Oscar Wilde once said:
As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.
At dinner tonight, Mike O’Hare suggested that the damage done by cars to our social capital is such that we would be better off with a radically less automotive-centered way of life, and that the only way to get there from here is to make driving something people are embarrassed to be seen doing.
Putting aside the specific issue, Mike then asked for examples of previously accepted behaviors that had become Not Done. Here’s the list we came up with:
1. Spitting on the sidewalk.
2. Drunk driving.
4. Most indoor smoking.
5. Ethnic denigration.
6. Not cleaning up after your dog.
7. Not wearing seatbelts or bike/motorcycle helmets.
8. Coming back to work drunk after lunch.
9. Taking sexual advantage of workplace and classroom power.
10. Purchasing sexual services.
Most of these transitions are imperfect, of course, but in each case the view that the activity is OK has gone from a majority view to a minority view.
What did we miss?