Be polite is fundamental. It opens you doors as you cannot imagine. It is truth. However, I think that this is one of the biggest missed qualities of our daily society.
Probably, most of this people* can think that act rude and express yourself with insults it is very cool but what they do not know it is that your vocabulary and expressions it is making that other people catalogs you and put you a tag classification as any animal in a zoo.
Let’s say that if a normal human it is classified as Homo Sapiens this kind of people with easy tong could be named Homo Discourteous. I like to call them like that, it is very fancy. However, where I am from, the old people use to say of this people that they have Lizard’s tongue. I do not know the reason why they say that expression but probably it is because lizards tongues are ugly as the tongues of the rude people. This is just my own theory.
Anyway, have a dirty mouth or not it is not the main problem of this question because, in fact, to have manners or not it is simply a lack of the ability of communication. It is easy noticeable that most of this people whom does not speak polity have a huge lack in their vocabulary and they have tendency to draw on the same type of words as a way to express themselves.
Some people could think that this is a problem which only affects to people with poor education or whom they did not had the opportunity to access to a high level of studies: masters, college studies, high school… But each day that pass I find that the number of degrees or academic titles does not have any relationship with to have manners. In fact, I am finding out that when more studies some people has more rude they are.
Years ago, it was very shocking to me the fact that some people had like competitions to see how many books they read in a year but what it was more shocking was that each year they had to overcome their score. For example, if one year you have read 48 books the next year the same person challenged herself to read 52 and each year the number rose.
In my ignorance, I though that this was great and that this kind of people will have more vocabulary than me, that they will speak much better than me and that they will have more knowledges… Please, have in mind that, to me, sometimes it is hard to read. I like to read, but most of the times if I do not like the style in which the text it is redacted I get bored and I need to step back. Other days, I am not really sure of the order of the letters and I read things that are not really there. Conclusion, I read tons of e-mails, blogs, newspapers, magazines, essays… but books: whole books. Probably up to three in a year. In fact, I started It by Stephen King almost two years ago and it is left more than 3/4 to finish it. I do not have excuse to justify myself but the original english written from this author it is very complex to me. I know that I am a weirdo but I understand much better Aristotle and sometimes, I get less bored with this kind of books that with novels.
Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins film. Image courtesy of Walt Disney Productions.
Apart of my personal reading preferences let’s just confirm what most of the people from the college told me: “That I am ignorant because I come from a town.” Having that in mind and that I am extremely weird because I like to eat seaweed**, eat with chopsticks or eat hamburgers or kebabs with knife and fork***; I can tell you that, despite my eccentricities, I am not using the whole day the word F*** and I do not read all that quantity of books.
It is shocking. Most of this people are constantly reading, they have more degrees than I because when all this huge economical crisis arrived like there was not jobs, they decided to study more things and go to the college again. Then, I get surprised when I discover that most of them cannot have a conversation without call you B**** or say the F word several times. I get also surprised when I learnt that one of this colleagues get fired of the museum where she was working for to address to somebody, who she did not know, with bad manners. Unfortunately, it seemed he was the commissary of the exhibition. I am afraid that it is what happens with art and artist, not all of them dress fancy even if they can afford it although the suit does not make the person, isn’t it?
Talking about art, let me tell you some anecdotes: “Years ago, I assisted to an exhibition in Martha Otero’s gallery in Los Angeles. It was a James Jean exhibition. If you know his work or not, I do not care right now. The point is the next. I had several friends in LA and I thought the exhibition would be a good excuse to meet them again and, why not, to try to make some contacts. Even my old teacher from the NYFA was invited to the event by the owner of the gallery but do you know what? None of them came because they did not consider that event important. They let me go alone with the promise that they will assist but they never showed up. It is okay I kept with my life and I looked for my contacts in different places. Months later, I was back in my country and I received an invitation to assist to the premier of War Horse in Los Angeles. I could not assist so I gave this opportunity to one of that folks who did not show up in the art exhibition. I thought like he was trying to promote himself as actor that could benefit him. He did not go neither.
I had ‘certain’ contact with a CEO assistant of Dreamworks in that times and I sent to her some of my work, which I know that it is not going to be awarded with any Pulitzer as my mother insist to remember me but I did. I used my best words, I was the most polite that I could be and I had a polite answer in return. Near in time to the last Academy Awards this actor pal which was the main character in one of my short films was in Los Angeles trying to become a star. He was doing some minor work in Paramount Studios and Steven Spielberg passed next to him. Spielberg stopped and talk with my pal to tell him that he saw him in a school short film which was interesting and not so bad. My ‘friend’ vacillated this in his Fb wall as a great success. I had sent to him few days ago the link for the open cast of Star Wars which he did not wanted to participate neither, but using that as an excuse I asked him about his Fb status and I told him that I sent long ago my short films to Spielberg. Well, I am still waiting a ‘thank you’ or something like that. In fact, the past month suddenly he excluded me from his Fb friendship so I guess that we are not friends anymore. However, I know that he stills working as a famous dog in the Disney theme park. So, I suppose that he missed so many opportunities or, maybe, he is waiting his biggest chance to triumph. I do not know.
