An Awkward Moment

gauche

adjective

1. lacking ease or grace; unsophisticated and socially awkward.

synonyms: awkward, gawky, inelegant, graceless, ungraceful, ungainly, maladroit, klutzy, inept.

It’s funny, but I don’t remember hearing anyone use the word “gauche” in a very long time. I used to hear it a lot, along with “unseemly.” Both seem to have gone the way of the dodo. Language, as we know, is fluid, a living thing used to describe our current state of affairs. Perhaps we are more sophisticated these days?

And then I think about our Presidential contenders. Who have definitely stooped to conquer. Things get ugly for the run up to November. God, and politicians, speak to us in terms that we understand, I suppose.

Which makes me want to reach for that word “gauche” again. Because the language they toss around is awful.

Even turning on the radio is getting dicey, especially with young children in the back seat soaking up every double entendre and flat out vulgar reference being made in most of our popular music. (As a former punk rocker, I’m one to talk. But most of that music was a cry against unfair systems. Protest music, most of which could be played on radio, think of The Jam and The Clash, even the Sex Pistols had a toe-tappable ditty or two that were within broadcast standards. They are quaint compared to today’s lyrics.) Standards, it seems, have dropped like one big H-, or should I say F-Bomb.

While we may be dressing better (are we?), our aspirations seem to sink lower, rather than look to rise up (to “better ourselves” for lack of a better phrase.)

No Class

Thus endeth the screed.

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6 Responses to An Awkward Moment

  1. Dearest Chris,
    Couldn’t agree more with you on these subjects!
    No, we for sure are not a nation that is dressing better, nor writing better or speaking better.
    It seems that on many instances the lack of a moral compass is the problem.
    If I see any male dressed in a t-shirt under a sports coat, that makes me shudder…
    Reading comments on line, on any social media, often is full with vulgar words!
    And you are right, it is around so much and so prominent that it is hard to keep young children’s ears and eyes sheltered from it!
    It is a shame and I only can hope and pray that we will see some better times ahead of us. Often my husband and I discuss the decrease of morals as a thing from the past 20 years, step by step… Now we’re at a point that it’s interwoven into society and it’s hard to avoid it.
    But I refuse to adapt to that kind of language; no way!
    Let’s hope that decency and mannerism eventually will prevail.
    Happy weekend and blessings for your children especially as it is about their future most!
    Mariette

  2. Todd Kunz says:

    Chris,
    Sadly, I must say that, no, men are not dressing better. Of course being from the left coast, and in particular, from a city where poor 20 somethings come to start their retirement life, dressing in an elegant and sophisticated way is far from the norm. I will say though that where I live, people are, for the most part, very friendly. Most vulgarity I encounter comes from people of a much higher pay grade than me.

    The vulgar mindset pervades every area of a person’s character, from the way they dress to the form of speech used. Raising kids in this modern day must be difficult at best. In addition, our presidential race, by both parties, is somewhat discouraging, to say the least.

    I for one however am looking forward to better times in the future. It is the only thing that keeps me optimistic.

  3. Brohammas says:

    Whoever said hind sight is 20/20 wasn’t thinking about nostalgia.
    We, the collective societal we, have been crass and crude for quite some time. There is a flux with what is acceptable in different circles, but anyone who has listened to LBJ tapes knows crassness at the highest levels is not new. Some are, some aren’t.
    The older we get the more we forget our foibles and scorn the young. Squeaky clean Boyz II Men had some retrospectively scandalous songs. Naughty By Nature? NWA? AC/DC? e have to go back to the 50’s to get real clean… but that was just for broadcast.

    As to dressing better… “better” is a subjective term. While casual reigns supreme there is in fact a resurgence of more formal attire among those who didn’t trend that way before. They will trend back away from it again soon.

    We have to be careful that our own narrow experiences aren’t mistaken for the general norm.

    All that being said I am personally sick of crass and crude mind sets. If you want to complain about something that really is new and symbolizes a quick descent into the gutter you need to focus on things like the normalization and easy access of pornography. The F-bomb and F- deed have both been around for almost forever… but the internet hasn’t.

  4. Lily says:

    Maybe we’ll have a backlash soon and people will want to rediscover good manners and dress?

  5. A very good post. How funny. I have thinking about the same kinds of things and just posted on elegance. Have a great week, Nina

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