One of my colleagues sent along this NYT article with the remark: "The reporter seems to equate manners, politeness and civility as tools of those in power to keep down those they want to control. . . . Yes, the South is known for a passive aggressive sugar-coated meanness as in this example from the article: 'Manners also helped create the South’s famous “bless your heart” culture -- a powerful way of seeming to be polite without being genuine.' But manners, civility and politeness are positive character traits -- putting others first, showing respect for others, etc. Civility done rightly for the right reasons is a good thing. I’d rather live with civility than selfish barbarism."