Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

WHAT HAPPENED TO CIVILITY?

I'm on my soapbox today, people. I am insulted, angry and sad. Am I the only one? Am I the only one fed up with insults, hate mongers, rubbage spewers? What happened to civility?

You see a certain radio show commenter--and I refuse to place his name on my blog--has sexually labeled a law student as a "slut." Why? Because she supports a certain contraception policy. Do I accept that policy? Do I think you should accept that policy? That's not the issue here. Politics, viewpoints, philosophies are personal. We each have a right to our own. I don't have any more right to tell you what to think than you have to tell me what I should think. But I do have a right to ask some questions and express my opinion--and so I will.

My daddy always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I was never quite that noble, but I did try to think of the person's feelings before I opened my mouth. Words wound. And sadly I have a few regrets for wounding people with mine, usually those whom I hold most dear. Even so, I strive to temper my thoughts before they tumble from my big mouth as verbal insults. Now that you know where I'm coming from, I'll move forward.

Somewhere along the line, we Americans morphed from everyone having a right to his or her opinion to "if you don't think the way I do or belong to the same party I do or believe in this law I want passed, then you aren't a patriotic American." Whoa!!! Excuse me? I'm the 8th generation of one of George Washington's personal guards, a man who fought in the Revolutionary War so he and his family would have "unalienable rights." So don't tread on mine.

I'll think what I want.

I'll support whomever and whatever I want.

I'll also express my viewpoints through civil discourse.

You see, I can do that without insulting you. It's all part of the mastery of the English language. I don't need to spew hatred or insults. I can chose my words wisely and effectively to get my point across without debasing you.

Unfortunately, politicians and radio and TV announcers can't. And, frankly, I'm sick of it.

The news is no longer the news. It's a running editorial with words chosen and inflections of the voice used to taint our perspective of events. One well-known channel is pro-left. One is pro-right. Please, just give me the facts, because--guess what?--I can make up my own mind. I don't need your extremist rantings no matter which direction they come from. Pro-right. Pro-left. Pro-Christian. Pro-business. Pro-shopping network. Just give me the facts, people. I'm intelligent enough to formulate my own thoughts and viewpoints, thank you very much.

So that brings me back to this radio announcer's insults of a woman he doesn't even know. Why would he maliciously wound someone like that? Well, ratings of course. This man is the most listened to radio personality in the US, which frightens the cellulite outta my thighs. So when he spreads hate--and he does, when he spews insults--and he does, people are influenced.

Haven't we had enough of this?

A female law student's remarks or viewpoints are not the issue of my rant. What I object to is the blatant insults this announcer delights in to get his point across. "Slut?" Oh, make no mistake about it, if this were my daughter or granddaughter he so callously maligned, I'd be out for blood. T'ain't no one as dangerous as a pissed off grandma.

But shouldn't we all be pissed off? If we are all members of the human race and all concerned about human rights, then this man--and so many others--should be the subject of our ire. Would I invite a loud, obnoxious, opinionated, narrow-minded person to my home for a quiet dinner? Simply put, hell no! So why would I invite such a person into my mind by listening to his or her TV or radio show?

When my children called another person a name, I sent them to their room to think about their unacceptable behavior and if they could express the same thought without the name calling. I think it's time we sent this radio announcer to his room--and locked the door. Enough with the name calling. The personal bashing. The hate spewing. I ask you, where's the civility?

40 comments:

Roni Denholtz said...

Well said Vonnie!

Jennifer Jakes said...

I agree 100%. I always tell my kids, you don't have to agree with someone, but you need to respect their (right to) opinion.
And sadly election year seems to bring out the worst in people. :(

Jerrie Alexander said...

Amen! Somewhere along the way, it seems some of us lost our values. A little respect and common sense would go a long way!

Jannine Gallant said...

Here, here! Politicians and their proponents bicker like a bunch of two year olds. Except most two year olds have better manners! It's shameful the way most of them behave. And these are the people representing our country to the world?

Vonnie Davis said...

Roni, thanks, hon. I got to thinking what if he'd targeted a loved one of mine? And the anger started to build.

Vonnie Davis said...

Jennifer, I've yet to hear, in any of the debates, one politician voice a well-thought out plan for running the country. One or two sentences might trickle out before the accusing and insults pour out of their mouths.

Vonnie Davis said...

Jerrie, we talk about our rights, yet are so quick to badmouth those whose opinions do not jive with ours.

Vonnie Davis said...

Jannine, **slaps hand over eyes** you said a mouthful. Citizens of other countries are judging us by these yay-hoos. Yikes!!!

Karen Cote said...

