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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 4, 2013/ 1 Kislev, 5774

The Unraveling of Civilization

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Greatest Generation, The Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z, "Boomer", "Buster", "Millennial", "Silent", "Lost." Wow! We live in the age of classifications, and there's a tag for every generation of people. And each generation possess their own brand of music, art, values, and lifestyle. Keeping any sort of traditions, status quo, or consistency going across the generations is always a struggle. Change, for better or worse, is what it's all about. And more often than not it's for the worse, at least in the last hundred years or so anyway.

Fads and fashion come and go with every generation. Few people today know or care about the "passing fancies" of long ago. Things that once seemed so culturally important to people at the time have, to coin a phrase, been relegated to the dust bins of history. Raccoon coats from the 1920's, women's snoods and rat hair pieces from the 1940's, Hula Hoops from the 1960's, Baby on Board signs in cars from the 1980's - all gone and forgotten, which is okay because lots of it was unimportant stuff.

What isn't so okay, however, are the finer things of the past which we're losing. So much of the little niceties and refinements which once were an important part of our culture are disappearing with such frequency that you can almost see them dissolving right in front of your eyes. "POOF!" There goes another one, see it?

Refinement, manners, and courtesy were the hallmark of those once called "ladies and gentlemen." The very terms "cultured," "refined," and "well mannered," sound archaic by today's standards, or rather lack of standards. Our parents generation, certainly our grandparents generation knew the "right things to do" in public, the correct way to behave. There were rules of the road back then.

The simple act of saying "thank you" and "your welcome" has been displaced with grunts and "no problem." Our language is liberally laced with obscenities and vulgarities, women and children use the terms and words as much as men do. Public demonstrations of courtesy to women are considered taboo or insulting. Open a door for a woman and instead of a smile and a thank you, you will be ignored or even get a dirty look. Stand up when a lady enters a room and people will think you're crazy or just simply laugh at you.

Certain things were considered "private matters." People went into a phone booth and shut the door when they wanted to make a call. They kept their voices down when speaking in public places so as not to disturb others around them. Radio and television advertisers were careful not to offend their audiences. When selling products related to personal health or bodily matters, euphemisms were used out of respect for the greater broadcast audience. Now common street terms are boldly and graphically used in the most vulgar descriptive ways when selling personal hygiene and toilet products. Matter of fact, most advertising is vulgar now.



Changes in clothing, how we dress, is indicative of our culture as a whole. Think about it. Causal dressing fits in with casual manners, casual values, and casual morals. Most young people don't even know that once upon a time it was normal to dress for dinner. Dressing for dinner once meant black tie, then it was relaxed to a suit or sport coat and tie, now dressing for dinner means no tank tops.

Dressing up for an occasion showed respect. Not dressing up projects indifference. And most people feel better about themselves when they dress up. When people dress exactly the same way to go to church as they do to mow the lawn or wash the car, that's a sure sign we've lost something as a society.

Some fashion styles and cultural fads last for only a few years while others stick around for decades. But why is it that the ones that last and last are always the ugliest? The elegance of wearing hats and gloves are gone, never making it beyond the 1950's, while wearing denim blue jeans goes on decade after decade. Droopy pants and other prison gang wear is the way the new generation wants to look. Low class is the style of choice. It goes with multiple piercings and billboard tattooing.

Consider popular music. What we call the big band or swing music era had a life span of only about 15 years or so at the most. Traditional 1950's do-wop rock and roll lasted around 10 years before it was overtaken by harsher forms of rock. But Hip Hop, Rap music has been going strong for over 20 years now and it continues to be popular to this day. It is the longest running style of popular music in the last 100 years. The uglier the music, the longer it lasts. Why?

The music matches the movies and the television shows; i.e. vulgar, ugly, and in your face. All of it contributes to the erosion of common manners and civilized demeanor. Yes, cultured and refined had a self life, it was temporary. Crude and vulgar goes on forever. You can earn to live with it, or you can join me and live in the past. Come on, let's get dressed up and go out for dinner.

Jackets required.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2008, Greg Crosby

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