The Regrettable Decline of Class and Good Taste

Ronald E. Yates is an author of award-winning historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy.

Most of us have received one of those emails displaying photos of so-called “Walmart People.” As you scroll down, there is a collection of pictures of Walmart shoppers wearing wild assortments of clothing covering bodies that seem fashioned from silly putty or carved from tree stumps.

There are horribly overweight women wearing skimpy shorts barely covering explosions of tattoo-blemished buttock flesh. There are men wearing pink leotards and combat boots. There are people who seem to have crawled out of a fissure in the earth–troglodytes perhaps? Or conceivably, humanoid-like creatures from another planet that crash landed into a Goodwill warehouse?

Can any of this be real? Do people look like that? And do they go to Walmart and other places?

The answer is yes, yes and yes. These are real people. They do look like that, and they all-too-often abandon their dank and murky grottos to venture into well-lit public places such as Walmart.

What happened? How did our nation spawn organisms that apparently have no concept of taste, style or class?

Beyond these “Walmart people” I think national taste and style hit a new low when the Northwestern University women’s 2005 national championship lacrosse team showed up at the White House in wearing flip flops. What does this say about respect for the nation’s highest office, let alone personal pride and class?

It says none of that matters anymore. It says if you want to go to a funeral wearing cargo shorts and a tank top it’s OK because the most important thing is not showing a modicum of respect for the deceased, but how YOU feel.

The whole concept of “class” or what it means to be classy is an unknown quality with too many people today. Nothing is left to the imagination. In movies today it has