11th August 2021

Expanding my previous thoughts it do occur to me that politeness and good manners have become rather passé in a society somewhat jaded through isolation, fear, and dare I add apathy? The acceptance of non-recognizable, unidentifiable, masked, individuals has somehow removed the necessity to actually scan the face, the appearance, the physical mannerisms, and expressions of another, when approaching, passing, or addressing their person, assuming the presently appropriate and acceptable social distancing are in place.

Was a time that interaction required defined attention, the addressing of a total stranger without some form of mutual formal recognition, eye contact, would have been considered inappropriate, if not thoroughly rude and unconscionable.  Singularity, both through clinically advisable separation and the overwhelming advent of faceless communication via social media, have created sets of circumstances where previously developed habitual behaviors cannot mitigate in the least new aspects.

We are a species adrift in an unfamiliar world, were signs of threat or danger have become impossible to recognize through long established and accepted traditional gestures or indicators. We have entered the realms of the trolls, the gas lighters, the meanies, individuals whose words and thoughts have no truth, validity or most alarmingly cannot be diagnosed or detected through any common and visible facial signature.

As an aside it is worth noting that social distancing had existed for as long as humanity has been a societal beast. The proscribed spacing was denoted by gender, age, and relationship. By gender to overcome physical occurrences, between males to avoid unnecessary physical contact or contest. Intergender spacing echoing the vagaries of the particular moral niceties of a given grouping or epoch. Betwixt females to allow for the laxness such same sex relationships are generally permitted. Age exceptions allowing for both the impetuousness of youth and the natural and wholly acceptable familiarity between parent and offspring, and of course by relationship allowing for the reduction in formality expected between familial members.

The lately dissolution, dissolving of many of the long-established restrictions upon unsolicited familiarity has been an ever-increasing abrasion upon our species continuing comfort. Humans do not naturally mix well without quite strict guidelines of behavior expected and accepted, our moral and ethical aspirations are far too complex, and congregation defined for a general free for all.

As a species our niceties, the practice of reasonable and acceptable interaction is devolving, becoming less organized and generally recognizable, somehow waxing haphazard, reflecting a move from a the cumulative to the solitary, bestowing the yoke of unnatural loneliness upon what were creatures of multifaceted outlook and consideration.

I fear terribly the dissection of civilization into increasingly smaller and smaller segments, till a once vibrant whole capable of producing such wonderous variables is but a stunted pastiche of its former glory.

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