Sorry guys...my outrage stems from ALL left and right liberties taken. Bill Mahr had no business calling someone a c***. Yet he did...no outrage that I heard. He also made a derogatory comment about a well known football player's "Jesus" screwing him (the verbatim of what he said I won't say here). Am I supporting the radio personality? I'm a Christian and it's not my way. This country is being divided by hate mongers and they are on both sides. I won't chastise one over the other. I do pray for our country though and I am sorry if this offends anyone. It is not my intent but I am deeply disturbed.

Linda Warren said...

I read about this in the paper this morning. My jaw dropped. The article said the student lawyer deserved an apology. I agree!!!

AJ Nuest said...

The really, truly sad thing here is that you can't believe a word you hear on the news anymore. Tune in one channel and you hear one thing, tune in another and the story is completely different -- all depending on the sponsors and big-wigs behind the programming. I rarely listen to the news anymore. To me, most politicians make their true opinions known by their actions. Which is how I decide to place my vote. I agree with you, Vonnie. Enough is enough. Get off your high horse and take a look at your own mistakes, issues, problems, whatever, before you start pointing out what's wrong with everyone else. A little more introspection would be NICE!

Vonnie Davis said...

Karen, why should it offend? Your remarks are right on. Hate mongers are on both sides and are indeed dividing the country. In schools, they'd be labeled bullies. In news entertainment or politics, they're merely labeled as outspoken leaders.

Joanne Stewart said...

Very well said, Vonnie! Lack of respect for others is one thing that really just gets my goat. It galls me the way we treat each other. I don't put up with that with my kids.

As for the politicians...all the hate mongering just makes me sick. And like you, it also insults my intelligence. I try not to let it make me angry, like another poster, I tend to pray instead. But I also refuse to vote. Probably not the way to go, but I can't see myself voting when I can't stand any of them.

Great post, Vonnie!

Karen Cote said...

Love you Vonnie!! As writers we can release good into the world and I adore what your blog says about love. It's a fabulous message reaching one person at a time. *smooches*

Ana Morgan said...

If there was no audience for these outrageous tirades, they wouldn't get paid (handsomely) to make them.
That's the part I feel most sad about.

Vonnie Davis said...

Linda, putting a mic in front of some people is the same as handing an automatic weapon to a lunatic. It boggles my mind the stuff they can say on all sides of the issue.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Another thing that enrages me, the commercials that teach stealing is fine as long a you get what you want - who cares if you stole somebody's lunch, you are cute and you deserve it. They insult, they teach kids it's all right to be mean...well, I am sure you know what I am talking about. I was raised in a family where we didn't raise our voice and even 'shut up' was not allowed. I hate conflict, and find it difficult to put in my stories. What happened to common kindness and smiling at people just because it's a sunny day and you are happy to be alive. :)

Vonnie Davis said...

AJ, thanks for stopping by. The news? One channel can be salivating about a story while another may ignore it all together. What's up with that? Again, simply give us the facts. We can make up our own minds, but as you said, sponsors and big wigs control the news--and that's one SCARY thought.

Vonnie Davis said...

Joanne, yes, respect or lack of is a big problem in our society. Parents talk to their children as if they were next to worthless and then are shocked when, as teenagers, these kids talk to them the same way.

Vonnie Davis said...

Karen, back at'cha, hon. We need to try to make a difference in a positive manner, with love and respect and kindness.

Misty Dietz said...

Sing it sister! It takes more intelligence, dignity and self-respect to engage in civilized disagreement than it does to resort to simple name calling. I think he'll lose a portion of his audience. I believe in karma.

Vonnie Davis said...

Ana, oh I so agree. As long as people listen to them, these people will keep spewing the hate and discord. They could use their power for so much good instead of all this negativity.

Vonnie Davis said...

Paisley, my new "fav" name ;-), this subtle destruction of our morals is all around us, isn't it? We are being blindsided with it.

Vonnie Davis said...

Hi Misty, thanks for stopping by. I don't often get on my soapbox, although I'm wondering if I shouldn't do it more often. I'm thinking of entitling it "One woman's opinion." What do you think?

Mackenzie Crowne said...

I agree, Vonnie, the vitriol is out of control, on both sides, and yet, looked at through the prism of history I just can't consider that a completely bad thing.

Twenty years ago the actual issue at the heart of this kerfuffle, that of whether a private business or organization's rights are less worthy than an individual's perceived right to free goodies, would never have stirred up conversations like this one all over the internet. Back then, the media powers would have told us what they wanted us to hear, or not bothered to mention our government's stripping away of one group's rights for the benefit of another's.

Your grandfather x 8 and George Washington picked up arms because of that very issue. And thank God they did. Because they did, people like that radio guy are free to speak their minds, and in return, we are free to be disgusted, and say so as well.

As they say, politics is a full contact sport. I for one would rather let both sides screech their viewpoints for all to hear, despite the discomfort, than go back to being led to the slaughter like sheep. Know thine enemy and all that.

