Venezuela treats beauty pageants as being like sport – girls start training from as young as 4, and success in the pageants guarantees you a good life.

In the future, when the world has become crowded beyond belief, people will be spending all day in close proximity to each other.  The only way that I can see for society to not self-destruct under those circumstances is for good manners to be of paramount importance.  What if we started having competitions in good manners and etiquette?  People being exquisitely polite to each other might be as interesting to watch as a beauty pageant.*

There’s also the option of a Total Wipeout-style version of the competition – where people have to be polite and poised under increasingly obnoxious circumstances.  I can see that appealing to the same sorts of people who currently enjoy Big Brother.

Come to think of it, it reminds me (in a twisted way) of a children’s book I read once, in which the school rules stated that everyone had to be as horrible as possible.  The main character was in trouble for being too nice, so he spent a month refusing to brush his hair or teeth, throwing food at meal times, and generally being rude, until eventually he was awarded the school prize – and ruined it all at the last moment by saying “thank you very much, sir”!

 

* By this of course, I mean to some people it will be as dull as dishwater, and to others it will be the main reason for their existence.  There will be no middle ground.

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