Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: ladyknight1 on April 08, 2013, 09:00:21 PM

Title: Meanness
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 08, 2013, 09:00:21 PM
This morning, after the death of Margaret Thatcher was announced, I came across someone saying they would dance on her grave for the (perceived) horrible things English people suffered when she was prime minister. I replied that I don't condone speaking ill of the dead, especially someone who has just passed.

My in-laws asked a lawyer they knew to do the work on MIL's mother's estate. MIL was unhappy (most likely in denial) that the estate was nearly destitute, and when the lawyer passed away, she was very happy and frequently spoke ill of the lawyer.

IMHO, this kind of thing goes beyond the pale, and is just mean. How does one respond to meanness?
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Sharnita on April 08, 2013, 09:04:26 PM
Especially something like the first example I might honestly respond "I guess that speaks more to your character than to hers."  In the second case I guess it would depend on what she was saying specifically.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: StarFaerie on April 08, 2013, 09:13:52 PM
I think this may be a difference of opinion in what the dead are due. Some people don't like to speak ill of the dead and others see that the dead are owed nothing but the truth and, of course, all opinions in between.

Best thing I have found with such a fundamental difference of opinion is to smile, nod and, if you are personally offended (ie it's a relative or a friend being bad mouthed) ask them not to speak so in front of you.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: TootsNYC on April 08, 2013, 09:16:15 PM
From an the point of view of Etiquette (as opposed to Character), I think badmouthing anybody, alive or dead, is rude to the other people who are forced to listen to it.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Sharnita on April 08, 2013, 09:18:07 PM
I think this may be a difference of opinion in what the dead are due. Some people don't like to speak ill of the dead and others see that the dead are owed nothing but the truth and, of course, all opinions in between.

Best thing I have found with such a fundamental difference of opinion is to smile, nod and, if you are personally offended (ie it's a relative or a friend being bad mouthed) ask them not to speak so in front of you.

But the truth then would be "I feel that _______ act/policy/bahavior was harmful so I have never particularly liked deceased."  I don't know that I agree that needs to be said - especially as a public pronouncement but I think that is different from "I would like to dance on their grave"
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Library Dragon on April 08, 2013, 09:27:45 PM
Sharnita

POD.  If someone I didn't like died I wouldn't pretend to mourn, but there is no reason to be hurtful or mean.  This is disrespectful to the living.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: CluelessBride on April 08, 2013, 09:33:06 PM
I don't think there is anything wrong with saying bad things about the dead, so long as they are true. Mass murderers and rapists don't suddenly become angels upon death (as an extreme example), and I think it does a disservice to the living to pretend otherwise.

That said, I do think that common courtesy dictates that we consider the feelings of those we are talking with before speaking (about anything, not just people who have died). In close proximity to a death, there are likely to be a lot of strong and sometimes mixed emotions. So I think its best not to avoid saying anything particularly controversial, positive or negative, without knowing your audience (expressing wonderful sentiments about a deceased serial killer in front of the victims family would be just as insensitive as expressing hatred for someone who recently died in front of someone who cared for the deceased).

In the case of the 1st example, I think it is fine to make it clear you are uncomfortable with the discussion. I like Sharnita's wording for something witty. You could also go with something simple like, "I prefer not to speak ill of the dead" or "I'd rather not talk about that."

In the case of the 2nd, if MIL was simply stating facts/complaints (e.g. that stupid lawyer messed up XYZ paperwork!) in a way she would have with they lawyer still alive, I (personally) would let it slide. Some people just have trouble letting things go.  If she was saying things like "I'm so glad lawyer is dead, he really got what he deserved!" I'd treat it like the 1st example.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Kaypeep on April 08, 2013, 09:37:52 PM
I suppose it was rude of me, but I had a teacher in JHS who was particulary twisted and cruel to me and my younger brother for two years.  During this 2 years my family was dealing with my mom battling cancer, and then my dad who eventually succumbed to cancer.  It was a horrible time for my family and the fact that school wasn't even an escape from our misery just made it worse, because of this teacher. I was 13 and my brother was 11.  This teacher was mean and cruel, tormenting my brother and antagonizing me.  My mother complained to the principal and nothing was done.  The torment he gave my brother carried over as other students picked up on the cruel nicknames he gave my brother and they teased him all day long and even after school.  When we got to HS I heard that he died and my response was simply, "Good."  I will gladly accept a ticket to E-hell because I'm sorry but I have no remorse or regret and wouldn't deign to fake even polite sympathy when hearing that news.

