My thought for today, the last day of March in this year of grace 2020:
I despise hook-up culture. I mean, seriously? Show a little respect, for yourself and others. Court. Date. Fall in love. Marry. Have kids, if God so blesses you. Pass your genes, and your traditions, down to the next generation. Grow old together. Live in the present in light of both the past (ancestors) and the future (descendants).
That’s where it’s at.
You’re welcome. No extra charge!
Nota Bene: The second pic, above, is from a website called “Total Sorority Move,” and an article (?) entitled “How to be the best hookup buddy ever,” which includes “tips” like “Find a guy that you wouldn’t imagine yourself with,” and “if you do not care deeply about the guy (or at least care about him a little!) it will make it easier to not fall for him and slip and fall into some feelings.”
To be fair, it also includes the notation that “If you are looking for true love, you are not going to find it with the next guy you hookup with. You need to date if you’re looking for love.” But that begs the question, why are you so totally lacking in self-control that you want to have sex with someone you don’t love, and never have any intention of being in a relationship with?
That is precisely the problem with hookup culture: it reduces sexual intimacy from being both an expression of deep love and commitment between two responsible individuals, and a means of expressing their genetic and cultural heritage into the future, to being just another casual recreational activity. That demeans both sex itself, and the people involved with it.
I mean, look at the pictures above. Which demonstrates more self-respect, respect for the other person involved, and indeed, more respect for culture and society as a whole? In which scene would you rather see your sons or daughters (whether actual or prospective)? And in all honesty, in which scene would you rather see yourself?
If you chose the second, to any of those questions, you may have some soul-searching to do…
There is a lot of mixed information, and most likely a lot of misinformation, out there about the current outbreak / pandemic of what, for simplicity, I’ll call C-19. There are, it seems to me, two general category errors that a lot of people are making, currently.
The first is panic / gloom-and-doom pessimism: “It’s going to kill us all! Millions dead! It’s the end of the world as we know it! And it’s all Trump’s fault!” To people on that side of the spectrum, let me say, take a chill-pill. For one thing, there is no situation that it helped by panic. For another, the stark and, yes, frightening “worst-case scenarios” are precisely that: what might happen if governments and people do nothing.
But a lot is being done. Social distancing and voluntary isolation – even, yes, government-enforced shutdowns and quarantines, as little as us liberty-minded folks like them – do a great deal to break the chain of transmission. So do closing borders, although it can certainly be argued that that should have been done sooner!
Moreover, there are tremendous efforts underway in labs across the nation and world to bring new antiviral therapies and even vaccines online, and there is a lot of promising being done. We are by no means out of the woods yet; but the chance of a mass die-off is, while not zero, at least fairly unlikely. Particularly if proper precautions, such as those in the graphic above, are utilized.
And that brings me to the other significant error I see in this: the idea that “oh, it’s just a bad cold!” Or, “oh, it’s just another flu” – with the assumption being that it’s not that big of a deal; it’s an over-reaction, or worse yet a hoax, and I don’t really have to change my behavior or worry about this thing.
That attitude, frankly, could get you killed. Or worse yet, get someone you care about killed: your grandparent, your friend or relative who is immuno-suppressed or has an underlying condition you didn’t know about. Too many knowledgeable people, who have no reason to be advancing a hoax, have sounded warnings about this for me to take it lightly.
I was, frankly, horrified to see the videos of college kids on Spring Break in Florida hanging all over each other on the beach like nothing was wrong. Yes, when you’re that age, you think you’re immortal, invincible – right up until something happens. Stupidity shouldn’t be lethal, but it often is – and it’s not always the stupid one who suffers.
So it’s not only or even primarily what might happen to them; it’s what they may take back to their communities, and more vulnerable members of those communities. And while younger people do tend to have milder effects from this thing, they’re not immune: 1 in 5 of those hospitalized in the US are younger adults, between 20 and 44.
But if ignorance, foolishness, and chance-taking go with the young, what is even more frustrating is older adults, including some who should be thoughtful, intelligent, and responsible, who are not yet taking this with the seriousness it deserves. Most of those are skeptics because they assume that it is an attempted Deep State takeover, or part of the vendetta against President Trump, or both.
To be fair, I think there are very real dangers to our Constitutional rights and civil liberties stemming from government actions to limit the effects of this virus, and they will increase the longer the threat continues, and the more drastic the steps taken to contain it. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” as the old saying goes.
This is particularly the case since, unlike (for instance) World War Two, in which the American people had to put up with some pretty extreme government limitations – including rationing of fuel and foodstuffs, censorship of mail, and even limitations on travel – there is not necessarily a clear and obvious end-game.
