few short years after Deregulation of the industry, and when people would hear what I did for a living, their response would often be: "Work for an airlines do YA?! Well, let me tell ya how LOUSY my LAST FLIGHT WAS!!!"


(...bottom line..."The People" wanted "cheap" and so they turned the airline biz into a freakin' WALMART version of it...so STOP your complaining, folks...THIS is what ya WANTED!!!!)



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> {quote:title=Dargo2 wrote:}{quote}



This was a test of the "who will read the posts of a person deemed pedantic" system. If this had been real pedanticism you would be asleep by this time. We thank you for your co-operation.


> how I will sometimes reply to others when they complain about the "inconvenience of modern air travel".


I have never liked commercial flying as I feel as if I am herded as cattle. I flew many places when I was in military and I preferred to fly on military aircraft when it was possible even if it was cargo airplane because those people conducting the flight treated us with respect. The only good commercial flight I remember of that time was first class on Braniff International Airways.


On a more serious note...


I must wonder if declining manners is a result of declining intelligence. There is evidence that people in Western nations are losing in each decade an average of 1.23 IQ points:



The style and wit of intellectuals has significantly lost popularity with the masses also and so people have few if any examples of how to behave in a mannerly way at all times. I believe the best example of this is when William F. Buckley, Jr. told a person: "I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said." This statement shows clearly that it is possible to have very good manners even when insulting a person.

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Perhaps a version of that is Groucho Marx's comment to the man who asked Groucho (famous for insults) to insult his wife. Groucho replied, "With a wife like that you should be able to think up your own insults!"


I remember the colors of Braniff's planes, though I'd never flown Braniff. However I do find BA's First Class to be most civilized.

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Aaah...William F. Buckley...the last TRUE Intellectual Conservative.(okay...maybe George Will, also)


Now THAT'S a guy I could respect...even though I'd more than occasionally disagree with his opinions.


(...what a master of the Language he was indeed!)

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That's why I try to go to the picture show during weekday afternoons,

when there are fewer patrons and thus less jibber jabber of various

kinds. The loudest noise is usually some old timer falling asleep and

snoring for a few minutes.


For a crypto Nazi, Bill (just kiddin, don't have a from beyond the grave

hissy fit there W.F.) wasn't such a bad guy. But despite all his urbanity,

intelligence, and wit, or maybe due to it, Buckley was a bit of a snob,

so it's not very surprising that he would use an insult like that which

really doesn't address the specifics of the argument, but just makes

fun of his opponent.



I read Will's column on occasion and he's a very prolific name dropper of

figures from history, literature, sports, etc. I can imagine Will having a

rolodex on his desk where the names are rotated on some schedule.

Let's see, last mentioned Plato in 2011, time to do so again. I haven't

followed Pat Buchanan in a while and I know he can get way out there

sometimes, but Pat always knew his history and politics better than most

columnists did, and he had a good sense of humor too.

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