Monday, September 14, 2009

A Cup Of Contempt

This seems to have been the week for childishness and bad manners. We started with Joe Wilson shouting at the president (might we remind him this is not the House of Commons, thank you Jamie for that one). Serena Williams threatening a tennis line judge with a ball stuffed into an uncomfortable orifice. Finally we get Kanye West stage crashing and ruining a big moment for Taylor Swift at the VMA show. Tiger Woods has spent the past couple of weeks acting like an ass. Michael Jordan turned his induction speech for the NBA Hall Of Fame into a litany of "screw yous" and "up yours" to anyone he thought had ever wronged him, relagating his family to a throwaway line at the end of the speech. Really? What ever happened to "Behave yourself."? These are not (biologically speaking) a bunch of children. Temper tantrums are unattractive when it's a three year old throwing one, but when it's a fully realized adult doing the kicking and screaming, it's just plain comical and a little sad. Professional athletes seem to have this sort of thing down to an art form. These are people who enjoy a certain status and the accompanying benefits that the rest of us will never see and they can't seem to behave in a manner many blue collar/minimum wage types manage to summon up on a daily basis.
On the flip side, there were some real moments of shining examples of good manners as well. Following Kanye's outburst, Beyonce invited the interrupted Taylor Swift back to the stage to finish her thank yous during Beyonce's moment in the spotlight. Good for you Beyonce, I'm not a huge fan, but I like you more today than I did yesterday.
On a smaller scale, my eldest son's football team played against Northern Freeze (Karlstad/Newfolden) on Friday night and both teams impressed me enormously. Not because of their athletic prowess or any stellar plays, but for simple acts of good manners both on and off the field. Both teams were helping opposing players back to their feet (after having knocked them down in the first place), geniune pats on the back and real handshakes after the game, not the usual muttered and insincere "good game" accompanied by the briefest of hand to hand contact. Actual handshakes and comments to each other, geniune respect all around. If a bunch of highschool football players can show that kind of respect for their opponents, I firmly believe our politicans, athletes and other public figures can pull simple courtesy from the depths of their coddled, catered to souls and show a little respect.
If they can't, we'll let Serena shove a tennis ball into their....nevermind.