BOSTON (CBS) – Let’s face it, good manners are out of style these days.
The squeaky wheels get the grease, and in politics and popular culture, that means the foulest mouths and the sharpest elbows leave the graceful and the polite in the dust.
What’s that old saying about nice guys finishing last?
But then came Sunday night at the Academy Awards and the gaffe seen round the world. This was the crowning moment of the career of 36-year-old “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz.
“There’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture,” he told the crowd and the millions watching on TV.
And he didn’t hesitate to show graciousness at his moment of maximum disappointment and shock.
If that seems startling, it’s because we don’t see good manners like that in public so much anymore.
Instead, we see politicians trashing and bullying one another, celebrities sniping at each other like little brats, and don’t get me started on the poor manners the man and woman in the street routinely display. Ask any store clerk if you don’t believe me, or go for a drive.
Here was Horowitz, moments after his moment of agony.
“I’m glad I got to invite my friends from ‘Moonlight’ up there. I was just saying that it’s become an incredible community of people. And I’ve become particularly close with a lot of the people in that cast and on that crew. And it was, you know, things happen,” he said.
Yes, things happen.
We often can’t control them. But we can control the way we deal with events and each other. And the way Horowitz dealt with that fiasco the other night is a case study in class.