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This article from USA Today concerns me. I’ve seen examples of this behavior on other college campuses, in office lunch rooms and most recently at a bar and on a plane.
I’m not saying we need to revert back to men holding doors open for women or a return of the Knight’s Code, but instead going back to generally being polite to each other.
You won’t offend my sensibilities by launching into an expletive laden rant (within reason), but then again I worked in a newsroom. You will, however, offend me when you jump in front of me in line or pull a chair from the table I’m sitting at without asking.
As for where this attitude stemmed from, George Mason University lecturer Leslie Morton, quoted the USA Today article nails it. “People don’t take time to think about consequences. Who am I hurting? Will this be embarrassing?”
The person you are hurting is likely not you and if you are acting that way, you likely won’t be embarrassed, but someone else might. It isn’t about you.
As this USA Today article points out, it might be because the books “had a thriller quality that’s harder to achieve in modern settings.” Or because it’s an opportunity to live vicariously as a brazen girl of the past, a time period we are moving away from with frightening speed (good or bad, at the moment is not the point).
To be honest, I didn’t know the books were penned by a man at a “fiction factory” that also produced the Hardy Boys and Bobsey Twins. But it doesn’t matter to me where the books originated as much as how much I love them and all of the memories associated with lazy summer days in the tree or hammock reading though one book at a time.
You may be wondering how this post relates to PR and writing in general, it is in this: don’t try to jazz up or modernize a classic without thinking about the effect on the brand.
There are new Nancy Drew books where she wears jeans and uses a cell phone, but I can read modern girl detective stories in several other teen series. I want Nancy Drew to stay the classy gal she was 80 years ago when my grandmother read the books. It’s a connection to my past and the past in general that could be completely lost with modernization. Making the books hip tramps on my memories of who Nancy Drew is and what she represented to me.