The war against the Axis had a definitive conclusion: surrender, and the signing of peace-treaties. The war against a virus isn’t likely to end on the deck of a battleship. Like the also-nebulous “War on Terror,” there will always be a new virus, a new threat, and a new (or worsening) temptation to misuse power, even for good reasons. And of course, not everyone in the government has pure motives, and the Deep State does exist.
But that is a separate (though related) issue from limiting the spread of a dangerous virus. If the government oversteps, that’s a problem; but it is, in my view, a more serious and immediate problem to refuse to take the danger posed by C-19 seriously, or neglect to take appropriate steps to mitigate it, just because one is concerned that the government will take Rahm Emanuel’s infamous dictum (“never let a good crisis go to waste”) to heart.
At minimum, the suggestions in the infographic above provide reasonable, common-sense precautions that will help prevent or limit the spread not only of C-19, but of other dangerous viruses as well. The top two apply to everyone (and the instructions for hand-washing should apply to all times, not just pandemics); the lower one is for those whose state or municipality has not already imposed more stringent restrictions.
Yes, by all means let’s keep a weather-eye on the government! But in the meantime, let’s also do what we can to prevent C-19 from becoming even more of a problem than it is already. The life you save may be your own… or a beloved grandparent’s.
I like Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen, because he is even-tempered, reasonable / rational, and thoughtful. I like other YouTube videocasters, too, but folks like Dr. Steve Turley can sometimes be a little too bombastic and ebullient, and Marcus Follin (a.k.a. “The Golden One“) a little too narcissistic (although he’s gotten better since becoming a father), for me to take in large doses. But Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen seems like a guy I’d love to sit in the woods with, by a campfire, sipping coffee and talking about these things.
And we do indeed live in troubling times! At this writing, many things in my home state are closed down – schools, government offices, gyms, bars, restaurants (except carryout) – and the Federal authorities are recommending avoiding gatherings with more than 10 people. I am willing to accept that we need to deal with certain restrictions on movement, on gathering, etc., while the authorities try to get a handle on this virus.
And there are enough different countries affected, with enough different types of governments, on enough different locations on the political spectrum, and enough responsible, respectable medical personnel involved – and genuinely concerned – that I do not think this is a hoax, or a tempest in a teapot.
I’d rather us do more than necessary, and it end up looking (at least here in the States, as it’s already been pretty bad in some other countries) like – as one commentator put it – “a great big nothing-burger” than to have us not take it seriously enough, and it ends up killing thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or more people. To that end, I’m willing to put up with a good bit of inconvenience, even frustration.
I am more concerned, as Bull-Hansen says, with what comes after. The government – the various governments – have now had, for the first time in a very long time, probably since the end of World War Two (a conflict with a very specific enemy, or group of enemies, and a very specific end-point), experience with imposing curfews, travel restrictions, restrictions on the size of assemblies, and so on. And like the war on terrorism, a war on viruses does not have a clear end-point. You can’t have a ceremony on a battleship to sign a peace treaty ending a war with a disease.
So, the government has, in a sense, tasted blood. Like a sheep-killing dog, are they going to be able to go back to being the family pet? Something they haven’t been, for a very long time, anyway! Not since the 1860s, at least. What will be the next excuse? Or the next, to all appearances, legitimate reason? I’m a historian. Most dictatorships, most authoritarian forms of government, don’t come into being without what are initially good reasons, or what seem to be good reasons. But once the camel’s nose is in the tent…
Well. As Bull-Hansen put it, “we need to be alert, vigilant. We need to think for ourselves. We will be tested in the days, weeks, and months to come.” Beyond that… we’ll see.
There seems to be what I see as the beginning of a substantial backlash against many things we have taken for granted in culture and society for the last five or six decades in the Western world, and particularly in America. One of these is the notion that motherhood and homemaking is an inferior, subordinate role that oppresses and demeans women, and that women should therefore eschew it, and join men in the workplace. The rise of the “TradWife” (traditional wife) movement is part of the kickback against this – and one with which, in large measure, I agree.
I was raised by a traditional wife and mother: Ma never worked outside the home during my lifetime, although she did work as an English teacher during the first few years of her marriage to Pa. But not long after my oldest brother was born, she left “outside” work, and returned to the home. And there is no question that I benefited – we all did – from her ability to devote her full time and attention to being a wife, mother, and homemaker. We had clean clothes, a clean house, healthy, delicious homemade meals, baked deserts, and much else, thanks to her not needing to squeeze such things around full-time (or even part-time) work.
