The coach’s name is Mike
Pollock Rice*. He’s fired, and on the firing itself I have no complaints. This is the coach who was caught on tape physically abusing the players, kicking them in the butts several times, as he did his coach-thing. I certainly see what he’s trying to do. My baseball coach was the same way, and I think most coaches are. So my disagreement with other people who agree the coach should have been fired, is not quite so much with the idea that he should’ve been fired, as with the question: What exactly is the difference between this coach, and other coaches who don’t have to be fired?
It isn’t anger. Coaches, coaching this way, are supposed to act angry. It’s part of the act. Nor is it loss of control due to anger or behavioral-disorder or substance-abuse issues. There could be some of that going on, but what I see in the video reminds me of that whole phony angry-coach facade. And it isn’t the results, for I know nothing of the results Coach Rice managed to bring, nor do I care. His technique just sucks. The spectacle is just dumb, and distracting, and I don’t think the coach is good at his job if that’s what it takes to do it. There is also some gossip going on about “homophobic remarks,” by which I infer he used slang that you’re not supposed to be using in this day and age. That probably had as much to do with the firing as anything else.
That having been said: My mind is blown that a firing, somewhere, at long last, can squeek on through the way this one did. Can’t help but wonder how many other firings need to happen, but don’t. How many times does someone show they don’t have the slightest idea what they’re doing. And, are left standing. Or even promoted.
This ties in to something else I noticed: People who favor gun restrictions, and that includes lawmakers who are pushing for gun-restriction legislation, who have “been working on [these bans] for years…been deeply involved in the issue,” and yet know precious little about it.
Here’s a woman who hasn’t got the slightest clue what she’s doing. Is she going to be expelled from the House of Representatives now, or at least asked to stop legislating against guns until such time as she educates herself? To be sure, the Sheriff of Lamar County made exactly that request, but it’s probably not going to go anywhere. To acquire knowledge, you have to admit you don’t have it yet. Legislators who support gun control haven’t been known to do that too often.
I think we need to admit something here, about firings and other corrective measures. These two examples are sufficient to highlight the trend, and I see no upside to the idea of gathering more, for the trend is defined: Ignorance and incompetence do not get anyone fired, or subject to any other action truly meaningful.
Cultural clashes do that.
The problem I see has to do with set membership. The rule is that you can get canned for supporting one culture over another, or rather for failing to adequately support the other. While you can’t be canned for incompetence — back in the day, of course, canning had everything to do with lack of competence, and not often about anything else. Today it’s really all about culture and doesn’t have much to do with the competence thing.
This change is effective throughout all of our modern society. But there are many cultures in our society.
Somehow, somewhere, it has been decided that this one culture should reign supreme. It must ALWAYS win; there can be no exceptions. What do we call this culture, now. We should try to define it, if it always has to win! That’s a lot of influence. We know it by the offenses it takes. Bullying, homophobic remarks, guns. It isn’t “politically correct,” for the politically-correct culture, while also defined according to the offenses it takes, is confined to offenses taken against verbal or written statements. Guns aren’t statements. Ass-kickings are not statements either, although I suppose that may be debatable. But this is not political-correctness, and it isn’t “women over men” since it takes just as vicious umbrage against a woman brandishing a firearm in self-defense, as against any man doing likewise.
It isn’t modern liberalism, either. It doesn’t have an opinion about labor-versus-management, or minimum wage, or affirmative action, or school vouchers. It holds a lot of appeal for people who do not self-identify as liberals. And its field of interest is very narrow. I can summarize it with a phrasing almost bumper-sticker-sized:
“When we make everything safe enough, nothing bad will happen, to anyone, ever again.”
Just outside a school on a 55 mph county highway, it isn’t good enough to take the limit down to 25. My recent experiences here in upstate New York show it has to be 15. I guess twenty-five wouldn’t show how much we care. This culture cares about children arriving at adulthood with all their limbs and with their hearts still beating, but with not too much else.
Can we call it “the nanny state” and be done with it? There is certainly some overlap. The Mayor of New York City trying to ban soda sales fits into the object of my inspection here, and it is certainly part of the nanny state. Pondering it some more, though, I find this doesn’t quite work. There are differences, and the differences matter. The nanny state is an organization, and it is a sale. It is narcissists in office who have power, trying to accumulate some more. This is more like the purchase. The nanny state made no move to fire Mike Rice, and it had no interest in doing so. Rice, I think, was not fired for lack of success; he was fired for the attempt.
The truth is, there are some unpleasant boyhood memories behind every real man. That is what it takes to put together a manly man who can do manly things. This is not a defense of Coach Rice’s unprofessional actions, it’s simply a statement of fact. In the same way knowledge begins with admitting you don’t know something, learning how to do things in a manly way begins with an admission that, in the here-and-now, the boy’s best is not good enough. And that can’t be self-admission. So an authority figure is going to have to step in and say, you screwed up. That’s where manhood starts.
