And "college freshmen". I have attended public meetings of
widely varied kinds and persuasions since 1960, at a camp
ground outside Austin, Texas. Slowly, but surely, public
demeanor has devolved into shouting matches, personal
attack, less apprehension of relevant facts, etc. If you
receive emails importuning you from sundry organizations
and campaigns, note the low level of English--"hey", "gonna",
too many exclamation points and red bold face, ad nauseam.
Over 125 years ago, fist fights and canings were sad
spectacles on the floor of the U.S. Congress; afterwards,
greater attention to dignified, reasoned behavior seemed to
be on the ascendant. In the past few decades, lapses in
public have become more widespread, sanctioned by
"let it all hang out", the emblematic cliche' of the 1970s.
Go to village or city meetings, watch nightly news,
read so-called "premier" newspapers--will you
observe maturity of expression in those venues?
Here and there, yes, often, no.
The "me" generation(s) have become the forever
funsters who refuse to grow up or old gracefully,
via Viagra, plastic surgery, implants, etc., with
less-than desirable behavior mimicking the young to
match. (It's not an attractive historical moment we're
Acting like irresponsible teenagers gives the lie
to any myth of American maturity, even in the
political arena and some churches--right at a time
when we must be at our best, with proliferating
primitive terror groups gaining ground each week.
Heeding H.G Wells' prescient fiction from the early
1900s and the factors in the Fall of Ancient Rome
(~410 A.D.) should be enough to help hurry us along
any growing up we'd better do; I wouldn't give most
"high schoolers" the vote or much credence in
But there they are, in Congress, in your town,
your state, irrespective of their true chronological