I would NOT, however, be rude to his family or anything like that.  I heard the news of this teacher via a schoolmate's mom who worked on the PTA and still had old contacts at our old school.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: magician5 on April 08, 2013, 09:54:03 PM
A ventriloquist named Wayland Flowers used to have his acid-tongued puppet Madame say "They say you should never speak ill of the dead. Well, he's dead. Good."

There are some dead people who deserve the rewards they brought on themselves in life. But whether they were loved or hated, I think it's usually best to keep your opinion unspoken, for numerous reasons.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 08, 2013, 10:25:35 PM
This morning, after the death of Margaret Thatcher was announced, I came across someone saying they would dance on her grave for the (perceived) horrible things English people suffered when she was prime minister. I replied that I don't condone speaking ill of the dead, especially someone who has just passed.

My in-laws asked a lawyer they knew to do the work on MIL's mother's estate. MIL was unhappy (most likely in denial) that the estate was nearly destitute, and when the lawyer passed away, she was very happy and frequently spoke ill of the lawyer.

IMHO, this kind of thing goes beyond the pale, and is just mean. How does one respond to meanness?

Perhaps with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okHGCz6xxiw

Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: mmswm on April 08, 2013, 10:44:44 PM
I think silence speaks volumes in these cases.  My grandmother was not a nice person, to put it mildly.  When she died not a single one of her adult grandchildren, and only two of her 5 surviving children (she had 7, but one died in infancy and another passed away a few years prior) went to her funeral.  One of those two children was only there because he was local and the other one guilt tripped him into going and the two grandchildren who were there were still minors and the children of the child who was doing the guilt-tripping. When a person had 6 kids who survived into adulthood and 14 grandchildren, plus far to many great-grandchildren (some of whom were nearing adulthood) for me to keep track of, yet so few people actually attend her funeral, nothing more really needs to be said about her character.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: WillyNilly on April 08, 2013, 11:00:12 PM
I think its fine to have a policy to not speak ill of people, but I see no reason why "the dead" should get special consideration. There are some people the world is better off without. The absolutely nicest, most wonderful, positive happy thing I can tell you about my material grandmother is "she's dead". The world is happier, more peaceful, more loving, less hateful place without her alive. And while I certainly would temper my words around my cousin who had very different relationship with her, I'm speaking ill of no one to say I was happy when I heard she'd died - with her death came the end of some very ugly feuds, feuds that she alone held alive. When she died, the feuds died, and things got better for many.

I don't reserve such feelings for the dead - I had nothing good to say about the woman when she was alive. Heck when she was a live had nothing positive to say, so in fact I've gotten much nice since her passing. So I think, if you don't think well, or speak well of someone when they are alive, I see no reason for that to change once they are dead. The only argument is that perhaps one should never say anything negative about anyone, as its always somewhat mean, even if true.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: cicero on April 08, 2013, 11:14:01 PM
I also think there is a difference between what a politician did in office and the kind of person h/she were. I think line should be allowed to say 'I did not appreciate her brand of economic restrictions' or 'I'm glad she is no longer around to be prime minister'. That isn't the same as 'i'll dance on her grave'.