Similar thing happened last week with other pal, in this case: a writer. He is american, from Michigan. He lived in Los Angeles for some time but he came back to his state because have a job in that city it is not easy as the dream tells. Well, the other day I received an offer job from Universal Pictures, it is more like a talent contest than a job offer. Let me explain: you will need to send to them a screenplay, if they like yours you pass to round two where they ask you for other one. The candidates which will pass the two rounds will be hired in an internship for one year with a salary of 65,000$ at year. But this opportunity it is only for the people from USA. Seriously, how many people do you think will kill to have this opportunity? Well, I sent it to him and I still waiting the “thanks” but something inside of me tell me that probably he is not going to take this chance neither.”
Members of Emmeline Pankhurst’s suffragette movement in Mary Poppins film. Image courtesy of Walt Disney Productions.
What do I pretend to say with my personal stories? That the people that I met in Los Angeles are so crazy and nut as the characters of the first season of American Horror Story without being ghosts? That people loves to complain of everything without have taken any of the chances? No, that people is forgetting about manners and they have very serious communicative problems. Because when you send a gift to someone you expect an answer, of any kind, but you want an answer. Or if you really want to meet somebody in a certain place, let’s say Los Angeles, Paris… You arrange a meeting, and if you cannot assist: you send a message, a note or somebody in your place whom can speak in your name. The rest of the things that you can do only show your bad manners and lack of interest. And as I do not have excuse that cannot justify myself to my lack of book reading; this people has neither an excuse to their behavior.
If you ask me, I think one of the biggest problems that Hollywood has it is not that they are not open to new ideas or horizons**** The problem in Hollywood is the bad communication and the rudeness. I will always remember two things:
1. When I was looking for contacts and I found the company Benderspink. They had in their web page an example of what it is not a query letter. The letter was handwritten by somebody who seemed quite desperate and with really bad manners used menacing words to say that if they did not buy his screenplay they will pay it. Naturally, this is not the way to address to others.
2. When I found a contact which had a show in Warner Studios and he asked me for my CV. He was very disappointed because my picture was not attached to my CV but, instead of send me a message asking me for a picture he sent me an e-mail in which the most beautiful word that he said to me was Whor*. Then, I discovered that most of the people in that city are not really looking for fill a vacancy in their show as PA, what they are looking for it is for free sex.
I firmly believe, that if people in Hollywood or in the music industry will address to the rest of the mortals in other terms and matters they will not finished most of their days complaining for how lonely they are and that the only thing that they have it is money which they cannot really expend in what they really like. Before to start to complain, think what you sowed in your way because you will really reap a big pain.
Most of the people that come to LA are looking for a fantastic dream which will never happen. Others are looking for real jobs and professional opportunities. In any case, no one it is judge enough to decide which should receive an answer or which not because you will never know the primordial variant in this equation: success. You do not know who is going to have it who do not and after what I have seen, success does not depend neither of talent. So, why does not people treat well others? Because they are superior? Because they are better? Because the others are ignorant from a town? See, the point? You do not need to travel half world to try to get a job to hear the same words because some people really love to feel superior than others.
Going back to the college. I had some friends who had like an intense period of fandom. In this case, for Harry Potter. I know all the crazy stuff from that era in which HP was the only that “matter”. In fact, I probably have never read that books if I was not hanging out with that girls in that times. We even went to the premiere of the Goblet of Fire in London and then, I learnt that being hours waiting outside the event place suffering all kind of body contusions for a full of neurotics was not my destiny. I tasted once and no more thank you. The case is that they were so addicts to all what the Harry Potter world represented that they found some addresses to send letters to the movie actors. Each time that they received a new one they came very exited to the college to tell to the rest that “The Actor” had answered them. Honestly, it was more priceless the happiness face they had than the letter, but it was great to see that girl that way and not as she used to be, kind sad, anxious or a bit depressed. Each one has their own baggage. Anyway, I learnt with that letters that everything is a lie. A copy and paste in which you will always had the same written expressions, the future projects of this actor and a headshot of him signed. That’s it. It did not matter that you told him that your cat had died, that you are going to go to live to the next door apartment of him because the answer is always the same:
Dear (here they put the personalized name),
I am very grateful for your support and letter. Your sincere words mean a lot to me and I will always keep you in my heart. Your stories, messages and letters are what keep me alive in the darkness hours.
Actually, I am very busy working in (here the name of their upcoming project) and I do not have so much time to answer all your questions but as soon as I can I will do it. In reward of your devote dedication I would like to gift you with this signed picture. I hope this will satisfy your expectations of a formal answer.
Thank you very much for your unconditional support.
Always in my heart,
(Signature and Name)
This is not a copy exactly of what all that letters that they sent to that actors said but almost all of them said the same. I think I remember only Alan Rickman was a bit more original but it was practically the same.
I understand, it is impossible to answer to all of your fans about if their cat has died or if she has problems with her hair but, folks, one thing it is to be almost impossible and the other it is not even try it. There are two different things.
