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Joe Wilson, Kanye West, and Serena Williams
Do outbursts by politicians and celebrities mean civility is dead?

"A fake trend is sweeping America," said Hamilton Nolan in Gawker. Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" during President Obama's address to Congress; Serena Williams launched an obscenity laced tirade against a tennis line judge; and hip-hop star Kanye West interrupted country singer Taylor Swift's Video Music Award acceptance speech. And the nation's media has declared that civility is dead.

It's perfectly reasonable, said Liz Kelly in The Washington Post, to make a connection between, say, the outbursts of Joe Wilson and Kanye West. Both incidents are the result of a society in which more and more people are giving up on calm debate, and choosing to shout down anybody who disagrees with them. "Call it the Glenn Beck-ization of America or an erosion of civility. Either way, it stinks."

"Our society is clearly in the grip of a new social disease: entitlementia," said Judith Timson in Canada's Globe and Mail. "That's my diagnosis after three high-profile examples of extreme public rudeness in less than a week. Entitlementia means many of us obviously feel damn entitled to express our point of view whenever and however we feel like it, no matter if it's the right time or place."

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