An oasis of civility

Amid society's chaos, there still are places where rules are revered

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Our society today almost celebrates a lack of rules. And we see the results on our streets.

Our driving shows it. Basic courtesies such as signaling our turns and yielding right-of-way or maintaining one’s lane are but guidelines, if that. The attitude of many drivers seems to be twofold: 1) laws don’t pertain to me and 2) whatever you do, inconvenience others before yourself.

Even our marketing slogans show it, telling us over the years to “Just do it” or that there are “no rules” and that the customer is always right.

The Internet is rife with videos and stories of “flash mobs” – groups of unruly young people – overwhelming stores and shoppers and simply helping themselves to free items off of store shelves. This week, two separate street mobs in Philadelphia erupted into brawls. In one involving some 200 youths, 14 were charged with crimes; in the other, involving up to 100, an 18-year-old bystander was shot and killed.

The legacy of the ’60s seems to be that if you require anything of anyone – that they adhere to any kind of rules, for instance – you’re being uptight and need to chill.

“The generation coming of age in the ’60s rejected the old standards without a thoughtful replacement. They wanted no rules limiting their behavior. Their slogan was ‘If it feels good, do it,’” Gary Horne wrote in an article last fall titled “A Society Without Rules.”

“The influence of this anti-rules generation have spread throughout society – the universities, the media, the entertainment industry, and the courts. From these positions, they pressure the rest of us to not only tolerate, but give legitimacy to whatever they want to do, even behaviors we find repugnant or immoral.”

Indeed, voters and the media seem to be saying more and more that in our politics, at least, nothing matters anymore. As we’ve noted in recent editorials, disgraced and scandalized politicians who formerly would’ve been out of the game all together now just simply are put in a kind of time out. Then, after just a few years or even months, they’re welcomed back with open arms as if nothing ever happened. As if nothing matters.

Then there’s the Augusta National Golf Club and the game of golf.

In a society that increasingly takes a dim view of rules, the Masters is an oasis of order. In a time in which nothing seems to matter, at Augusta National, everything seems to matter.

The grounds are immaculate. The grass is mowed in a certain way. The blades of grass seem to exude a quiet dignity. We suspect even the birds in the trees have badges.

The patrons, while treated warmly, are expected to abide by the rules – which include no cell phones or beepers, no running and so on. Why, even on the grassy hills you’re expected to at least be up on an elbow, not lying on your back. It’s unbecoming.

Outside the grounds, you’re expected to obey the prohibition against buying or selling badges. People have gone to jail for it – which undoubtedly is a shock to the system, when so much of society pretends to enforce rules but does not.

The game of golf, too, is its own stickler for rules. Three years ago, golfer Brian Davis touched a marsh reed in his backswing during a playoff at the Heritage tournament in Hilton Head. He proceeded to voluntarily impose a two-stroke penalty on himself that cost him the championship.

That’s the definition of integrity. That’s the very soul of ethics. That’s the essence of reverence. It’s following the rules.

It may be an example of the extreme – but we’re seeing an example of the other end of the spectrum elsewhere in society. Which would you choose?

Comments (22)

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specsta
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specsta 04/13/13 - 01:56 am
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Seriously?

ACES wrote: "The grounds are immaculate. The grass is mowed in a certain way. The blades of grass seem to exude a quiet dignity. We suspect even the birds in the trees have badges."

Perhaps we should enact a shrine to the almighty Augusta National grass and give burnt offerings to such perfection.

Someone please pass the barf bag.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 04/13/13 - 05:05 am
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Without a doubt

Heaven on earth!

MTBer
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MTBer 04/13/13 - 06:11 am
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Ahhhhh

Civility.

Nice article.

Bodhisattva
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Bodhisattva 04/13/13 - 06:58 am
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Possibly because they throw

Possibly because they throw the person out and take the badge that you sold to someone for $2,000 or more, just not outside the grounds heaven forbid, and remove you from the list FOREVER? Could anyone please provide a case where someone has been arrested for selling a ticket too close to any other venue in Augusta or the surrounding area? I'm guessing the number is zero. Special treatment? Nah.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 04/13/13 - 08:06 am
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No Pedestal From Me

JTF is right. It's heaven.

