Robert Heinlein posited that the sure sign of a dying culture is personal rudeness. I think, in many ways, I agree with that assessment.
People used to be quick to be polite and "neighborly" to one another. Now, they're equally quick to spot some reason to take offense, some slight or slur they can snipe at, even if it wasn't really meant. People used to have table manners, and parents taught their children to behave well in public. Now, if I go to a restaurant, I dread being seated near a table with children, as chances are the parents will allow the little creatures to behave like complete beasts. There was a day when any adult could upbraid an unsupervised brat that was behaving badly, and the parent would take the adult's side when they finally appeared. Now, if you so much as speak to a child for misbehaving, the parent will threaten to have you arrested and/or sue you, for DARING to try to "discipline" their little monster.
I used to work in a Borders bookstore, and parents were constantly "dropping off" their children in the kids' section, then trotting off to do everything from getting a cup of coffee in the cafe to leaving the store to have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory downstairs. We had one woman who would leave her four kids in the store, then go get her hair done. The kids would invariably leave a mess, throw stuff all over, run all around the store, and drive us insane -- but if we DARED to try to control the little angels, these parents, who for all intents and purposes abandoned their children in our store, would suddenly turn into ferocious, obscenity-screaming terrors.
And don't get me started on book signings. When we had Sean Hannity come in for a book signing, it was strange, but relatively calm...but the Harry Potter midnight release was a near-violent screaming match we had to issue tickets for!