For the regular folk who die- unless we are talking about an extremely abusive/criminal person, I might not always find something nice to say, but I'll find something neutral , or keep quiet. For someone extremely abusive I will say 'the world is a better place today'-but that is for thev extreme cases

Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Raintree on April 09, 2013, 12:14:30 AM
When I heard that a former teacher passed away, the buzz on Facebook amongst my former classmates made it sound as though he was much loved and admired. That isn't what I remember. I remember him for his mean-ness, lack of encouragement, disparaging comments, and I particularly remember leaving his classroom in tears one time because the night before, I'd worked particularly hard in his course, was quite proud of myself for what I'd accomplished, and before he'd had a chance to see it he found an excuse to say to me, "You are lazy and do not want to learn." (Because I didn't know the answer to a question he posed to me in class, especially since I couldn't understand his accent). I recall others having the same opinion of him. So 25 years later, when I heard on Facebook that he had died, and saw all the glowing praise for him, I stated, "That isn't my memory. I remember (he was a bully, mean, etc)" and one or two others piped up, "Thank you. That is how I remember him too." (I did add that he was probably a generally good person and that his family must be devastated to lose him). But the conversation kind of fell silent after that, and I wondered if I had broken some kind of social convention, ie that all dead people must suddenly become amazing human beings in our memory.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Last_Dance on April 09, 2013, 01:18:57 AM
I think it's different when it comes to people who have deliberately and knowingly mistreated us because of who-knows-what petty reason excuse. We can't expect to be entirely rational about it.
There's nothing wrong in saying "that's not how I remember him/her" as opposed to going on a rant and yelling at the other people who remember the deceased differently.

However, it looks like it's mostly public figures who attract this "they're dead, let's party" reaction - and often it's from people who weren't even affected by said public figure at all!
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: sammycat on April 09, 2013, 03:29:51 AM
I think its fine to have a policy to not speak ill of people, but I see no reason why "the dead" should get special consideration. There are some people the world is better off without.

Definitely.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: christmascarol on April 09, 2013, 04:26:18 AM
I was telling my Dad about a sadistic dinner lady I knew and said, "I know you shouldn't speak ill of the dead..."  My Dad interrupted me.  "Death doesn't alter a person's character."  True!

I loathed Margaret Thatcher.  I think she was the worst thing that ever happened to Britain.  However, when told of her death yesterday I just said, "All deaths are sad.  But I didn't like her." 

I hate the sentiment the OP quoted, it is being mean.  But what if it's personal?  Thatcher really hurt people.  Their anger won't have gone away. 
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Gyburc on April 09, 2013, 04:52:45 AM
christmascarol, I disagree with you, but won't go into that.

What I will say is that large numbers of the people who are rejoicing over Baroness Thatcher's death are far too young to have experienced her premiership and have no actual idea of what she did or did not do. They simply hate 'Thatcher'. So when these people stage street parties and swig champagne in celebration, they are being not only 'mean' but bigoted.
 
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: nayberry on April 09, 2013, 04:57:40 AM
christmascarol, I disagree with you, but won't go into that.

What I will say is that large numbers of the people who are rejoicing over Baroness Thatcher's death are far too young to have experienced her premiership and have no actual idea of what she did or did not do. They simply hate 'Thatcher'. So when these people stage street parties and swig champagne in celebration, they are being not only 'mean' but bigoted.

i was born in 1979, so grew up with thatcher in power,  i thought she worked hard and took a lot of flack for things outwith her control,
 ie the free school milk row,  she voted against taking milk away from children in schools, but because she was minister for education when it happened, people blamed her.

Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: christmascarol on April 09, 2013, 05:13:19 AM
I won't go into politics, we'll get the thread closed.  I won't condone the street parties and find the attitude appalling. 
I was born in 1961, I remember her vividly.  But everyone is entitled to their opinion and I've no respect for people who don't show respect for others.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Gyburc on April 09, 2013, 05:38:46 AM
I definitely agree with you there!  :)
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Margo on April 09, 2013, 05:39:19 AM
I thin kthat what is 'mean' or inappropriate depends to a great extent on the situation. To my mind, there is a huge difference between talking about someone who is a public figure, to people who nly know/knew him/her as a public figure, and talking about someone to epople who know or knew them personally.

So in terms of the original post, I would feel that the comments about the lawyer wer less acceptable, because the likelihood of them being heard by , or coming to the ears of someone who knew him personally and might be grieving are so much greater.