I also have no doubt that I was saved from many opportunities to “sin and err” by the fact that I knew she (or if she had to be away, my grandmother) would be there waiting for me when I got home from school! And no matter how far I roamed, through the woods and fields near my house, I never seemed to be out of the range of her call (a resounding “Tooommmmmmmmmm!”), that echoed through the air, come supper time – to the awed amazement of my friends, who were shocked that such a small person (she was all of 5’3″ in height) could call so loudly.
I empathize with the nostalgia for the immediate post-WW II era. Although I was born in 1965, I was in many significant ways a “child of the 1950s”: Ma and Pa were married then, and both my brothers were born in the ’50s (I was a late-comer, and rather a surprise, at the time!). So I get it! My concern about the TradWife movement, however – despite my admiration for many of the women involved, and my agreement with the basic premise that both women and their families are benefited by them being at home with and for those families – is that many or most of them seem to take the 1950s as their template for what a “traditional” wife should be, and do. Continue reading “Thoughts on family, fatherhood, work, and home-life… in a post-global age”
Norwegian author and YouTuber Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen has some interesting thoughts on the long-term, cultural significance of coronavirus (COVID-19 / SARS-COV-2). The existence of this virus will definitely have effects on how we think about things, how we act, where we go, who we interact with:
“We’re going to see people understanding the value of family, we’re going to see people returning to the local communities; people will travel less, people will have a lot more skepticism toward foreigners, towards foreign cultures. I’m sure there will be a lot of push-back toward this, that people will call you a lot of names if you have that kind of skepticism” – but, he strongly implies, it’s going to happen, whether some folks like it or not.
This is starting to hit home to me. I have just learned that because Maryland has decided to cancel all school classes and programs for two weeks, starting on Monday, I am going to be taking some serious hits professionally and financially. I may lose two weeks of pay. At least. Maybe more, if things continue.
It’s definitely making me think. I am vulnerable, here. I’m vulnerable economically, since I’m dependent very much on what others do for my employment. We all are, to some degree. But I’m acutely so, by the nature of my job. I’m vulnerable health-wise, again due to the nature of my employment.
And I am vulnerable, too, in that I am living a) close to a very large and fairly unstable city – Baltimore – which has a history of rioting, and which could become very unpleasant very quickly if things get bad; and b) in a context in which it is very difficult for me to “prep” – to stockpile food and supplies, and to operate “off the grid,” if necessary. Not just difficult, but nearly impossible, at present.
I have been resisting the thought of moving – even as I have also been pondering the prospect – partly because I was “once burned, twice shy” by my 2013-14 relocation to Maine; and partly because it is simply a daunting concept. Where will I go? What will I do to make money, to support myself? I have no easy answers. But this coronavirus outbreak is definitely making me think more deeply about the questions.
Another way in which this has touched me: I stopped at the local supermarket on my way home from work today. Thought nothing of it, there were just a few things I wanted to get, some for supper, some for later. I walked into a “panic buying” situation, as the school closings had caused local people to make a run on the store. In this one incident, I now have more of a sense of what it must have been like to have lived in the Soviet Union, at least as regards empty shelves in the stores.
I ended up getting more than I had intended, just because I wasn’t sure it’d be there the next time! And this was because there has been a single “community-transmitted” case of coronavirus detected in the State of Maryland: that is to say, an individual who had no known exposure to coronavirus through travel or an infected individual, meaning the precise source was unknown.
While I am not saying that an abundance of caution is inappropriate in this case, it does make me wonder what would happen in a more dramatic emergency. And yes, this certainly does cause one – at least, this one – to hope that our contemporary reliance on global supply chains, porous borders, and “just in time” delivery models are overdue for a rethink.
Understanding the value of family, returning to the local communities, less-frequent or at least more thoughtful and less-casual travel, and more skepticism toward foreigners, all sound like pretty good ideas to me, at this point.
Bull-Hansen has more to say, too, than what I have quoted and reacted to. Definitely worth a watch, and worth considering his comments. “Stay strong,” he concludes. “We will get through this. We will all get through this.”
Turkey, as many will known, is attempting to send large numbers – maybe tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands – of migrants (“refugees” is a euphemism for a group most of whom are young, strong, military-aged men, in good health) from the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa into Europe via Greece. Greece, needless to say, has no desire to allow this to occur. Nor, for that matter, does Europe, which has apparently (if somewhat belatedly) learned a lesson from the “refugee” crisis of 2015.
Indeed, the President of the European Commission (of the EU, of all things!), Ursula von der Leyen, has called Greece the ασπίδα (aspida, meaning “shield”) of Europe. And several countries, including Poland and Austria, have sent police and border guards to reinforce the border between Greece – indeed, Europe – and Turkey: formerly Anatolia, sometimes also known as Asia Minor, and through much of ancient and medieval history reckoned as part of Europe, but since the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, firmly in the Eastern (and Islamic) camp.
