Rudeness Cuts off Communication
We may have set a new record, but not one we should be proud of: Three rude outbursts caught on national television in a single week.
First, there was Rep. Joe Wilson shouting at President Obama from the floor of Congress, “You lie.”
Then after a foot fault was called on Serena Williams at US Open tennis semi-finals, she unleashed a string of obscenities at the official. (This is the censored version.)
And Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMA’s for best female video to praise another singer’s video.
The problem with this type of outburst isn’t that they are rude–they are rude–but that they shut down public discourse.
When someone interrupts you while you’re giving a formal, televised speech and accuses you not just of being wrong but of lying, how can you respond?
When someone screams obscenities at you in a rage, what can you say in response?
When someone interrupts your acceptance speech and claims that another person deserves the award you’re receiving, what can you possibly say?
These outburts end dialogue and curtail the interchange of ideas.
What do you think?