Reuben, Reuben I’ve been thinking
What a fine world this would be
If the men were all transported
Far beyond the northern sea
— Campfire song, orig. author unknown
Fellow Webloggin contributor Bookworm Room has a post up about passivity, and how it meanders as a common theme from the British hostage sailor incident from last month into the shootings at Virginia Tech.
It is an absolute must-read. In fact I don’t wanna say another word until you’ve read it. Go. I’ll wait. La dee da…dum dee dum…
I’m hoping you took the time to go over to Mark Steyn’s article from Wednesday, the crux of which is the wrong-headedness with which some among us tend to view the Virginia Tech bystanders as “children.” He makes a compelling case. Now, in reviewing this situation with the British hostages I come under easy assault by the Vietnam Vet paradigm (“You weren’t there, man!”) — but at this time, no clear wedge has been driven between that international incident, and this global conditioning decried by Bookworm and Steyn. That global conditioning amounts to this: Raise your hands, do what the bad man says, and live to fight another day.
When Frank Miller’s train reaches Hadleyville, close your shutters, hide in the closet, and have your wife tell Marshal Will Kane that you’re sick with the flu or out of town.
Maybe the British hostages embarrassed their native country by not bothering to fight, because they were conditioned this way. Maybe surrendering was not the only course available to them. Hasn’t been proven. Hasn’t been disproven either.
Steyn does not make that connection. But he identifies this “shutter-peaking” credo, this widespread abrogation of manly responsibilities, as a global sickness, a fever that even now is just setting in and bound to get worse over time. He tacks on an interesting historical event, and makes it relevant in a way I find telling and ominous…
The cost of a “protected” society of eternal “children” is too high. Every December 6th, my own unmanned Dominion lowers its flags to half-mast and tries to saddle Canadian manhood in general with the blame for the “Montreal massacre,” the 14 female students of the Ecole Polytechnique murdered by Marc Lepine (born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim wife-beater, though you’d never know that from the press coverage). As I wrote up north a few years ago:
Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and type in something to the effect of “If I was in that class, I’d show those limp-dick cheeseheads what a real man does.” I’m not going to say anything like that. That would be tough to say — Lepine/Gharbi, after all, had an automatic gun. And in that hypothetical, of course, I would not have one. The canucks would never let me.
But — I have another hypothetical for you. If you were one of the women in that class, it wouldn’t have been any fun.
Here’s another. Jump out in front of some of the feminists up in Canada who insist Canadian manhood is saddled with guilt every sixth of December, and ask them this: “Pop quiz! What are some of the good things about testosterone?” …and you probably won’t get much of a substantial answer. A sneer. A snarky comeback. A litany of self-righteous, snotty complaints. And you’ll get back the same thing down here, south of the border, at a democrat party caucus. Or from Katie Couric or any of the less-prestigious blow-dried airheads who deliver us our news. Or from the elitist editors who decide what that news is going to be.
Testosterone, I notice, hasn’t been in vogue. In a very long time…but here’s yet another hypothetical. Drop your pop quiz in the engineering class with the nine doomed women right after Lepine sent the “men” out of the room; see what they say.
Hell, don’t even go that far. Just ask a woman with a flat tire who — somehow — was sent out on the roadways without the knowledge or skill needed to change it herself. See what she says.
My point isn’t that testosterone is always a good thing, or even that it’s been somehow unfairly maligned. I’m just saying that when we don’t have problems, things look expendable to us. And once problems arise — from flat tires to crazy gunmen — those things quickly become anything but. So go ahead. Rip the fire extinquisher off the wall and hang a “Vagina Monologues” promotional poster in the empty space left behind…when the house is not yet on fire, it looks like just a swell idea. Is it really such an extravagant notion to suppose maybe, just maybe, someday that might change?
And here’s something else. Do some digging on the massacre referenced by Steyn, on the event itself and the perpetrator of it. It’s pretty interesting. It reads as the saga of a super-civilized, super-homogenized infantilized society that, when confronted with a problem of it’s own making, is spurred into action to crank out more of what caused the problem in the first place:
In response to the killings a House of Commons Sub-Committee on the Status of Women was created. It released a report “The War against Women” in June 1991. Following its recommendations, the federal government established the Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women in August 1991. The panel issued a final report, “Changing the Landscape: Ending Violence – Achieving Equality”, in June 1993.
Lepine, according to available information, seems to have been a little bit more clear in his thinking than his recently-joined comrade-in-arms Cho Seung-hui (then again, nearly all of us are). His mindset emerges as one developed into a state of instability, far too fragile to handle contradictions — and then burdened with one. His suicide note, kept secret by the police but leaked to the press a year after the killings, is surprisingly lucid. I mean, y’know, apart from that giant logical leap between his identified problems and his proposed solution involving hostages & gunfire:
Even if the Mad Killer epithet will be attributed to me by the media, I consider myself a rational erudite that only the arrival of the Grim Reaper has forced to take extreme acts. For why persevere to exist if it is only to please the government. Being rather backward-looking by nature (except for science), the feminists have always enraged me. They want to keep the advantages of women (e.g. cheaper insurance, extended maternity leave preceded by a preventative leave, etc.) while seizing for themselves those of men.
