I am so sick unto death by the general rudeness in the world today, and I think he's pegged at least most of the reason. It's not for snobby reasons that I don't watch TV (my TV is a display for movies that I buy or rent), it's because I'm tired of the celebrity-go-round, the "reality" TV, the sheer weight of mind-numbing crap. I'd rather watch endless reruns of "She's the Sheriff" than most anything on the air today.
I think I was forced to this conclusion, about celebrity rudeness and "news" coverage, by Paris Hilton. She is obviously Satan. I don't mean "daughter of Satan", I mean she is the anti-Christ herself. She became a "celebrity" simply by inheriting a shitload of money. Period. That's it. She's never done a worthwhile thing in her life, other than be a participant in an Internet-distributed porn film. She slinks, she purrs, she insists on being #1, and she's...what? An heiress. And the public ate (!!!) her up.
Like the author, I remember a time when you aspired to be rich and famous because that meant you would be cultured and refined, someone that others would naturally look up to. Did those celebrities and millionaires have hidden flaws? Absolutely. Were they less than perfect? Well, duh, they were human! But it is precisely the point that their flaws were kept to themselves, hidden, rather than being paraded about as though the flaw was the thing, as though it was more important that they farted than what they said.
There's a saying that goes something like: A man who is rude to the waitress is not a nice man. I try to follow that rule. I'm polite to the help, I over-tip the waitress, etc. I ride like a maniac, in firm belief that 80mph is where life begins, but other than that I'm a rather calm guy. All 6' 4" of me. Admittedly, that means I can afford to be calm.
Still, my point remains. Let's all slow down and relax, sip the (decaf) coffee, smell the (fake) flowers, enjoy the (scorching) sun, and wave at the (bastard) who cut us off. And use all of your fingers!