Friday, April 1, 2011
A "COMEDY OF MANNERS"
There will be a lot of tangents in this post so as a reader, be forewarned LOL.
A comedy of manners basically refers to the manners we "well bred" human beings display everyday in our lives which if examined thoroughly would be deemed absurd and ridiculous.
Why for example, do we hesitate to take the last bit of chicken in the KFC bucket especially if others are around who might want that last piece of chicken? Lets say we order KFC for lunch and then everyone has taken a piece of chicken until there is one left, let us say I was the first one to finish my first piece of chicken and I see there is one left, why do I hesitate to take the last piece of chicken? Is it because I am scared that others might judge me selfish and self seeking? And so most times we see ourselves seeking consent before we take the last piece of chicken, we ask around and see if anybody wants the last piece (all the while praying that nobody says they want it) and when we are answered with a "no go ahead" we gleefully take the last piece of chicken. Again this is an example of the comedy of manners that we humans go through everyday.
Now if we had not sought consent from everyone without taking that last piece of chicken, we would have been deemed selfish by others not because of our action, but because we showed no regard for their own "selfishness". Afterall, somebody else might have wanted that one piece of chicken and so therefore, by taking it we have robbed them off an opportunity to take that last piece of chicken. #comedyofmanners
Another example that I thought about goes like this.
Why is it that when we meet a celebrity for the first time, the first thing we concern ourselves with is determining whether they are humble or not? We say stuff like "oh Tuface was very humble, he is not proud at all". And in return, if the celebrity in question is well bred or was raised properly they themselves will be conscious of the "test" they are being put through and subsequently portray themselves to be as humble as humanly possible. This is all part of the comedy of manners we humans put ourselves through on a daily basis. But why do we concern ourselves on whether celebrities show humility or not? Why does that concern us? Do you not see that it is due to the fact that if the celebrities show pride, it offends our senses. We are not mad because they are proud, we are mad because they show complete disregard for our own selfish pride. That is why we encourage modesty in modern society and that is why we want our celebrities to be humble.
Lastly, I got into a debate about role models/heroes and how such men and women are cast as virtuous in modern society. I was of the opinion that no man completely practices virtue or is indeed virtuous. Every man has skeletons in his cupboard that he does not want to see the light of day, and as long as those skeletons exist, no man should be portrayed as virtuous. What makes society consider other men more virtuous than others is not due to the fact that those men are actually virtuous than others. Men such as Martin Luther King/Chris Okotie/Adegboye etc do not necessarily practice virtue and neither are they necessarily virtuous. Men like that do not necessarily conquer their vices as being virtuous requires, rather they artfully/skillfully "conceal" their vices. So it was my opinion that the difference between men like that and men like myself is their ability to "conceal" their vices to a very high extent. Afterall, "what can you ever truly know of other people's souls -- of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles"? One can only truly know a man by what a man chooses to reveal to them.