Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Survey Proves: New Yorkers are Nice

My recent, very fun trip to New York City planted the sneaking suspiscion in my mind that the prevailing idea that New Yorkers are rude and pushy might be a myth.

Now science has confirmed my observation. New York, despite a reputation as a fast-moving, tough-talking town, ranked as the world's most polite major city in a recent study conducted by Reader's Digest (Well, I know it's not the Lancet or anything, but it's an interesting study nonetheless.)

Reporters conducted a "door test," to see who would hold open a door, a "document drop" to see who would help pick up dropped papers and a "service test" to measure if salesclerks said thank you for a purchase.

Four out of five New Yorkers passed the courtesy tests, the magazine reported, putting New York at the highest ranking of major cities for courtesy.

Which is odd, considering the reputation that New Yorkers and Northeners in general have down here in ye olde South, a reputation which is often used by Southerners to contrast with their own perceived style. ie "We're not like them. Thank God. We're so polite. We just want to get along. Why be pushy and rude if you don't have to be? I don't understand it." etc.

When you take a trip to NYC and get back down to the South you can rest assured that someone among your acquaintances will ask if people were rude to you, fishing for a shocking, funny story to confirm this whole construct.

That setup (rude New Yorker, polite Southerner) may be the way it was at one time, but now I think that it's Southerners that have turned all hateful and rude, voting Republican and refusing to get along with people of different races and all.

As a gay man living in the South, I can say unequivocally that I think many Southerners are rude, bossy, pushy, petty, cruel and mean-spirited. After all, politeness and courtesy are not just for the people you know and the people who look and think exactly like you. Politeness and courtesy are specifically so that you can get along in day to day living with any number of people with a wide array of viewpoints and lifestyles.

However, I'm also convinced that we as Southerners can turn things around. Start being more polite, ya'll, (and let's vote these no good cheating assholes out of office while we're at it.) We didn't make the top ten and you know we easily could. Can't we all get along? (And impeach Bush, too?)

Anyway, enough of my rant. In case you're interested: other high-ranking polite cities included Zurich, Toronto, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Zagreb, Croatia. Lowest ranking cities tended to be in Asia, with crowded, busy Hong Kong, being among the "rudest," according to the survey.


Anonymous Jenny said...

Your blog is soo funny. I look forward to reading it everyday!

8:18 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

As a (generally) kind and polite gay man living in NYC I'm very glad to read what you have to say about us here! Keep working on the voting problems down there and come back to visit often!

12:03 AM  
Blogger FilmStocker said...

Thanks so much. I hope to make it back to NYC soon... Greatest. city. evah!

10:16 AM  

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