May 23, 2005
On our cruise we participated in an organized game of Scattergories. We split into five teams of six players and went to work. One of our categories was "foreign cities", which was a cinch for us. We used the name of a German city near us, knowing that it would never be a duplicate. Well, my husband and I got accused of cheating; the other teams refused to accept the name of a city they'd never heard of, saying that we must have made it up. We were steaming mad because to us our honor and integrity had been called into question, military values we take quite seriously. Our teammates were the oldest players in the room, two couples who were roughly 40 and 60 years old. The older gentleman threw a fit on our behalf, saying it was disgraceful that the other players in the room distrusted our word when we lived in Germany with the military. But in the end the young people in the room were not to be swayed. The six of us on our team left the game disgusted: twenty people thought that we cared more about winning a game than truth and honor. Twenty people thought that we were either too stupid to know the names of real German cities or too deceitful to be trusted. Twenty people thought that our accepting another team's word that avocado is a real ice cream flavor in Colorado was more natural than their accepting the name of a city that can be confirmed by any map. It was the death of civility.
I was reminded of that Scattergories incident and Tim's values when I read this exchange between a reporter and a Bush spokesman today. You don't speak like this to people in public. You don't accuse people of lying unless you have good reason to. And when you're a reporter, you really shouldn't let your complete distaste for the administration show like this.
The death of civility is all around us.
May 20, 2005
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