Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Phil says we’ve become a culture of wimps, and if you’ve been reading the pages around here for any length of time at all you know I agree. I don’t think there’s any way to argue against this, except by engaging in some weird rhetoric to try to change the subject (that’s all I’ve seen anyone do about this…like…ever). And Lord knows I’ve beaten that dead horse to death, so it doesn’t need much more discussion.
What does intrigue and titillate and demand debate — is why. Or to word it more precisely, how. How did we get here.
I think it started in the twentieth century, with gun control measures popping up all across the world’s stage. Why do I lay the blame at the feet of gun control? Why is gun control, in my mind, the great-granddaddy of all wimp-ness?
Well, what is gun control?
It is an attempt to rid a society of undesirable behavior, by ridding that society of the tools associated with that undesirable behavior.
As I said a few days ago,
We attempt to eradicate human-on-human assault and harm, by eradicating or neutralizing those among us best equipped to bring it on — men. It is the human race’s oldest failing…getting rid of an act, by getting rid of the tool most commonly used to implement it.
The social pressure we have brought down upon people who would otherwise behave with a little bit more machismo — and, it should be said, they are not all men — is a natural outgrowth. It is unavoidable. You de-claw a cat so that the cat can no longer scratch…the kitty can still bite you, and when it draws blood that way, you are naturally going to be asking your vet about tooth removal. It is such an inevitability, you might as well be making an appointment to take care of all of it at once.
We take away the guns.
We do this to get rid of gun violence.
When it still happens, we will reach for the kitty’s teeth. Which is manhood itself. And so the de-toothing has begun. We would never in a million years stoop to the level of telling our boys, “if you want to live in this society, and you want to be granted the renewable privilege of continuing to live…you had better demonstrate to us, on an ongoing basis, that your masculinity is reigned in, brought to heel, diluted to a concentration we find acceptable.” We’d never dream of saying such a thing. But that is the message that has been sent. And that is the message received.
It starts out as something reasonable: You can’t smack your classmate in the back of the head while the teacher is talking. It’s about disrupting the class, which means — you also can’t shove, you can’t yell, you can’t pass notes and you can’t whisper. And then…it is not about disrupting the class. You can’t play tag at recess. You can’t keep score during a soccer game. You can’t engage in any competitive sport.
From there, it is a cancer upon our culture. Male action heroes in movies can’t disarm bombs anymore; they stand around and mumble things about being supportive while the heroines make their “choices.” Accomplishing something — even stopping something really bad from happening, that would bring harm to the weak and defenseless — is far less desirable as an ideal, than showing off that harmlessness.
Because the harmlessness, now, is a license to being allowed to live in society on an ongoing basis. And it is renewable, because it expires. Frequently.
we’ll look for the most masculine among the femininity that remains. And so to avoid “friendly fire,” those who still stumble on, will start to showcase their harmlessness. They’ll become more inventive in this endeavor, as society upholds an ever-ascending standard of said harmlessness. The question will be — what have you done to show off how harmless you are this year? And answering it, will be the key to continuing survival.
I blame gun control, because gun control is based on the axiom that if you have the means to bring harm, it’s just a matter of time before you bring harm to me. Another component to this axiom is that somehow, it’s an impossibility for you to harm others who would do me harm, to bring me a vigorous defense you might think I deserve. In other words, your capacity to do harm is thought — somehow — to be damaging to me, and never beneficial to me.
There’s a kind of a Martin Niemoller aspect to this: They came for the guys who had guns and nobody spoke up. Then they came for the big guys who could hide pens and sandwiches in their beards, with big ol’ beer guts hanging over their belts and nobody spoke up…then they came for the younger guys with their foot-long eyebrows scrunched up at the ceiling, who spoke like relatively harmless-looking WB Network stars, being “supportive” of their girlfriends, and never talking in a pitch more than a few notes below Middle C…and nobody spoke up…then they came for the nerds with biceps the size of rake handles, who kept on getting beaten up anyway…and nobody spoke up.
Then after the men are all carted off, they look around and notice that now that everyone’s female, some females are more female than other females. If warfare and violent crime have not yet been eradicated — and those two will never be — we’ll have to keep on carving away at humanity, at the women, starting with the most butch, and working our way toward the other flavorings. Once masculinity and wherewithal is a crime, you can’t ever go back. Not even a step.
Now, we’re not sending people to camps or lopping off heads. We’re just defining attributes to human behavior and development…things we’d like watered down.
But isn’t that conceptually the same thing? It leaves us in the same position. People get the feeling they can’t continue to live in society unless they act more-like-this, less-like-that. And so they dutifully conform. Maybe it happens quickly, maybe it happens slowly; but the point is, it only proceeds in one direction, it never retreats, it never stands still.
We have to keep getting wimpier with each generation that comes along. It has to do with becoming “civilized”…and no matter what we’ve accomplished to date, it’s never enough.
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