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Finishing School

When I was a child, my paternal grandmother taught me manners. She was a lady born in the late 19th century. During that era, there were established protocols set for what was acceptable behavior among human beings. These protocols, called etiquette or manners, were rather universal among the people of the civilized world.

Unfortunately, too many people no longer require, of themselves, to treat others civilly. This is a definite return to barbarism. The new term for it is, cancel culture.

CC warriors are about embracing rudeness and crassness as a way of life. The people who are so against the hierarchy are setting up their own hierarchy. And if you’re in their way, too bad for you. Because the CC doesn’t care who it offends or lies to or hurts. Indeed, they do their best to hurt their perceived enemies.

Grandma was born Anna Evans, in a small town in Clifty, Arkansas, in 1893. She was the sort of lady that will tell you not to speak ill of the dead, and not to gossip about others. In other words, one must mind your own business.

Minding one’s business has been the foundation of America’s culture since the get-go.

It was another parental figure, my step-mother, who taught me self-discipline. The practice of self-discipline is how one minds one’s own business. As enticing as it is, one keeps one’s mouth shut about family, friends, neighbors, and so forth. This is referred to as having good manners. Emily Post, who wrote an excellent book on etiquette, put it this way:

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.

“Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.”

Those who would rule the world rarely have ethics or honor. Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Castro, all those usual suspects were not known for their graciousness or thinking well of others. They had a vision. If you didn’t share their vision, you got cancelled. As in your life was worthless to them. Does life get any more crude than that?

I can recall when the talk, the idea, among the Baby Boomers was that no one needed etiquette. That was for the bourgeoisie. Like Mao in China, Boomers wanted a cultural revolution. The idea was to get rid of the old ways, and to let it all hang out, no matter who was hurt by it.

The cultural revolution was a return to barbarism. In America, one result was that the divorce rate went up, because if one got tired of their spouse, one cancelled that spouse. And too many children were brought up in single family homes. It was chaos, barbaric.

Many of those children grew up to be a part of today’s cancel culture. Mannerless brutes, they are.

The barbarians are not only at that gate, they are inside the city.

May I suggest that we all return to finishing school?

What is finishing school? It is a school where good manners are taught. Finishing school is a place wherein one learns to be a decent human being. These schools teach us how to be gracious social beings. To respect others. To acknowledge them.

The absolute rudeness of cancel culture is the failure to acknowledge others. Indeed, the point is to not acknowledge others. Because the Neo-Marxists among us are at war. They are the barbarians running through the cities, destroying, raping and stealing.

In addition to finishing schools, there’s another type of school that has as its purpose the teaching of self-defense. All decent people need those schools as well. Learning how to use a sword would mean one could fight a duel with an ill mannered barbarian.

To sum it up, a return to good manners and dueling, would give us a way to handle the world of the cancel culturalists with deadly graciousness.

I wonder what grandma would think of that…