Thus it is an obvious truth that if the Olympic Games removed the Men-Women distinction, there would be Women only in the graceful events. So the feminists are not fighting to remove that barrier. They are so opportunistic they neglect to profit from the knowledge accumulated by men through the ages. They always try to misrepresent them every time they can. Thus, the other day, I heard they were honoring the Canadian men and women who fought at the frontline during the world wars. How can you explain then that women were not authorized to go to the frontline??? Will we hear of Caesar’s female legions and female galley slaves who of course took up 50 per cent of the ranks of history, though they never existed. A real Casus Belli.
Now, let’s be clear on this: Hate is hate, and a crazy person is a crazy person. Lepine, deprived of this excuse, would undoubtedly have found a different one.
But people are asking what’s up with all these school shootings lately. We had the Bath Township bombing in the 1920’s, and in that era we had — what else? Unrelated prohibition-era urban violence, and…lately, it’s become commonplace. Every year, another mad gunman, sometimes more than one. What’s going on? It’s clear something is. Copycat killings? Sorry, not buying it. “Copycat” describes an echo, and an echo dissipates over time. This is more like some Ten Plagues of Egypt kinda thing.
So what’s up?
Well, any man who’s ever had some responsibility for the development of one or more boys, should be able to tell you. The truth is that masculinity is an incompressible solvent. It is cranked out as a boy becomes a man, and then it must be given a place to go or else it will find one. Lepine, an antisocial and unstable loner who simply snapped, has this in common with Cho, who emerges from lately-arriving verifiable tidbits of information, as a more jagged unsettled mess. They had a surge of masculinity brimming over from delayed adolescence, and had neither the background or the environment needed to figure out what to do with it.
We’ve always had crazy people. And the dirty little secret is our crazy people always had access to firearms. This tendency of our super-homogenized infantilized societies to help bring out the craziness, by slandering masculinity and trying to wish it away, is a relatively new innovation. And the surge in violence? It seems to be reaching a crescendo that is strikingly parallel to the “make all men into little boys” super-civilized fever.
You know what it reminds me of — is Christian fundamentalists who are “anti-homosexuality.” I’ve noticed there are many among the super-religious who are opposed to people being gay. Only a tiny portion among those, however, are willing to step up and state a belief that homosexuality is learned behavior that can be unlearned. Which raises the question: If homosexuality cannot be unlearned — or if there are doubts being entertained that it can be — given that the opinionated person is anti-gay, and there are a hundred gay people somewhere, what are those gay people supposed to do? The answer that comes back is “Not get married”…and after that, all certainty suddenly vanishes. Only confusion remains.
Our militant hardcore feminists, both in Canada and here in the U.S., seem to suffer from the same confusion about men. They do have their strong opinions about certain things being good and other things being bad; no confuson there. And they do want to keep running everything. Hooters is bad; football is bad; war is bad; guns are bad. Confusion-free zone. But what are our men, given that they are men, supposed to do? Like the song says, “you just can’t shoot ’em.” If it’s a dubious prospect for one to stop being gay, it’s certainly an extravagant and expensive notion that one should cease to be a man. Our feminists don’t seem to have an answer. The default answer is that the defining body parts may be kept, if the budget does not permit the necessary hormone treatments and surgical procedures, but the associated behavior should be expunged. At the behest of those who aren’t quite ready to admit they “hate men,” but are eager to show that they do.
We have molded our super-civilized societies into exactly what our feminists want. Really. Quick, name something that even the most shrill and rigid feminists wanted, that they didn’t get. And now, if you round up a hundred eighth-grade boys and ask them what a man is supposed to be, you’ll probably get back a hundred different answers. It was not always that way. In times past, eighth graders would be able to tell you — more than a few of them would already have taken on some of the burdens. And their answers, from what I can gather, would have been surprisingly friendly to those who, in the day, were respected, cared-for and called “ladies.”
Mission accomplished; manhood destroyed. Into the vacuum left behind, rush a bunch of crazy gunmen eager to prove their manhood and not quite sure how to do it anymore. To say nothing of the far more numerous, and somewhat less newsworthy, thugs and hoodlums engaged in different missions of violence but motivated by the same agents. The testerone’s gotta go somewhere and they don’t know where to put it. Nobody agrees on anything there, except that the hoodlums should feel guilty for having it.
When you’re made to feel guilty for something you didn’t decide, how guilty should you feel about things that you can?
So some people have to die. And by the dozens they fall, since real men who will defend those in danger are now a rarity. Our feminists found manhood offensive, after all, and discouraged it. We aren’t supposed to “demean” women by caring for them, remember? Out went the fire extinguisher. And those of us who still see manly values as values worth having, and see it as a noble thing when women are defended from those who would harm them, can’t have the guns we would use to neutralize the threat anyway…yeah, that’s right. Our feminists won’t let us have them.
But don’t worry if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. Your demise will inspire our super-militant feminists to put out some whitepapers on how such a violent event was a war on feminism, and the thing to do now is to let hardcore feminists decide more things. And as Steyn pointed out, whenever the anniversary of your premature exit rolls around every year, they’ll be happy to repeat the message again and again.