I hope your well spoken vent has left you feeling better, so that you won't be mad at ME! LOL

In the meantime, do what I do when the headlines make my blood boil. Take deep breaths and toss back a few martinis. ;-)

Vonnie Davis said...

HI Mac, yes, I do feel better after my rant. LOL I also feel better after I turn off the radio or switch the channels when one of these high paid ranters get control of the mic. I rant for free, however. **wink**

Calisa Rhose said...

Oh Vonnie- I hear you loud and clear. It's awful the things news personnel are allowed to get away with. I applaud you for speaking out, and all here who have done the same. My dd's first fiance saved two other boys' lives before his was violently snuffed out by drugged up gangsters, who had been overheard in a bar say they needed to go 'find some trouble'. He wasn't a gangster, had a decent family, a good job, was wonderful to my dd... Yet the media made him out to be some hoodlum who got what he deserved. It makes no sense how they can say untruths to make ratings. I'm sorry for the girl who was slandered. It's so sad.

Darcy Lundeen said...

You should get on your soapbox more often, Vonnie. You're great. Couldn't agree with you and your various commenters more. Things have gotten completely out of control in terms of both politics and society in general. It would be nice is everyone could simply say, "This is my opinion; yours may be the exact opposite, but let's just agree to treat each other with grace and civility." And that young law student deserves a massive apology, though I doubt she'll get one.

Vonnie Davis said...

Calisa, hugs to your DD for all she went through losing a boyfriend only to have him maligned by the media. As AJ said earlier, you can't believe newscasters anymore. Too often coverage is driven by ratings.

Vonnie Davis said...

Oh, Darcy, I sooooo agree with you. We won't always agree. Heck, as much as I love and respect Calivn, we don't always agree. But we've never resorted to name calling or verbal bullying. OK, I may resort to door slamming...and...maybe a cold bed...but that's allowed. Right???

Beth Trissel said...

Bashing is coming at us from all left and right, like being in a war zone. Apparently we are in one. And yes, I'm weary of it too. Civility would be lovely.

BTW, Vonnie, I recall reading that one of my ancestors was a quartermaster for George Washington. Maybe my guy knew your guy....

morgan said...

Hi Vonnie,

I agree with you and will add my two cents. When my son served in Iraq, they never watched any US News programs because they were all bogus. They never told you what was really happening, but only put their spin on things. They watched the BBC.

I have a sign on my door at school that says, "It never costs you anything to be nice, but the price you pay for being mean is high."

I would like to remind these hate mongers of the Karmic principle of ehat goes around comes around.

morgan said...

Actually I meant
What goes around comes around.

Biblically
You sow what you reap.

Vonnie Davis said...

Hi Beth, my guy was from Lancaster, PA and a German immigrant. It is quite possible they knew each other. George Washington gave my guy a personnal commendation for taking over and saving a cannon at Brandywine when the operator ran in fear. History...ya gotta love it. Thanks for commenting.

Vonnie Davis said...

Hi Morgan, my husband and I love the BBC. Our country's children are so influenced by this need to put down and to win at all costs. I fear we are stepping away from the value and sanctity of human life. Thanks for commenting.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Good rant, Vonnie. How is it the the man you're speaking about is revered by millions of people...what does that say about them...that they're afraid to criticize an out of control tv/radio entertainment figure? NOW THAT'S SCARY! Rolynn

Vonnie Davis said...

The whole husiness is scary. We're probably more influenced and controlled by the media than we want to know. On one hand his followers say his rants are all harmless tongue-in-cheek and on the other they believe and repeat every word of it. To be a mindless follower of anything or anyone--without asking some hard questions--is dangerous.

Velda Brotherton said...

You have plenty of comments, so it sounds like you hit a nerve. I'll add mine to it. If everyone who dislikes this commentator would turn off the program, write his sponsors and let them know how we feel, it might get rid of him, but I doubt it. Too many march behind him without ever having a thought in their head that isn't his.

Vonnie Davis said...

Amen, Velda. Now he's saying he didn't mean anything personal by calling her the names he did. Huh?? What kind of rationale is that?

Judy Nickles/Gwyneth Greer said...

I agree with you 100%, Vonnie--we need a return to civility--and that means EVERYONE. If one person is to be held accountable, then EVERYONE who taunts, name-calls, casts aspersions on, etc. must be held accountable. We can't give one person/group a pass for ANY reason. That's my main beef--some are "allowed" and others are not. We can express our opinions (better) without the foul language which seems to be the rule rather than the exception these days--though some go after others for expressing an opposing opinion no matter how civilly it is expressed. That needs to stop, too. So "rant" away, and more power to you! I call it standing up to be counted--and I applaud you.