I think that this http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette) Guardian piece is right when it comes to talking about figures when they die.

christmascarol, I disagree with you, but won't go into that.

What I will say is that large numbers of the people who are rejoicing over Baroness Thatcher's death are far too young to have experienced her premiership and have no actual idea of what she did or did not do. They simply hate 'Thatcher'. So when these people stage street parties and swig champagne in celebration, they are being not only 'mean' but bigoted.
 
I can't agree with this. Some may simply be bigoted, but none of them have been unaffected. Thatcher's legacy is alive and well, there's no-one currently living in the UK who isn't affected by what she did. I think that to assume that people below a certain age don't or can't understand that is a fairly large assumption to make.

I think with a public figure, a lot depends on where you stand in relation to that person and their views / actions - I think what Cicero said
unless we are talking about an extremely abusive/criminal person, I might not always find something nice to say, but I'll find something neutral , or keep quiet. For someone extremely abusive I will say 'the world is a better place today'-but that is for thev extreme cases
applies to public figures too, but that one persons 'extremely abusive' is another's 'strong politician'

That said, I personally don't feel comfortable with the 'dance on the grave' mentality regardless of whether it's being applied to a politician, or a mass murderer.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Queen of Clubs on April 09, 2013, 06:35:13 AM
I think that criticising what the person did is perfectly acceptable.  Margaret Thatcher was a politician, so there are lots of people who loathe what she stood for and the policies she implemented - just as there were people who loathed 'her'* at the height of her power.

*I say loathed 'her' because the majority of those people didn't know her personally, so they loathed her public persona and her actions.

Name-calling strikes me as cowardly.  Would these people have said it to her face when she had the ability and the strength to react?  If they wouldn't have dared, they waited until an old woman who suffered from dementia died, then called her names behind her back.  That's why I also find a lot of the reactions to be mean.

I also think it would have made more sense and been less cowardly to throw street parties when she was removed from the government.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 09, 2013, 06:41:22 AM
'The evil of men lives after them, the good often interréd with their bones.'

People often find it hard to celebrate the public from the private persona. And how long ago was it that people said the film about her was disrespectful.

I'd like to know how her son and daughter are doing, for one. They have list their mother.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: nyarlathotep on April 09, 2013, 07:18:43 AM
What I will say is that large numbers of the people who are rejoicing over Baroness Thatcher's death are far too young to have experienced her premiership and have no actual idea of what she did or did not do. They simply hate 'Thatcher'. So when these people stage street parties and swig champagne in celebration, they are being not only 'mean' but bigoted.

It is possible to be both young and politically informed.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Niamh84 on April 09, 2013, 07:24:48 AM
Regarding your first example, I really do think it's unfair to call those who are glad to hear this news "mean".  Many people in the UK and Ireland have absolutely every right to feel how they do about Thatcher and the fact that she is now dead is no reason to change that.

Personally, I would hate for the day that Margaret Thatcher died to go down in the history books as a day of mourning and respectful silence, as in my personal opinion, she doesn't deserve it.   

Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Niamh84 on April 09, 2013, 07:28:58 AM
Actually, I'm rather curious about something also as I don't know where everyone on the board is from.  But, for those of you in America who feel that celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher is not appropriate - did you feel the same way about those who celebrated the death of Osama Bin Laden? 
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 09, 2013, 07:34:58 AM
I don't think that celebrating ANY death is appropriate, regardless of who it was. How we react to death meant about the person, it's about US.

Besides, comparing Thatcher and Bin Laden is just wrong. Try Hitler or Stalin instead.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: RubyCat on April 09, 2013, 07:47:05 AM
Actually, I'm rather curious about something also as I don't know where everyone on the board is from.  But, for those of you in America who feel that celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher is not appropriate - did you feel the same way about those who celebrated the death of Osama Bin Laden?

Comparing a terrorist who planned an attack that cost the lives of 3,000 civilians to an elected head of state is inappropriate.

