Rudeness is a Virtue

Flipping the bird

Flipping the Bird isn’t always about anger.

Ok, I know some of you are looking at the title and asking what I’m smoking.  The answer is, not a thing. I’m not pulling a fast one either, being rude is becoming a virtue. The reason? The internet of course. Social media to be exact.

How is social media making rudeness a virtue? By removing the personal interaction that makes us polite. You wouldn’t accuse me of being incestuously involved with my mother to my face, there is too much chance I’d beat your head in. On the internet it is different. The odds are I will never truly know who you are, and that there are too many miles between us for me to carry enough anger to hurt you. So you can safely tell me horrible things that you would never say to a man’s face. We’ve all seen too much of this, and it seems to be getting worse.

Since the safety of anonymity is now available the worst of us are stepping forth. Even some reasonable people in real life are being obnoxious on screen. Especially since they never meet the people they are abusing. It is much easier to ascribe the most horrible motives to someone you never met than it is to think of the poor schmuck in the next cubicle the same way.

This is why someone who works in a publishing house can call their customers and authors Neo-Nazis and not feel horrible, she has never met them and since they don’t agree with her she should call them the worst things she can think of. After all, she didn’t say anything bad about real people! Just some moronic right wing idiots with no hearts or minds. She knows this is true because her echo chamber has told her so.

It is also why so many people don’t need to debate whatever you say, they  can just call you a liar of some sort and scream when you don’t give in. Reasoned debate is becoming a lost art just as it becomes so easy to do. As an example, one argument I have never personally seen on FB though I have in real life. There is a school of thought that blames the United States for Pearl Harbor, it claims our actions prior to WWII forced the Japanese to attack us. I disagree with that school of thought, as do most westerners. However with debaters you would argue events of history, with citations or logic and attempt to convince the other side that you were correct. Your scholarship would be your weapon. On the internet you simply scream “Revisionist! You only do enough research to back your claims, you are lazy and biased!” This qualifies as scholarly debate.

Where does rudeness being a virtue come in? Simple, when we run into screaming hissy fits we reasonable polite people try to calm things down and smooth ruffled feathers. This is taken as an admission of being wrong and you lose the debate to a child’s tantrum.  Be rude, tell them to grow up and debate like an adult instead of an ill mannered brat. And when someone, tells you to calm down and quit being rude because “you are better than this”? Tell them to go indulge in autoeroticism. It is time to quit allowing those who are correct but well mannered to lose because the other side isn’t.


6 comments on “Rudeness is a Virtue

  1. […] of us, to not say anything at all if it isn’t nice. But can it be possible that sometimes rudeness is not only necessary, but the virtuous thing to do? How else can we fend off anonymous […]


  2. I had a real-life experience with this the other day. We were in Goodwill trying on clothes, and overheard a conversation. A gentleman — a forest fire fighter home briefly between fires, in the store looking to replace some burned items of clothing — was talking to a couple of women. In the course of the conversation he made a couple of comments about Obama and environmentalist policies being responsible for the condition of the forests. which makes them highly vulnerable to forest fires (which is true). The two women attacked him, supporting Obama, and were still calling him all kinds of names which normally I have only heard on the internet when we came out of the changing room (‘we’ being me and my mentally handicapped daughter). I was tempted to join in with a few comments myself, but decided I didn’t want to get into a public brawl. Actually, given where we live, I was a little bit surprised — if we were in Portland or Eugene or any of the other large communities in Oregon, you’d expect that kind of behavior as a norm, but not here in an area where the main industry is farming and ranching.


    • A friend, Adam Gaffen said “And the corollary is from Heinlein – a lack of politeness is the first sign of the decline of a society (paraphrase; I don’t remember exactly which book it’s in and I’m not going through all of them!)” He is right, which is why we are going to have to be rude back, politeness works when both side are polite. Our society has gone past that point, unfortunately


  3. It gets real when they attempt to follow those rules IRL.

    The panic that ensues when they realize that only the self restraint of the person they just offended with “fighting words” is keeping their worthless carcass intact is amazing!

    I’m just a peaceful Teddy Bear, but at six foot even and a hefty 275 pounds (mostly muscular)… when I get upset it makes some folk with a guilty conscience nervous.

    Sometimes I’m not even upset, just frowning in concentration trying to understand their logic… Same result.

    I don’t usually notice that reaction, but my darling wife always tells me later, especially when she thinks they needed to change their pants when I left…

    Why people insist on throwing sand in the gears of social interaction escapes me?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Because it’s ‘old fashioned’ and ‘unnecessary.’

      When Obama’s early days were in, I said he would not be a good American president and he would not have America’s best interests in heart – after listening to only a few speeches. A friend of mine was surprised with my condemnation and asked me how quickly I’d deduced that (he’s a liberal, but he’d always found me intelligent and knew I had reasons why I came to conclusions.) My reply was, because he had displayed his interests and focus according to whom he was focusing on in his speeches (one of the first speeches he made was to the Muslim world, so I deduced his focus would not be on the American people‘s best interests) and I noted that Obama had great disdain for the rules of protocol. Protocol is strict, and how you respond reveals your answers and beliefs in more than just words said, but in the interpretation of the meaning of those words and actions, as well as is what is left unsaid. This is especially so in diplomatic protocol, because it’s the common rules of behavior expected to be followed when you’re interacting with different nations and cultures.

      Shocked at how strict and exacting my explanation of protocol was, my friend said that perhaps it’s too old fashioned to have protocol and it was unnecessary. I asked him if he would do away with good manners, and he replied no. I asked him if he would call his boss an asshole to his face if the boss were hypothetically about to commit a large blunder of ego. He said no, there were better ways of addressing that wrong. “Those good manners and better ways are part of protocol. People engage and adhere to those rules whether they realize it or not, because without it, society would be pure anarchy. Protocol at the higher levels of state are stricter because mistakes made there affect more people.” My friend conceded I had a point, but felt it was too early for us to tell how Obama would be.

      Alas, only time has proven that my assessment was right.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Use the Prisoner’s Dilemma solution; Be nice first, after that their reaction to you dictates your subsequent reaction to them. Doubled and redoubled.

    After about three rounds of Internet comments you should be ready to nuke their entire county.

    Liked by 1 person

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