Have we forgotten everything we learned growing up? Wasn’t there a time when we had manners and treated others with respect? Or were we really raised by animals?
As an employee of a popular clothing store I once had the misfortune of cleaning up a fitting room after a masturbating shopper left his mark. If you think that’s gross, you may be offended to know peeing in kitchen sinks at college parties is becoming common practice. And it isn’t all that unusual to get paired with a dorm-mate who will shamelessly fornicate in a twin bed two feet away.
[moral] Angie Liberato, director of liturgy and Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (process of coming into the Catholic Church) at St. John Student Parish in East Lansing, sees positive and negative trends in this age group. “I see moral decline in some areas like casualness towards sex in relationships,” Liberato said. “This generation seems to have a sense of ‘me attitude.’ Cheating, stealing and plagiarism at MSU as examples of deterioration, along with lack of respect towards handicapped and authority.”
OK, so we’re all horrible, worthless, quivering sacks of immorality. Just kidding, but what happened to the ethics many people learned and lived by during childhood? Do we need another review session now that we reached adulthood? And, most importantly, where does this bad behavior come from?
When economics junior Jason Killoran asked the individual who urinated on plates and silverware at a party why he couldn’t have used the unoccupied bathroom five feet away, the guy laughed in his face.
“I found it appalling someone would do that,” Killoran said. “What is he, a dog? Dogs don’t even do that.” When Killoran asked the guy to leave, it wasn’t without a battle. The unwelcome party guest managed to punch Killoran, knock the wind out of a girl and hit another young woman in the face before eluding police officers.
The manners and class of people in our society seem to have deteriorated since last I checked. Could drugs and alcohol be responsible for such bizarre and immoral behavior, or is it possible virtues such as respect are no longer being taught? Instead of hearing “excuse me” when trying to get by someone at a party, I now hear, “get the fuck out of my way!” The alternative is to be moved personally like an object.
And lately it just seems to be more isolated incidents similar to Killoran’s party. You take a chance each time you leave your house, because another lunatic is waiting for you right around the corner. These days, you actually have to be careful not to look at someone the wrong way.
Brandon Madejek, telecommunication junior, hosted his own show last year, The White Horse, and this past year, The Prince of Tom Foolery, with other extremists on WELM, an East Lansing public access channel. They’re allowed to broadcast whatever they want, since the show airs after 10 p.m. On his show one individual known as “Crazy Ramen” sprayed himself with mace, ate a lightbulb and washed it down with another person’s urine. In the same night, he sewed his own testicles to his leg (five times).
“He likes doing that kind of stuff on his own time, so we might as well bring him on the show to do it there,” Madejek said. “He will do anything; he is always down for tattoos and cutting himself. He has an extremely high tolerance of pain. Two weeks ago he asked me to give him a tattoo with a knife and ink – the first couple times I cut him I could tell it hurt but after that he was fine.”
For fun, some of these people enjoy watching tapes of naked men rocking at concerts, where they use the stage as their bathroom, eat and roll around in their feces and pleasure themselves on stage.
“Crazy Ramen” has a few ideas for next season’s show, one in which a house is set on fire which holds valuable gifts inside. “So, you can win a prize if you want to risk burning to death,” Madejek said. Another idea of Ramen’s is to challenge a person from Jackass to see who can keep their hand in a toaster for longer (while it’s on, of course).
Perhaps closer to home than toaster-wrangling is living in such tight quarters with roommates, especially in the dorm. We’ve all been there, when it’s late and all you want to do is sleep, but you can’t because all you hear next door is the intense sounds of your suitemates doing the horizontal mambo. And what’s even worse is when you’re the one getting it on when your roommate is only a bunk away. It is really selfish to overlook your roommate sleeping five feet away from you, and to make them feel grossed-out and awkward. But hey, you’re paying for half the room, too, and can do whatever you want on “your side.”
So, who is to say who is right? Nate Bedocs, economics junior and Akers Hall mentor, offered an in-dorm perspective. “It is kind of an unspoken rule,” Bedocs said. “When I was a freshman and my roommate would have his girlfriend over, I would leave for a little bit and come back later. In MOCK training we were told to be neutral and not lay out any rules. If a problem ever arises I will suggest the guys approach their roommate in a non-confrontational manner and work the issue out on their own.”
Then, what about those annoying neighbors who just moved in this semester and are always getting stoned and blasting techno music at three in the morning (every night of the week)? Is there a limit, could that be a bit excessive? And it gets worse; you wake up to high-pitched fire alarms, blinking lights, a hallway full of smoke and shouts telling you you must evacuate the building.
The main question now is how to deal with these sorts of people, without spreading behavior like theirs. Another issue to consider: perhaps there are just not enough consequences for people who don’t know how to control themselves and act in an orderly conduct in public. Is their behavior a cry for help? Or do they just need someone to lay down the law for them? Is our generation turning into a bunch of grunting, careless pigs?
Perhaps some of these problems could be solved with a simple childhood phrase learned many years ago: “Treat others how you would like to be treated.”
For the religious, like Liberato, the answer lies in a relationship with a higher power. “…Follow the commandments to love God and our neighbors as ourselves; if we take that seriously we develop a profound respect for ourselves, bodies, abilities and other people.”
Everyone else, just please try to warn your roommate, keep your bodily fluids behind closed doors and try respecting your neighbors — before they piss in your kitchen sink.

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