California is screwed.

Politics aside, California is screwed. I'm not talking about how people vote. I'm just talking about people in general. I'm talking about the clear downward trend of quality people in our society. People are so incredibly selfish. Nobody thinks of others anymore. There was a time when people were genuinely kind, when people were courteous while driving, and when people were friendly in everyday encounters.

Today was a breaking point for me. I witnessed two people fighting over position in line for a gas pump. An oblivious person backed into me with his car. I was cut off by a driver while I walked through a parking lot (I guess pedestrians don't have the right-of-way anymore). I was almost hit by a guy running a red light. I was almost hit by another person making a right turn who failed to stop and look before turning.

Far too many people think the hands-free calling law means they can hold their phone on speakerphone. Nobody turns their head when changing lanes and nobody signals. People are so distracted by their cell phones that those of us who aren't distracted have to look out for them and guide them back into their lanes by the occasional honk of the horn.

I intentionally seek out stores with positive, friendly cashiers. It makes the experience exponentially better. There was a time when people waved to each other while driving through neighborhoods, and when strangers would engage in friendly small talk. I am disappointed that I never got to experience that culture here.

Of course, it's not like this everywhere. In fact most of America is still relatively friendly. The pace of life is just different.

But in terms of California, I don't see things ever getting better. It's still every man for himself. And unless people realize that we're all in this together and no one is so important that they can't be friendly, courteous and polite, California will continue down this spiral and continue to become a less and less enjoyable place to live.


I completely agree. I am trying to get out while I can.
Move to Oklahoma. Generally everyone down here is a good ol boy.
In your closing i'm pleased you discussed politeness from the angle of civility. Society has a reasonable expectation that we are courteous, considerate, and polite with one another. Considering our current economic conditions, I may movie the line slightly, with a sigh and a moment of patience. On the other hand, there are people now driving in L.A. who firmly believe they have an reasonable expectation of respect. No, we don't. Respect is given when we have achieved our stated goals and when we accomplish what we set out to do. I guarantee that the people who fall into this realm will never demand respect because they are already receiving it Achieving means we are doing rather than talking. Demanding respect is the height of arrogance.

I believe the downward spiral is worse. about 18 months ago, after dating for one year, my girlfriend parted ways over the telephone. A friend experienced something similarly the prior summer via email. Two months ago, after 25 years of friendship, an old high school buddy simply cut ties. Never was there any verbal indication of frustration, annoyance or anger...just cut.

Isn't it ironic that some of these confrontational behaviors and narcissistic attitudes described in your post are the same people who elect passivity in matters of emotion? Heaven's forbid we converse with another face-to-face on any deep level.

I'm right there with you, people were very different once I moved to Reno. At least the the crap drivers here are only that way due to stupidity.
I feel your pain. But seriously this is a result of parents that do "not" teach their kids how to behave and it is passed on generation after generation.... 2nd the majority of these offenders of the thins you speak of are the "Foreigners" that come here and are not "Taught" or "Explained" what the rules are or what is not acceptable. California is hugely now populated with foreigners on a very large scale. Yes I know we were all foreigners at one point or another time but the difference is our grandfathers choose to do things or "TRY" to do things here like they should be done or learned the correct ways to do things. If they didnt do it they got reminded very swiftly by those who saw them doing things wrong.

I see pedestrians all the time in parking lots walking clearly for a unnecessary amount of time right in the middle of the driving path of cars lane or should I say "ONLY" lane when the pedestrian has all the room in the world to walk along the side of the cars pathway. But its almost as if they want to be defiant or challenge a car "If you hit me I will sue you" type of attitude.. My old believe yes the pedestrian may have the right of way but you can sue all you want from the cold slab in morgue after a car makes you a grease spot... 2nd it does not give you the right to be a selfish and "Keep" blocking the road way because you are a pedestrian with the right away. YOu have that right of way but do not ABUSE IT! In New York if you as much as "Lean" over the curb a cab will take your arm off and yell at you "Hey stupid stay on the sidewalk!" Here in california a pedestrian will walk right infront of your car making you "SLAM" on your breaks and they dont even look when the jump out in front of you like that. Once again showing you can sue if you want from the meat wagon because you have the right of way... Me I prefer to avoid the issue and wait till I know the driver of the car is far enough that he can stop for me and he and I make "EYE" Contact thus making a driver safer and me feel safer crossing the street. "I know strange but I think Car will win every time in a wrestle match of the idiots and I like my body parts"

I got my DMV licensees and took my renewal written test when I observed the DMV "Korean" employee giving a 50 year old Korean woman the "answers" to the test because she could not pass the test or understand things. Before those say anything about me being able to know if this lady was doing this in Korean I will like to let you I knew this due to the fact I actually speak Korean. It seems being "Accommodating" or "Helpful" is one thing but flat out letting people get licenses that do not deserve to drive until they are clearly capable is very dangerous. It seems that we are not allowed to say "NO" to anyone anymore.. If we do they are in fear of being sued.. Liberals have created this mess.. Before anyone gets in their pissy potty about being unfair to foreigners etc.. I say wait a minute hey fair is fair and they have to learn how to drive if not they dont get to drive.. Why put me and the rest of the world at risk because they cant learn to pass the drivers test. In Europe the are very stringent on their test and laws. The rules should be all the same for everyone. I myself am considered a minority "Hate that name" but I am one. But I believe it does not give me any special privileges or shortcuts. If I cant read the test I am taking then I should not pass the test. If I can not drive and pass the drivers test then I should not pass and practice until I can pass and "EARN" the right to drive. All of this mess is because people do not tell their kids "NO" johnny you cant have that no johnny you cant do this until you earned it.. The basic principles all lead to the person that feels that they dont need to be polite dont need to signal when they change lanes. Or m pet peive which is drive in the fast lane doing 60mph in a 65mph zone with 10 cars trailing behind them and the slow lane empty.....

