“In a Manner of Speaking”

By Geisha Bar

Please. Thank You. Sorry. Excuse Me….a rag tag of verbal refugees in the modern world of wham bam fuck you ma’am. These days manners that were once passed from parent to child have joined the dinosaurs whilst the notion of functional family is left impaled and quivering on the mythical picket fence

Manners are the cornerstone of a society and on that basis we are regressing to all fours. “The Importance of Being Earnest” was a comedy about manners but Wilde would be mortified to see how politeness and good grace has been usurped by rudeness which has risen up to become the new currency in our community.

I’m not talking cutlery, class and middle class etiquette. I’m talking about the basic things…..Curse the prick who laughs with glee as he pushes in front at the coles checkout. Curse the bank bitch who treats you with contempt when you question the exorbitant fees. Curse the Afrikaans diner who thinks he is in Cape Town circa 1978 when speaking to the waiter. Curse the kid on the bus who sneers at the pensioner and refuses to stand up. Curse the road train and its “speeding” driver who tailgates your little hyunai. Curse the cabbie who doesn’t know the direction and sits on his mobile phone having a conversation in a language that seems to have no vowels. Curse the bar patron who ends their order with a pregnant pause and no “please” in sight. And curse all those would belittle, heckle and betray decency.

If manners do maketh eh man (and in my case the Japanese woman) our every day treatment of one another proves we haven’t made much of ourselves. We need to begin the journey back to where we started. Old fashioned values aren’t nostalgic, they are based on something real and the good old days can’t be worse than the modern malaise we endure today.