It seems that in recent years a certain meanness has developed in regards to politics. Maybe it has always been present, but in my experience it has been frowned upon by most polite people. The political has become personal. There are some who seem to think that if I disagree with you, I am more than just wrong, I am evil. Not to say that evil does not exist in this world but the label is applied to too many people with too broad a brush.

We can disagree with someone's views but still respect that this is the passing of a human being. They had family and friends who loved them. One can voice their opposition to someone's  politics without wanting to "dance on their grave."  That is mean and low class. We can do better than that.

Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Niamh84 on April 09, 2013, 07:57:17 AM
I don't think that celebrating ANY death is appropriate, regardless of who it was. How we react to death meant about the person, it's about US.

Besides, comparing Thatcher and Bin Laden is just wrong. Try Hitler or Stalin instead.

I understand what you're saying, I wasn't trying to put Thatcher and Bin Laden on the exact same level, I was just trying to think of a person hated by Americans that has died in recent years. 

Just the same as it has been said by a poster above that they think it's in poor taste for young people who didn't grow up with Thatcher in power to be making their opinions known on her death.  It could be said that it's unfair for those of you who have not been affected by Thatcherism to judge those who have for their reactions to her death.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: christmascarol on April 09, 2013, 08:05:15 AM
Quote
I definitely agree with you there! 

That made me smile  :)  That's how political differences should end.

I didn't think the question about Bin Laden's death was comparing him to Thacher or even to her legacy.  It sounded like a genuine question and I found it an interesting thought.  907 people died as a result of the Falklands conflict and I think they were all unnecessary.  Still won't make me celebrate the death of the woman I hold responsible.  Any death is a sad for someone.  I feel so sorry for Thatcher's family.

Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 09, 2013, 08:12:15 AM
My uncle, who is of Irish heritage and fiercely proud of it and thus follows Irish politics, shared something on fbook yesterday that said "I still hate Thatcher." 

I honestly don't know what she did to Ireland, and don't want to get into it here (though a PM from anyone who knows would be appreciated) but I personally have no opinion of her at all.  I don't know what she did/didn't do or what kind of person she was so when I heard the news all I had to say was "That's too bad."
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: ettiquit on April 09, 2013, 08:14:06 AM
I'm not one for disrespecting the dead publicly, but I celebrated Bin Laden's death.  Most people on my FB feed did.  There was one person who made the "I'll never celebrate the loss of a human life" type comment, but that's it.  Bin Laden isn't really controversial in America - it's not a "some people love him and some people hate him" type situation.  I knew I could safely make a "I'm happy he's dead" post on FB without offending anyone.

It's not that simple with Thatcher.

Maybe a better comparison for Thatcher would be Nixon?  He died in 1994, so no social networks yet, but a lot of people really hated him.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Sharnita on April 09, 2013, 08:15:40 AM
FWIW, Although I think linking Thatcher and bin Laden is avbsurd and insulting I did think it was wrong to have celebrations in the streets and such specifically because he was killed. Not becaise of what it says about him but because of what it seems to say about us.  Being happy that he can't attack anymore is one thing, joyfully celebrating the death beyond that is different. And if you are trying to validate it for political reasons, your cause, whatever - it makes you look like the bad guy.

As far as the US being impacted by Thatcher, certainly not in the way people in the UK were but we were indeed impacted - thus politicians from both parties admiring her as an ally. Just like people in other nations might have an opinion on our current or Presidents based on how he iacted their safety or economy.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Thipu1 on April 09, 2013, 08:29:34 AM
We had a delicate situation some years ago when a rather controversial politician died.  We were having dinner with friends and they wanted us to join them in drinking a toast to his death. 

We could all agree that the man had deep character flaws but, one of his policies made it possible for our relatives to come to the US and become citizens.  To the family, that made him a bit of a hero. 

We could not drink to his death but we would drink to his memory.

The difference between this man or Margaret Thatcher and Osama bin Laden is that bin Laden acted out of pure hatred.  Thatcher made poor choices but I have no doubt that she believed she was acting in the best interests of her country.

In my mind, that makes all the difference.     

Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: perpetua on April 09, 2013, 08:31:41 AM
It could be said that it's unfair for those of you who have not been affected by Thatcherism to judge those who have for their reactions to her death.

I agree with you.

Also:

This morning, after the death of Margaret Thatcher was announced, I came across someone saying they would dance on her grave for the (perceived) horrible things English people suffered when she was prime minister.

I hope this wasn't meant as offensively and dismissively as it came across. For thousands, millions of people in the UK, there was absolutely *nothing* 'perceived' about it.

My personal opinion is that the time for celebration was when she was ousted from office, rather than on the occasion of the death of a now elderly and frail woman with Alzheimers, but I can absolutely see why some people hold the strong opinions that they do about this matter.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Niamh84 on April 09, 2013, 08:31:55 AM
Yep, I get what you all mean about the comparison not being perfect, I just don't think I can think of an equivalent who has died in the advent of social media that could help you understand how many people feel towards Thatcher.

christmascarol is correct in what I was trying to get at is that many hold her responsible for the deaths of those in the Falklands war.  Her policies on Ireland are another that many would feel caused deaths and the lady herself, I feel, was most unsympathetic to the relatives of the Falklands dead so I can't see why others should afford her more respect now.

Having said that, and as we're speaking of the etiquette issue of publicly celebrating someone's death, although my facebook and twitter were full of celebrations yesterday, I didn't comment on any of it.  So, though I think it is perfectly fine for all of my friends and family to publicly celebrate the death of this woman, it's not something I took part in myself.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: GratefulMaria on April 09, 2013, 08:32:56 AM
Actually, I'm rather curious about something also as I don't know where everyone on the board is from.  But, for those of you in America who feel that celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher is not appropriate - did you feel the same way about those who celebrated the death of Osama Bin Laden?

I'm in the States, a military wife, and I was ashamed and deeply troubled.  Regardless of my political opinions, I disliked the public glee for two reasons:  In an idealistic sense, I believe we (humans, not just citizens of the U.S.) define ourselves by how we treat death and life.  In a pragmatic sense, the exuberance struck me as unseemly, ineffective, and strategically unsound.

My issue is with what I think of as misdirected celebrations.  Disagreeing with actions and policies, acknowledging abuse and cruelty, even grim satisfaction, are all understandable.  How we convey something like that to those around us says more about what we think of ourselves and them than what we think of the dead.

There are people in my life whose death will be a relief.  But if I need them die before doing handsprings, that means I should be doing more to address their impact on me while they're alive.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Calistoga on April 09, 2013, 08:35:54 AM
I for one have never understood why you'd be happy that someone you disagreed with had died.

Changed their mind? Sure.

But died?

I don't know any famous people or politicians well enough to say that the world is better off without them... unless they are of the actively enslaving brutal murder type.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Niamh84 on April 09, 2013, 08:37:41 AM

My personal opinion is that the time for celebration was when she was ousted from office, rather than on the occasion of the death of a now elderly and frail woman with Alzheimers

I think that's a very good point. 
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 09, 2013, 08:42:08 AM
I have sympathy for anyone who is or did suffer from that disease.  It's awful and I wouldn't even wish it on my worst enemy.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: TootsNYC on April 09, 2013, 08:59:06 AM
Actually, I'm rather curious about something also as I don't know where everyone on the board is from.  But, for those of you in America who feel that celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher is not appropriate - did you feel the same way about those who celebrated the death of Osama Bin Laden?

Yes. I did.

I think it was very, very bad form to jubilate over his death.

Grim satisfaction, sure.

Glee? Jubilation? Very bad form. (and remember, etiquette is about "good form" just as much as it is about "rudeness")

GratefulMaria summed up my opinion pretty well.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Calistoga on April 09, 2013, 09:04:11 AM
Bin Laden coming out of his lair, formally apologizing for the horrible things he did, and ordering all of his troops to stand down would have been a much better outcome.