Selfishness is something that is only avoided by education or teaching "Values" when growing up.... Something these days that is frowned apon and not taught... Then we are asking why people do not signal why people do not help the pregnant lady with a door or bags or a elderly lady needing a bit more time to park her car. Whats more important to most these days on the news is Lindsey Lohana and her drinking binge "Like I care" instead of teaching some decent values or showing growing minds whats right or wrong..

Before you call me a racist remember I am a minority myself, 2nd I say go to Japan were we can learn by their example. Its a county were you can leave your wallet or purse on the corner of a busy downtown Tokyo and come back the next morning and it will actually still be there when you come back.. "Or can watch a man commit suicide on via the internet live" "Sick world I know"

Today you are told not to "Offend" someone by telling them what they are doing is wrong.

PS. By the way I came here cory to actually say thanks for the design pages for Posterous. I am currently using your "Wild West" theme you created. I stop by to actually do the "Good Citizen" thing and tell you thank you and I appreciate it and how much I like the design. That was something I was taught to do by my late great Aunt showed me was the right thing to do when someone did something nice for you.

P.S. Also the customer service thing you mention in stores... Yes its out the window these days and why? because we all want "Cheap" or the "Cheapest" which makes what? Big box stores the norm and employees that are not paid enough or are staying at a job long enough to learn how to do that job. Or are not put through training long enough to learn their job and be helpful. The customer service people these days are at the job for 5 to 18 months and are just their to collect their measly pay check they dont care they just want to get done with their day and go home.. Young 18 to 25 year old employees these days think that they should get a paycheck just because they "Showed" up for work not because they "Earn" their paycheck... Once again because they were not taught these "Values" growing up.... We no longer have the "Artisans" or "Craftsmen" that we did 40 years ago. The guy in the hardware store that "Knew how to fix something and what you needed to fix it" or even would take the time to answer a question for that matter. Everything in America is now a franchise.... Everything is made as cheap as possible in China and then we complain how they break or didnt "Last" "which also fills our landfills with junk" etc etc... No one takes pride in their work or manufacturing of products anymore its all about making the cheapest fastest thing possible. In italy artisan's take pride in making the best cheeses and best pastas. Here we hardly make anything anymore and dont take pride in our work... Sad... Sad..
Jeremy Frank... You hit the nail on the head about the break up on the phone or via "Email?" Oh my god heavens forbid that person had to say that in person face to face..... God forbid they feel uncomfortable for a second to have the respect to do it in person because that person deserves that... No one wants to make a "Effort" anymore.... They want something for "Nothing" not even a emotional or verbal effort! I mean when a client "Text Messages me" which I can not stand as text messages to me are for personal and friends use not for business! especially when a Client that I have not spoken to in over a year texts me out of the blue and without saying their name or who is texting me is asking me for a favor! The can not even take the time to pick up a phone and call me and speak to me for that favor let alone even say their name in the text message! If they are that lazy I just ignore their text message... Then in about a week a get a email or phone call asking me why I did not respond and I say well I did not know who it was because the text did not say who they were.. They usually tell me something like "Oh I was in a hurry and I guess I didnt want to type all that in a text message" and to which I reply "yes I know that is why I dont do business via text messages. If it was important you should of called me."

IF your contacting me for a favor or needing something and can not take the time to actually speak to me via a phone or in person so I can get all the details correctly then I guess I can not help you.... Thats the way I feel.

But once again this is something "Taught" growing up.. Or what we old people used to call "Values"

I believe things are not so bad.. You should come to Moscow to feel the difference.. ;-)
Ah вы русски? Я пробую выучить русского. Калифорния нет этих же как кино.
It is about upbringing!
Reading Cory's initial comment I thought it was something I had wrote. I have thought about what is happening and why, but more importantly what can be done to change it. My conclusion is that it is indeed upbringing. Since WWII parents have made an effort to assure their children do not suffer like their generation did. The result is they went too far, beyond just providing a quality life and to the point of spoiling. Look around and see how many people have handicapped placards. When I pass a WalMart I see at least 50 handicapped parking spots and they're all filled! Go inside and you would be pressed to find one person in a wheelchair. Even worse, I find that many of the young people that I have observed in my community doing selfish even mean things are products of the local Lutheran High school. The son of one of my wife's friends has been hazed relentlessly and another child committed suicide. When this is happening at an institution that is supposed to be preaching and practicing God's way, then how do we fix that?

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