Between Indiscipline, Rudeness and Obscenities / Fernando Dámaso

Photo: Rebeca

To go out into the street is to be constantly tripping on social indiscipline, vulgarity and obscenity. It is not a problem of a neighborhood or an age, or even of sexes, as it happens in Old Havana, Central Havana, Cerro, Vedado or El Nuevo Vedado, both children and youth, adults and even elderly , whether one or the other sex.

The so-called bad words (some argue they do not exist, but it depends on how they are used), and when I say bad words I refer to the most vulgar and obscene imaginable are heard as part of any out loud conversation, as in a bus, in a shop, a clinic, school or just on the street, regardless of those present, be they women or children, as if in Spanish they were the only words that exist. Sometimes, poorly masked, they form part of the lyrics of some popular songs.

What’s going on? Is it that the social deterioration is also bottoming out? A person who is very close to me often said: The material misery generates moral misery. I think he is right. What is the point of so many universities, institutes, schools, etc., if their graduates and students demonstrate every day, lack of civility (a little word of fashion) and extreme rudeness and vulgarity? The instruction may be good, but the education is abysmal. I must say that it not just a youth problem, but also adults who have fallen into the bad fashion. Among the many things lost, is it that we have lost the sense of shame?

To live in a civilized society we must respect social norms. Nobody has the right to violate them and, worse, to impose their violations of others. The shouting, marginality, vulgarity, disrespect, lack of discipline and many other social ills seem to be sitting squarely in the city, and given what you see (no one does anything against them), they have taken up permanent residence.

The authorities seem not to care about it: while containing no political implications, they look the other way. By this wrong path, the life of society becomes increasingly difficult, to say nothing of robberies, assaults in public and even physical assaults, which are not lacking in this vineyard of the Lord.

It seems that, for now, the only solution for the citizen is to stay home, become a hermit and go out as little as possible. But we all know that this can not be the solution. Some responsible people, for a long time, have warned of these negative phenomena, but have been ignored. So far it has been like plowing the sea, with occasional boring message on television, or a short article in a newspaper from time to time. At what moment do they foresee updating the social model to responsibly address these ills of our socialism?

December 10 2011