This culture — which always must win — is endangering our very society, because it is opposed to that. As the nanny-state seeks to everlastingly grow by way of creating more and more rules, this culture seeks to everlastingly grow by altering the definition of “bad things happening.” It has progressed so far now, without anyone consciously noticing it evidently, that bad-feeling evidently qualifies. If nothing bad really happens, but someone feels slighted, then action is required. This, of course, has to be a selective thing. It’s okay to make a guy “feel bad” when he approaches the State Fair with a Leatherman on his belt, by commanding him to walk a mile and a half back to his car, and back again, to stow the threatening-looking device. And a twelve-year-old girl who wins a pistol shooting contest might feel good with a little bit of extra applause, but this feel-good-all-the-time culture will refrain from that, and command everyone else to refrain as well.
The Leatherman is not dangerous and the pistol is not dangerous. In some situations, they both have the potential to make someone safe.
So this culture is not concerned with safety or danger. It has definite ideas about individuals and what, or how, the individuals should be.
The common theme I’m seeing throughout it all, is that the individuals should not be prepared or equipped. Men should not behave in a way that suggests they have what men are supposed to have. Women are not supposed to act like women. Children should not learn to be more than children while they’re children; so at that instant of majority-age, they should be ambushed, surprised and indeed completely baffled by whatever life can throw at them.
This culture has a lot to say about sex, whereas its close cousin the nanny-state seems to confine most of its dogmatic rules to just about everything else. These rules-about-sex are not rules, rather they are softened to simple preferences. High-fives for the encouragement, and raps-on-the-knuckles for discouragement. The preference along the gender-divide is always toward a muting of it. The high-fives come for the woman who’s chopped her locks into something short, like what you might see on a little boy’s head, the classic “bowl cut.” Pantsuits on a woman get the high-five. I’m seeing a lot of “powerful,” “intelligent” female lawmakers who can’t show or say anything to prove they’re either one — except for their habits of wearing pantsuits so often, that after awhile of watching them you see it starts to look clownish, and think they’re trying to make fun of somebody. Watching daytime teevee with my in-laws, I’m starting to see why this is fashionable. This Kelly Ripa woman, I notice, has a beautiful face but a very unappealing and unfeminine way about how she swings her skinny body around. And it’s not just her. I’m noticing a lot of women on the teevee lately, swing their thighs around the ball sockets in their pelvises in odd, strange ways, ways that mothers used to teach their daughters not to do. The pants, the skinny jeans, the leggings, they all fit in with this, and the skirts don’t.
Men are not supposed to appear masculine. That is a beat-down. In the workplace, it is unsafe for a man to say or do anything manifesting his masculinity. Even speaking in a naturally low voice is to tread into unsafe territory. He shouldn’t do anything to show his heterosexual desires; it might make homosexuals, or their sympathizers, feel bad. For the time being, it’s still safe to mention the fact that you have a girlfriend. Mentioning the wife is a bit safer even than that. But seriously, for how many more years are these things to be well-advised in the ultra-modern, ultra-sensitive office environment? I see a future not too far off, where the marital status falls off into the broad, deep, murky waters of “don’t bring it up, there’s no upside to it.”
And certainly, the married women are not supposed to mention their husbands. This has become the normal pattern now, especially among the famous and high-profile celeb females who are married: The stud isn’t worth mentioning. It’s amazing how far into the details they can go, discussing their childrens’ names, school adventures, strengths, handicaps, imaginary play friends, lost teeth, and all the rest of it without ever mentioning the stud, even once. This is again, I suppose, a nod toward sensitivity: Some womens’ children don’t have a dad. Other women have to map out which dad is the dad to which kid, and the level of complexity has exceeded what we wish to discuss in polite company with new acquaintances. But, also, you have to wonder how important is the mapping; if the connections that make up the map don’t matter, then neither does the map. So, there is her, there are her kids. Just like a mother cow with her calves.
When we think about and talk about homosexuality, an irony ripples across the surface of this culture-that-must-always-win. Men, women and children are not to be prepared or equipped, and if they are prepared or equipped, they should not act like they are prepared or equipped. Weaknesses may be accentuated, but strengths should always be muted down, lest someone be made to feel bad who is lacking those strengths. We are not allowed to show that we have gifts. An inclination toward heterosexuality is to be treated likewise; if you are a man who prefers women, or a woman who prefers men, you should tone this down so that homosexuals can be made to feel like they’re not being excluded. Heterosexuality, therefore, is to be treated the same way strengths are treated; homosexuality is to be treated the same way a handicap is treated.
For this to make sense, the culture-that-must-always-win must treat heterosexuality as a gift…
The culture-that-must-always-win, therefore, has to contradict itself. I suppose this is why we don’t want to examine it in any meaningful detail, we don’t like what we might find out about it. It isn’t enforceable, until & unless everyone is bound to get in some trouble, for there is no way for anyone to behave appopriately all of the time.
We should talk about this more. Feminism doesn’t always have to win; “black power” doesn’t always have to win. Even Barack Obama doesn’t always have to win. But this weird culture that doesn’t even work, and is opposed to children and adults knowing how to confront the challenges that life has to offer, has to win. All of the time.
If that’s the way people really do want it to work, then fair enough, I bow to the whim of the majority. But let’s discuss it, out in the open, first.
*Rice, not Pollock. Commentator nightfly is right, I got my butt-kicking basketball coaches mixed up.