I was reading the Booth Babe’s article about summer driving events, when I made the mistake of reading the comments. I hate reading the comments, because I lose all hope in my fellow man (again).

As I thought about the article and its comments, I found the whole thing ironic. Here’s an article asking people to behave in a civil manner, and the most of the comments are anything but civil.

The Booth Babe is an anonymous product specialist in the auto industry. She writes for The Truth About Cars and her own blog, Do You Come With The Car? (That’s a lot of links, and I’m not even getting paid for this. I think that’s called “being nice,” or something like that.) She provides a behind-the-scenes peek of the auto show industry, which I find fascinating. I love auto shows.

Some of her articles also deal with people, which I find just as interesting. I think if I hadn’t become an engineer, I would have become a psychologist, because how people act and think intrigue me. (Okay, that’s not true. It would be to experiment on people for fun and profit.)

If you were to read these people articles from the Booth Babe, they may sound bitchy or whiny. I see the message as, “people, get a clue.” In other words, she could be the Cranky Booth Babe.

The anonymity of the internet (or a freeway) seems to give people an excuse to behave badly. We live in a world where the words “please,” “excuse me,” and “thank you,” have disappeared; where common sense isn’t so common any more; and where single-digit salutes have replaced the friendly wave. We’re approaching the world of Idiocracy meets Beavis and Butthead (oh wait, it has).

And then there are the People of Walmart.

I’m not going to kid myself into thinking that our culture could change overnight and fix all of this. All I’m asking is to be nice to each other once in a while, and act with at least a modicum of common sense.

One final thing. I’m not defending the Booth Babe— she doesn’t need defending. But I do get annoyed by comments to her like, “What do you expect when you’re wearing a miniskirt.”

How about: No.

By the same logic, if you were an idiot, I should be allowed to slap you upside the head (mmm… upside the head…), because, well, what do you expect? But I don’t. Most of the time, I will just politely ask you to try breathing through your nose instead.

You don’t have to act on every thought or whim. That’s what the mushy stuff between your ears is for— to think and reason with virtue and decency. One would think that’s one of the few things that separate us from the beasts.

And no, I’m not a misanthrope, but I’m working on it.

“Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter.”
–Tiger Woods

(Let’s try this again.)

“Don’t overestimate the decency of the human race.”
–H. L. Mencken

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”
–Johannes Kepler

“The mass never comes up to the standard of its best member, but on the contrary degrades itself to a level with the lowest.”
–Henry David Thoreau

“I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson