You would think a column called Rich Man, Boor Man, subtitled "We live in an age of great wealth--and lousy manners", would be about bad behavior by--y'know--rich people. That's what you would think, anyway.
Unless it was written by Peggy Noonan.
Here are examples she gives of the rudeness she's complaining about:
- She walks into a shop, and a saleswoman says "Hi! Let me help you find what you're looking for!"
- In another shop, a saleswoman says "How are you today? How can I help you?" ("Those dread words", Noonan says.)
- Outside, an activist with a clipboard asks: "Do you have two seconds for the environment?"
- In a restaurant, 40 seconds after she and a friend sit down, a waiter asks them what they'd like to drink.
- The same waiter subsequently asks her if she's ready to order. (Frankly, I live in dread of prompt service in restaurants.)
- A guy in line at a store talks on his cell phone.
I think manners really have deteriorated, and I'm not above ranting about it, but this stuff--I mean, what the fuck?
She never notices that the very rich don't give a shit about the other 99.9% of the world? Or that across the economic spectrum, in ways minor and major, people have largely abandoned any notion of the public good? Or that in doing so, people are responding to a quarter century of indoctrination by Peggy's ideological compatriots, beginning with her former boss? That this is a world she helped to create?
Of course she doesn't. She's Peggy Noonan.