I'VE GOT TWO WORDS FOR YOU, AND THEY AIN'T 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY'...
According to this story, Americans are ruder than ever, not just when visiting France, but here.
The article blames parents who are too harried to care, but it's not just that the kids haven't been taught the proper fork for the salad course. It's a generation, perhaps two, of Americans who aren't bright enough to perceive the difference between "rude" and "casual."
Here's what I'd like to see. I'd like to see someone like Snoop Doggy Diddy hosting a show on being polite on MTV or BET or UPN. Even better, whichever of these young hip hop idols is most popular should start dressing and speaking better.
But let's move the issue away from popular culture, where, although the problem is pervasive, the solution is simple. Let's move to the political arena, where rudeness passes for discourse these days. Just because you disagree with me (or I with you) is no excuse for namecalling or unfair characterization. There are numerous examples on all sides. We seem to not care that we're all in this together.