"In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks." -- Bill Watterson
I have often wondered if parents are simply not teaching basic manners, or if it's a "teenager" thing to disrespect everyone to the point of landing themselves in more trouble. And when they do get into trouble, no matter how serious, they often laugh it off as if it were a big game.
An 18-year-old Florida girl giggles during a bail hearing and flips the bird at the judge, who immediately increases her sentence.
An Ohio teen on trial for murder smirks the whole time, and then utters profane statements and gives the finger to his victims and their families.
Two teenage girls tweet death threats toward a rape victim, and are promptly arrested.
Not to mention the hundreds of Quebec student "protesters" that were arrested for vandalizing businesses and damaging police vehicles.
Such behaviour isn't limited to teenagers, either. I once witnessed a high-speed car chase through a residential neighbourhood that was precipitated by one of the drivers cutting off the other at an intersection. The driver behind was flashing his high-beams and grinning like a Cheshire cat. Both drivers appeared to be grown adults.
And don't get me started about the numerous celebrities who have ended up in court and/or in jail (multiple times, even!) because their status went to their heads.
There are many reasons why common decency goes out the window. You can argue that these people have some kind of mental disorder, that it's impossible for them to understand proper behaviour because of some chemical imbalance in the brain, that they "forgot" in the heat of the moment, or that they were high on drugs at the time.
But sometimes, they just don't care because they are spoiled brats who believe they are entitled to everything and will throw temper tantrums if they don't get their way. Or they don't care because they have brainwashed themselves into believing that they are somehow better than everyone else. Or maybe, just maybe, their parents never taught them manners in the first place.
On a sarcastic note, maybe all those schools that want to eliminate sex education can teach Emily Post instead.