I won't lie and say that I was sad to hear he was dead. I didn't mourn his loss. Honestly I was kind of happy to hear that he was dead. But I don't think celebrating a death is classy.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Perfect Circle on April 09, 2013, 09:13:01 AM
I think that regardless of your personal feelings about a dead politician or another public figure what is required is decorum.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: AngelicGamer on April 09, 2013, 09:17:21 AM
I think that if we're going to compare Baroness Thatcher to another person, it really should be to another political icon.  So, I would put it on the level of people talking about how, at the time of his death, people were glad that President Reagan died.  Actually, I think it is best to compare the two because both had policies that still effect people to this day, both had Alzhemizers, and both were loved in their own ways to different people as public figures. 

And yes, there were some people who were glad that President Reagan died.  I think they were wrong then but I don't feel it is my place to tell people what to think.  The same goes with people's reaction to Baroness Thatcher.  It just feels so over the top to someone who wasn't even themselves at the end of their life.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Twik on April 09, 2013, 10:01:13 AM
It's not etiquette's place to tell people what to *think*, but it is its place to tell people what to *say*.

Rejoicing in anyone's, even a political figure's, death is not within the realm of socially acceptable conversation. It's talking politics with a capital "P," and worse, can be construed as saying, "And any of you out there that liked his/her policies, I wish the same thing on you!" It's a nuclear option in conversation.

Of course, the opposite is true, and if you're going to cry on someone's shoulder about the death of Politician X, best make sure that that person shares your high opinion. (Yes, I did once have to comfort a distraught friend sobbing about the death of a politician I did not hold in high regard. It's part of the job of friendship.)
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: bansidhe on April 09, 2013, 10:53:34 AM
That said, I personally don't feel comfortable with the 'dance on the grave' mentality regardless of whether it's being applied to a politician, or a mass murderer.

That pretty well sums up my feelings on the matter. Celebrating someone's death or making OTT comments about it, even if the person was an evil so-and-so, is just crass. If Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church) died tomorrow I would think - and probably say out loud - "No loss" but that would be the end of it.

In the case of the death of a politician that some folks actually did like, I feel that celebrating is even worse, as it's a slap in the face to the people who supported that politician. What's wrong with just saying that you strongly disliked the politician's policies and views, then moving on with your life rather than breaking out the champagne and making Ding Dong the Witch is Dead your ringtone?
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: zyrs on April 09, 2013, 11:25:56 AM
I think that regardless of your personal feelings about a dead politician or another public figure what is required is decorum.

I agree. 
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 09, 2013, 12:50:02 PM
It could be said that it's unfair for those of you who have not been affected by Thatcherism to judge those who have for their reactions to her death.

I agree with you.

Also:

This morning, after the death of Margaret Thatcher was announced, I came across someone saying they would dance on her grave for the (perceived) horrible things English people suffered when she was prime minister.

I hope this wasn't meant as offensively and dismissively as it came across. For thousands, millions of people in the UK, there was absolutely *nothing* 'perceived' about it.

My personal opinion is that the time for celebration was when she was ousted from office, rather than on the occasion of the death of a now elderly and frail woman with Alzheimers, but I can absolutely see why some people hold the strong opinions that they do about this matter.

I did not mean offense from what I wrote. However, no matter what happened politically, to my knowledge Margaret Thatcher did nothing personally to the people of the UK. I am able to separate politics from the person, which may be the reason I can see the loss of the person as a loss.
Title: Re: Meanness
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 09, 2013, 01:22:24 PM
Actually, I'm rather curious about something also as I don't know where everyone on the board is from.  But, for those of you in America who feel that celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher is not appropriate - did you feel the same way about those who celebrated the death of Osama Bin Laden?

I'm from the States. I was appalled at the scenes shown of people celebrating his death in front of our White House. Was I glad he was dead, yes. Though I would have preferred a live capture and him being tried for his actions, I understood why that could not happen.

But he was still a human with many people who did follow him. And while I do not condone his actions in anyway nor his followers, there is no reason to publically celebrate his death.

But I am having a very hard time with the comparison of Ms. Thatcher with Bin Laden.