Scene of Mary Poppins film. Image courtesy of Walt Disney Productions.
I am going to confess two things, or maybe one, I have lost my count. I am very fan of two persons until the point that what they did in fiction or in real they made me change and wanted to be like them in that specific situations or ways they had to deal with life and problems. One of this persons for excellence is Mary Poppins and I am not kidding when I say that her positivity it is admirable. I always wanted to be like her and most of the times when I was young and dark times surrounded me for every corner I thought what will Mary do now? And I though: “Sing”. So, I was always singing like a bird because it was the way to take out of me the problems.
The other person is Viggo Mortensen. I saw A Perfect Murder and I was fascinated by the paintings. Then, I read that he painted all of them for the movie and I started to want to know more about him. The concept of a Renaissance Men came from him. I wanted to be a female version of this classification, I still want to be, and I will not care if people tell me crazy or weird because I like that. I like to create and I like several disciplines. Talent or not, that is not I who must say it. Speak more languages or less, there is time to learn. But definitely, I find his persona fascinating. However, none of these things made me felt the necessity of watch the last movie he made or to send him a letter because I will not know what to tell him.
I am talking you about my idols for one thing and it is the really matter of all this piece. Do you think that is in my family when I learnt to talk in a polite way or having certain manners at the time to talk with others which are not in the same social category than I? Do you think I learnt it reading books? The answer is: no. I did not because if I introduce you my family you will easily check how they have Lizard’s tongue. There is not a day in which I cannot hear a complaining or bad words but each one is the way they choose to be. To most people I am pedantic, lunatic and not fashionable because most of the days I decided to wear plaid leggings in blue tones with a white or salmon sweater. That is the motive of all kind of laughs when you go out there shopping and do you know what? They, without knowing it, are losing a client, not for the criticism if not for their aptitude. This not only happens to me, it happens to everybody in different situations in each corner of the world. So, that old saying of “wash your tongue” is saying you that despite the television series are involuntary teaching that to say filthy words it is cool or to say EW! of everything makes you the Queen Bee. That is not the reality.
One of the things, that I learnt from Viggo was that he disliked that kind of letters that I showed you before, so he answered back all his fans in a handwritten message to avoid that impersonating messages. Sometimes, between the letter and the answer it can pass months but he did not wanted that cold texts to their fans because he would not like them to him. Of course, this was before The Lord of the Rings after that, I do not know what he is doing but I admire that point and I think to be polite it is effortless if you practice it each day.
Most of the people who send letters to idols or to somebody who do not know and they have only watched on screens or listened their music only want to be heard. For any reason, but they want to be listened. Most of this people whom are partners in profession and send letters to “famous” in the sector do not pretend that the “star” looks for them the perfect job and opportunity. They are only looking for advise because they have never faced a situation but the “star” did, so they are looking for an answer from somebody who can understand them because their families or colleagues cannot help them with that. But, meanwhile in the music industry, or Hollywood, they will insist in sell myths, answer rude or with impersonal letters, lying about their past to magnify themselves and create bigger myths or, simply, ignoring the messages. They will never face the huge communicative problem and they will not discover the full potential of communications. But I know that most of this people is not going to change because they are so insecure about themselves and their talent that they are afraid that other steals the “throne”. That’s it.
Julie Andrews, some penguin friends and Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins film. Image courtesy of Walt Disney Productions.
So now, talking about communications. I have tried to be polite with one of my followers. He is from the musical side and I do not really have an answer that can help him but like in our days communication permits us to connect with a lot of people at the same time. I thought that maybe someone out there could know the answer to his tiny trouble. He agreed in that I publish a part of his letter to me. Let’s see:
“Our band has a Spanish connection. We are re-releasing our songs on an LP, and we are having it manufactured, partially, in Spain. It is being manufactured in 4 European countries. I am very happy! (But no one has to buy our music, because anyone who likes our songs can find all of them, free on YouTube. The music is free. Only collectors actually pay to buy our music.) Hope you enjoy the videos!”
We all now that the music industry it is not in the best moment for anybody but I am sure somebody out there know what to do to resolve this problem. Because if collectors want to pay to buy their music maybe it is all a copyright problem with Youtube.
If anybody has a possible solution to this, please, comment bellow I am sure he will appreciate the information that I could not provide to him.
The conclusion of all this personal babbling it is simple. It does not matter who you are or who you think you are because you are made of flesh and bones like any other. Be polite, be educated and showing tact and manners towards others will always help you. Forget about be cool or not. After all, what everybody wants it is to have a bunch of doors open and, possibly, windows too to let fresh air make you breath in asphyxiating times and do not need to depend of fans. To the ones who did not catch the metaphor it does not mind because “Manners is all that Matters” and nothing else. Not the talent, neither to have success.
*who is always watching this kind of teenage series in which the words F*** and B**** are constantly in their mouths,
**Whatever they say but Nori and Wakame bites are delicious.
***because I do not feel in the mood to get my hands greasy
****creative and technology talking.