However being the skeptic I am, I'll note the birds you hear chirping on TV there are not real. I'll also point out about excusing the rules, a business inside the half mile radius does a booming business buying and selling tickets and nobody does anything about them. We also have the whole issue of tickets being given to local politicians because they represent the county....and what happens to the tickets. I suspect there's about as much reprobate behavior at the Master's as anywhere.

bubbasauce
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bubbasauce 04/13/13 - 09:13 am
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Very good article and also a

Very good article and also a very good post from ymnbde. Jealousy is a very bad thing.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 04/13/13 - 09:35 am
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Should Tiger drop out after

Should Tiger drop out after the rule violation?

John Locke
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John Locke 04/13/13 - 10:15 am
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What a load of bull

As someone who travels a lot, and compares all the time where I live and where I am visiting, Augusta has some of the most rude, impolite and ignorant of the rules people I know. Only 1 week out of the year do we get any sort of break from the other 51 weeks of idiocracy that is Augusta GA. It is actually somewhat rude in iteself to write such a piece sucking up to the billionaires and elite who throw crumbs at the little people then want to be thanks and worship for their kindnest. What a farce.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 04/13/13 - 10:34 am
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After the master's committee's

Unpublished

egregiuos ruling on Tiger Woods flagrant disregard for the rules, I suggest the tournament be renamed The Dirt Water Open. The ruling will forever taint Augusta's reputation.

etlinks
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etlinks 04/13/13 - 11:03 am
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Yes R1

It should not be up to Tiger he signed an incorrect score card and should be dqed.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 04/13/13 - 11:11 am
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Score Card

Is there a story in the Chronicle that tells the details of the score card incident? Was it yesterday or a long time ago? What's the scoop?

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 04/13/13 - 11:15 am
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I understand the ACES's

I understand the ACES's intent for writing this article and most of it makes sense to me. But JUST ONCE I would LOVE to see a 4 player fight break out on one of the greens. Who out there is with me on this?

Bizkit
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Bizkit 04/13/13 - 11:21 am
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I've traveled a bit and don't

I've traveled a bit and don't see Augusta Ga has a monopoly on idiocy. I think it has something to do with the human condition. The game does have a long history and has given Augusta a marketable name, however I see that interest is waning (despite our Prez loving the game) in the game. It historically has been a big boom to the local economy much as summer season for Myrtle beach. I personally don't have any interest in golf but I support the freedom for those who do.

blues550
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blues550 04/13/13 - 11:25 am
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400LB Gorilla

Unpublished

Billy belongs to ANGC, does anybody really believe this editorial page would come close to being real journalists on this matter. Slim just left the building.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 04/13/13 - 11:27 am
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Dream onnn

They won't toss Tiger...

allhans
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allhans 04/13/13 - 12:24 pm
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The birds ARE chirping if

The birds ARE chirping if you are there early in the morning and things are quiet. The flowers are gorgeous this year also but I will admit that ESPN uses some great footage....I give them a big yeah man!

grouse
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grouse 04/13/13 - 12:33 pm
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...and the joke was that at

Unpublished

...and the joke was that "at least Mussolini made the trains run on time." Such is the ideal of the Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff...

Truth Matters
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Truth Matters 04/13/13 - 12:33 pm
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Pattern

I am seeing a pattern here. People can respond to whom they wish but two posters had very similar comments about the article being a little over the top ( my characterization), yet, only one poster was singled out as being "envious."

Very interesting!

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 04/13/13 - 01:56 pm
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Principles

It's the principles of the comments, not the personalities, TM.

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 04/13/13 - 02:04 pm
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With all the venom spewing

With all the venom spewing today, a "barf bag" is in order.... and BTW...Delta? Greyhound? Enterprise? Ready when you are!

allhans
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allhans 04/13/13 - 05:02 pm
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Envy is such a waste of

Envy is such a waste of energy.

burninater
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burninater 04/13/13 - 05:43 pm
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I could take these nostalgic

I could take these nostalgic reminiscences more seriously if they didn't wear such Pollyanna-ish blinders.

Sure, some aspects of society may seem more crass than in the past, but overall we have drastically improved respect and freedom in our society.

Flash mobs?

I'd take a flash mob over a lynching any day.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 04/13/13 - 06:24 pm
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Well...yaaaahhhhh, lots of

Well...yaaaahhhhh, lots of things I'd take over a lynching. Lots of things I'd take over a flash mob, too.

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 04/13/13 - 07:06 pm
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BP? You mean flash mobs such

BP? You mean flash mobs such as these? Awww...c'mon... they're just kids being kids right? (sarcasm)

http://violentflashmobs.com/

allhans
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allhans 04/13/13 - 08:52 pm
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Why would we be given a

Why would we be given a choice between them. The answer only would be "neither"!

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