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mind Your Manners

Families still practicing the ancient art of the sitdown dinner are serving up more than dinner rolls and corn on the cob. iReporter adriana71 always talks about the news with her kids, but she says she’s rarely had such a great instructional opportunity as during this past week’s threecourse meal of public outbursts from Rep. Joe Wilson, tennis star Serena Williams and rapper Kanye West. She normally has to make up stories for examples, but not this time around. Wilson’s “You lie!” comment during President Obama’s speech drew sharp criticism from her panel of youngsters.

“Daniel’s eyes almost popped out his skull. James shook his head, saying, ‘That’s not right.’ Alexis made the face: I don’t wanna know happened to him (Mr. Wilson).”

She said the kids got a sobering lesson in sportsmanship when they saw Williams slapped with a fine, because behavior on the court or field is something most children can relate to from their own sports experience: “The kids know never to argue with the ref, as you will only cause more damage.” Finally, the kids got a lesson in self control from West. adriana71 said her kids didn’t know much about the rapper, but they knew enough that they had better not duplicate his actions. West was seen drinking before the MTV Video Music Awards and she used that as another example for the kids.

Take it from 14yearold iReporter cam4573: “Even if he thought Beyonce should have won the award, [West] should have never taken the microphone from [singer Taylor Swift] and humiliated her in front of thousands of viewers.”

cam4573 and several iReporters indicated they thought celebrities and politicians were addicted to the spotlight. And then AyishaG said she thought people were making too big of a deal out of the outbursts because everyone has one sometimes and wondered if they were even intentional. Liberty1955, father of collegeage daughters, says he thinks people have a greater sense of “selfimportance” nowadays evident everywhere from the road to the Tube. He notes that his parents spent time with him to teach him right from wrong and parents have to spend more time with their kids. He also expressed curiosity at whether the stresses of the economy are making people in general a little more uptight.

What discussion is taking place at your house? West was seen on the verge of tears and rambling emotionally during a poignant moment when Jay Leno asked him how his mother would have reacted to the MTV incident during opening night of “The Jay Leno Show.” What would your parents say, and what are you saying to your kids if you have them? Make a video, tell us what you think and help us continue the discussion on public civility. And then, pass the peas. We’re starving.

There should not be any room for stupidity but yet in still “it happens”. I will admit the events in the recent past are unfortunate and should not hav taken place at all. These people are adults and you would think they would “know better”. Being passionate about your views does not give your permission to yell out when the president is speaking (especially of you are politican yourself), feeling as if you being cheating in a game should not allow you to curse some out even if you did not mean to threaten them with sports equipment and even if you thought the other person should have won the trophy does not give you right to take the shining moment from the actual winner. And speaking of the lader event Kanye has been riding the stupid bus for a long time and there is no excuse for his behavior, so lets not let him use his deceased mother as a reason to act like the village idiot, he is not the only person that has lost a mother and you do not see other people behaving badly.

What do all three examples have in common? A feeling of entitlement that their election/skill/popularity makes them “above” the rest of us. I don’t think that the mothers of any of them are very proud right now.

Rep. Wilson is the most serious of the infractions, however. Whether you like or hate the President as a person, calling him a liar during a special joint session of Congress being televised world wide is NOT correct behavior. Each member of Congress is given a book of rules of conduct they are to follow. While debates and verbal abuse fly without restraint during regular sessions, a joint session is not a podium for debate, period. And to me, it was suspicious that the camera person had such great psychic ability to be focused on Rep. Wilson just as he made his comment. Considering that there were 533 other members of Congress present, not to mention a gallery FULL of distinguished guests and luminaries, it was odd that the camera was on a obscure representative who has never made much of a stir before.

Serena was the surprise to me. She and Venus have usually kept their “colorful” behavior to their clothes and flashy play on the courts. Pressure could easily be used as an excuse, except that both sisters are highly experienced competitors.

Kanye was the biggest disappointment, however. He’s done the right thing in apologizing to Taylor Swift, and admitting to Jay Leno that he’s having a hard time dealing with his grief. However, drinking and bad behavior is not a good reflection on his mother’s teaching. He needs grief counseling and rehab.

I think Kanye West should be banned from awards shows for a while like athletes that do stupid acts get suspended f/games. Ban him for several and take away his perceived power. He’ll be crying in the corner b/c his entire life is about insecurity, why else would he act like a complete ahole all the time? Anyone that writes, “oh it’s about his mother dying,” has lost their minds. I lost 3 grandparents in 6 weeks and I didn’t act out doing whatever, whenever I wanted. He’s an embarrassment and his actions are like a small pathetic child.

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