Radical Civility Progress Report
Well, it's the end of Week One of my Radical Civility campaign. What can we say? Has the world changed? Have rude people suddenly been transformed from Goofus into Gallant?
Probably not. But it's early days yet. Rome wasn't built in a day and we won't stamp out movie texting in just a week. Today I want to do address a few reader comments:
Roberta Dolores Gregor of McLean took exception to the movement's logo:
Your logo, while addressing civility is in itself lacking. One does not eat, drink or smoke with gloves on. Black or white, or pink! You may shake hands with them on, but generally a man takes his off for that purpose. With 18 button gloves we would pull the hand part down, tuck it into itself and eat your dinner in that manner. Or, remove them entirely, very slowly, an art in itself! As you can see I am a fossil, but it is more than past time to go backward in that direction. Forward is not so pretty.
I agree that gloves--like hats--have their own rules, but the Radical Civility logo is like a coat of arms, chock full of symbolism that I hope transcends the mundane worry over when and how to wear gloves. If I may: The china tea cup denotes gentility. The black glove is not of the sort worn by a gentleman while he drives a four-in-hand or strolls along the boulevard. It is the sort of glove worn by a hitman, say Robert Shaw in "From Russia With Love." It is meant to convey a bit of muscle behind the dainty tea cup. Here is the logo as reproduced by a top Washington photographer:
The news that I'm Twittering about Radical Civility (@radicalcivility) prompted Silver Spring's Hetty Lipscomb to wonder "But doesn't Twitter undermine civility?"
A very good question. I am platform neutral and technology agnostic. I believe that Twitter is not itself evil, just as a cellphone or a Blackberry (or a watch with a garotte) aren't evil. It's what you do with them--and when--that has the potential for evil. Twitter in the lobby of the theater and you're not disturbing anyone. Twitter during the movie and I'll want to pull out my garotte watch.
So too might Broadway diva Patti LuPone. She stopped a recent performance in Las Vegas to dress down an audience member who was texting. She reportedly said: "The thing is, the people who text, they don't seem to understand that we can see you. If you really need to do that, why don't you just leave?"
Hurray for Patti. I'm thinking of making her the official Broadway diva of the Radical Civility movement.
Do you have suggestions on how to keep the momentum going? Feel free to leave a comment below.
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