Saturday, February 5, 2011

Modulate, Please!

Who are these people?  You know the ones, those loud-talkers that call attention to themselves in places that were once civil and respectable establishments.

Take this recent dining experience—I’m sitting with the one I love, sifting through my salad, enjoying “normal” conversation, when this sudden noise, this garish shriek of uninteresting garbage, this overloud television commercial of a human being intrudes upon my space to share their day’s events with me, instead of quietly with the person across from them.

I find myself asking an unanswerable question: “Why does this clueless fool feel the need to share their banal personal life with the rest of us?”

Sadly, I always conclude with the obvious:

“Because they appear to indeed be clueless.”

At least I hope that’s why.  Because if ignorance is not the reason for being one of those loud-talking louts who interrupt (dare I say sabotage?) decent social behavior, then the only other conclusion would be selfishness, rudeness, or maybe just plain mean arrogance.

That is a rather frightening thought.

To those scary souls I say:


But it’s not just in restaurants, not just clueless loud-talkers, sharing endless streams of trite drivel.  How about those cell phone gum-flappers?  Or those parents who publicly scream at their kids?  You know the ones that must be suffering from a mild case of amnesia, thinking that they are in their living rooms as they demand that little Sally or Bobby—for the tenth time!—pick up that toy RIGHT NOW!  ONE…TWO…Don’t make me count to THREE!

There is a rudeness going around these days, like a virus, only one with no hypodermic needle available as a remedy for this bizarre epidemic.  I say bizarre because the solution is simple manners, common decency, and the ability to differentiate between acceptable public behavior and the unacceptable.

But that’s just it.  Sadly, again, I am not sure enough people actually understand what acceptable public behavior is anymore.


Blame can be doled out in several places, starting with the breakdown of family values.  These things need to be taught at home, at the beginning of one’s early development, as necessary as learning to read or walk.

Technology is an easy target.  After all, with electronic communication and social networking readily available at the touch of one’s fingertips, folks feel that the world is in their living rooms.  But is that any excuse for selfish, rude, intrusive behavior?  Sadly, again, it is not.

Frankly, I’m befuddled.  Because while I embrace having the world at my doorstep and fingertips, I have never used my cell phone in an intrusive, rude, or selfish manner.  Never imagined doing so.

Leading me to conclude that this problem—be it loud-talkers in public places, rude cell phone barkers, heavy bass music blarers, or oversaturated cologne and perfume spritzers—is linked to the spirit, the essence of our existence.  Basic tenets of decency taught to most of us…but somehow recently forgotten.

Simple, basic—HUMAN—behavioral traits like:

·        Kindness
·        Unselfishness
·        Being charitable
·        Politeness
·        Giving
·        Sharing
·        Considerate
·        Common decency

Anyone who argues that they are all of the above yet exhibit any of the sad behavior mentioned in this post are not only fooling themselves, but polluting the world.

Think about it.

Until next time…

peace (and quiet),



Susan Blake said...

Hi Mike! I couldn't agree with you more! I find the loud cell phone conversations (which are everywhere!) particularly annoying! There is a definite lack of respect for others that has permeated the environment. Funny the word verification below is seshe - it should be shhhhush!

Marissa said...

Thanks for the post Mike, it seems like everywhere we go there's strangers that can inadvertently affect our emotions. I read this interesting article the other day in Natural Awakenings (I linked it below) about how to achieve emotional freedom by separating yourself from these "types".

Cheers, Marissa

eyelift said...

You are really interesting guy mike! Thats why I really like to blogging in this blog. Thanks.

GagayMD said...

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Pinoy MD
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Anonymous said...

Hi Mike. Please take a look at some google articles on perception deafness. Not everyone can hear themselves or others when speaking quietly. My son realises this. When he talks to me he shouts, or I won't hear him. (yes, I have a hearing aid.But it starts 'singing' or 'peeping' as soon as it gets to a strength when it starts to be useful.) He speaks quietly when speaking to others. My husband refuses to speak louder and gets angry when I don't answer. Sometimes he'll enter a room out of my line of sight, give a whole speech then go away mad when he gets no answer. While I didn't even know he was there.
People with perception deafness can hear sound, but must work really hard to distinguish noise from meaningful communication. I and others cannot maintain that level of concentration 24/7. To let me know they have something to say, people have to 1) get my attention and then 2) speak in my decibel range. To speak to me without doing both of these is wasted effort.
Keep up the good work and, as you say yourself, peace/