New York and its inhabitants are known for a lot of things, but being sweet and polite is not one of them. Thankfully, some subway artist has taken it upon himself to remind New Yorkers that politeness is a quality worth valuing. Jason Shelowitz creates fake MTA subway signs urging things like, “Keep your fingers out of your nose. Please.” Shelowitz told NY Mag, “I decided to focus on some sociological issues that many people have within the NYC subway system.” This is the best example of art for public good that I have seen in a long time, but I have to wonder if these signs will actually stop creepy dudes from standing really close to me on a completely empty subway car.
I’m kind of old fashioned when it comes to manners, in that I think manners are something people should proudly possess and wield accordingly. This puts me at odds with the majority of New Yorkers and with almost all subway riders. In that sense, I’m happy we have Jason to remind people not to clip their fingernails on the subway. I dream to one day live in an Utopian society inhabited mostly by robots who are programmed to act no way but properly in public. Also, they won’t even have fingernails to clip.