Against my better judgment, or what\u2019s left of it, I decided to write about a particularly nasty topic, but it has nothing to do with the election. Anyway, I hope you\u2019ve fully digested your Thanksgiving dinner. This is a topic that even the entertainment industry with all its raunchy films wouldn\u2019t touch, a topic the mainstream media would surely censor. And yet it\u2019s a topic dear to us all \u2014 unsightly nose hair. Not just nose hair but also ear hair. My wife, who cuts what\u2019s left of the hair on my head, refuses to venture any further than that, so I have to perform this challenging personal grooming task myself. During the 18th century, it was widely understood that trimming nasal and ear hair was \u201can indispensable matter of the toilet office.\u201d \u201cDon\u2019t neglect the small hairs that project from the nostrils and grow about the apertures of the ears. These are small matters of the toilet that often are overlooked,\u201d wrote Connecticut historian and artist Eric Sloane in \u201cDON\u2019T: a Little Book of Early American Gentility.\u201d When I started reading his collection of colonial advice, I realized how far our progressive culture has slipped into dysfunction if not dystopia. But I\u2019m not going to regale you with stories about the good ole days because I\u2019m not old enough to remember the good ole days, and even though I\u2019d like to spend the day talking about nasal hair, that\u2019s as much as I\u2019m going to say about unsightly body hair ... no matter where it resides. The advice Sloane compiled was accepted social etiquette during my childhood, back when people tried to make the world a better place by improving themselves rather than telling other people how they should live. I still remember my mother\u2019s admonitions: Don\u2019t talk with your mouth full. Don\u2019t reach in front of someone at the dinner table. Don\u2019t look over anyone\u2019s shoulder. Don\u2019t interrupt someone who\u2019s speaking. (That would have been a useful tip at the presidential debate, for participants and moderators alike.) Stand up when a woman enters the room. (Are we still allowed to do that without facing prosecution by the woke vigilantes?) Avoid talk about religion, politics and sex. (Absolutely no one does that.) Don\u2019t swear in public. (Who doesn\u2019t?) Hold the door for people. (Let it slam in their faces, I say!) Sloane offered this advice to women: \u201cDon\u2019t forget to thank the man who surrenders his seat.\u201d And this to young people: \u201cDon\u2019t fail in proper attention to elderly people. Young persons are often scandalously neglectful of the aged.\u201d It\u2019s pretty clear the times have changed...for the worse. One pearl of wisdom that could benefit Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi, not to mention Rudy Giuliani, was \u201cDon\u2019t use hair dye. The color is not like nature and it deceives no one.\u201d President Reagan knew that. He didn\u2019t dye his hair, he used Brylcreem, which I\u2019d encourage Pelosi to try. I\u2019m not going to bore you with the proposition that the old ways are the best ways, because we live in a progressive age. Nevertheless, I\u2019ll pose this question: With all our alleged advances in technology, education, politics and jurisprudence, how did our society degenerate so much? Sloane, who published his book in 1973, said: \u201cIn this era of escape philosophy, traditional custom seems far away and appropriate only to an obsolete age....As for myself, I believe that strict good manners and good breeding still have a place in the world.\u201d Of course, 2020 makes 1973 look like a golden age of gentility, at least if you overlook disco, wide lapels, shag carpets and bell-bottoms. Today we\u2019re overburdened with an overabundance of hate, anger and resentment, and the motto of our age has become \u201cIf you don\u2019t think the way I think and if you don\u2019t share my ideology, I\u2019ll get violent ... but only after I ruin your reputation and threaten your family.\u201d It\u2019s time for all of us to settle down, stop taking one another\u2019s inventory and do something productive like ... trim our nose hairs. All together now. Joe Pisani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.