Civility

Civility

E-mail debates of newsworthy topics.
April 8 1998 12:30 AM

Civility

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       The whole trouble is that too many people are having too many real nice days. We are in a dry arroyo period in which most of us are doing reasonably well, thank you, and there is a dearth of subject matter to huff up and puff out about. Whole days go by when I am unable to get it up indignationwise, as they say.
       High employment and a buoyant stock market are fine for most, but it's bad for professional worrywarts. For people who make their livings rising from their seats, shaking their index fingers at their auditors, and crying out, "O tempora! O mores!" this is a major bummer period, dude.
       Since I give the ACLU and Amnesty International a wide berth myself, I don't have a secretary to snap at, and I clean my own work space, I'm having trouble connecting these elements with the majority's right to rule. May I add, parenthetically, that judging from the voter turnout in many recent elections, the majority appears to have other things on its mind besides exercising its constitutional rights. Of course, what all this has to do with belching in public or playing the car radio at top volume with the windows open, I do not know. Yet in an hour of scarcity, use whatever material is at hand, even the moribund ACLU, to cry woe.
       As to this "individual decency shortage," perhaps we ought to put individual decency on the Chicago futures market. We could buy and sell it as companies buy and sell electricity futures or smokestack pollution rights. Ultimately, all commodities are fungible in terms of each other. Thus, if righteous civility really is in short supply, Warren Buffet can corner the market on good behavior, thereby allowing those of us who can't afford individual decency to go about scratching our private parts in public places while explaining that we're too impecunious even to buy tickets to Amnesty International benefits. We are not, of course, so financially strapped that we can't shell out a buck or two to buy a scowl button.
       The good times won't be with us forever. Hence our public scolds might want to chill out and enjoy the sunshine while we have it.