The players in this are interesting: on the one hand, we have Turkey, home of the Ottoman Turks who not only captured Constantinople, last – save Rome! – of the Five Patriarchates of ancient Christianity, four of which were in the East, and all of which fell to Islam, but also invaded Europe on multiple occasions, the last significant attempt of which was defeated before the Gates of Vienna in 1683 by the combined armies of the Holy Roman Empire (the Habsburgs, with their seat in Imperial Vienna) and the Holy League, lead by King Jan III Sobieski of Poland, whose Winged Hussars led the massive cavalry charge that finally and definitively broke the siege.
Watching what is going on at present, one thinks both of the Gates of Vienna, but also of the Pass of Thermopylae, in which the Spartans, with allies from other Greek city-states, held back the massed armies of the Persian Emperor, Xerxes the Great. It is not hard to believe that we are watching history in the making, and which was the battle will turn is still in some doubt. However, the fact that Europe as a whole seems (with some vocal exceptions) to be taking Greece’s side in this is encouraging.
Indeed, we seem to be seeing the beginnings of a swing away from globalism, open borders, free passage of any and all for whatever reason, etc., and back toward a more robust defense of national sovereignty and both territorial and cultural integrity. This is all to the good, in my opinion, and I hope it continues and increases!
Marcus Follin, the Swedish YouTuber known (with what I think is intentionally ironic hubris!) as “The Golden One,” points to this, commenting that the globalist lifestyle is losing its lustre; that people are beginning to decide that “maybe it’s better to create a local community, with people you trust and you like, create a family, etc.,” as “a natural response to a tougher societal climate” – both due to issues like the Turkey-vs-Greece situation mentioned above, and also the cononavirus pandemic (as it has now been officially dubbed by the World Health Organization).
Perhaps it can be said of Europeans as the quote frequently, but perhaps apocryphally, attributed to Winston Churchill said of Americans: that “they can be counted upon to do the right thing – once they have exhausted all other possibilities.”
gen-tle-man – noun a : a man of noble or gentle birth b : a man belonging to the landed gentry c(1) : a man who combines gentle birth or rank with chivalrous qualities (2) : a man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior …
One thing for which I especially wish to thank the author, Stephen Clay McGeehee, is his mention of the absurd and dismaying irony in today’s so-called “gentlemen’s clubs.” I have long been struck by the complete divorce from reality represented by that designation. True gentlemen’s clubs, in the classic and authentic sense, are few and far between, nowadays, alas. But they once existed! And a few still do.
One superb example, which is still extant (though nowadays it has become “coed,” like so many other distinguished institutions for men) is The Cosmos Club, in Washington, DC. It was there that the National Geographic Society was founded, in 1888 – only ten years after the Club opened.
Its website, which I commend to the attention of my readers, mentions that
“Cosmos Club members have included three U.S. Presidents, two U.S. Vice Presidents, a dozen Supreme Court justices, 36 Nobel Prize winners, 61 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 55 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”
The “About the Cosmos Club” page includes a very interesting video on the Club’s history, to which I link here:
Even the dress code is admirable:
“Gentlemen are expected to wear jackets, dress slacks, a collared long-sleeved shirt (tucked-in) or turtleneck at all times. Ties are required only in the Garden Dining Room at Sunday brunch, and at lunch and dinner. Ties are not required anywhere else in the clubhouse.
“Ladies are expected to dress in an equivalent fashion, which means dresses, suits, skirts or dress slacks with jackets or tops of equivalent formality. Leggings or tights, unless worn with skirts, dresses, or long jackets, are not considered to be of equivalent formality.
“Military uniforms and national dress of equivalent formality are also acceptable.” [I am presuming that this includes formal Scots Highland dress!] “At black-tie events, members and guests in attendance are expected to dress appropriately for the occasion.
“Sweat suits or other athletic or sports attire, jeans or other denim garments, sneakers, flip-flops, athletic footwear and shorts are never acceptable in the public rooms.”
Alas, I am unlikely ever to rise to a level of social distinction to be invited to membership in the Cosmos Club! But I can, and do, admire it from afar. And on a more international level, once finds such organizations as the International Order of St. Hubertus. The website of the U.S. branch notes that
“The International Order of St. Hubertus is comprised of an international group of individuals, Ordensbrothers, who are passionate about the sports of hunting and fishing, and who are vitally interested and actively involved in the preservation of wildlife, its habitat, and the tradition of ethical hunting and fishing.”
The motto of the Order is Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes: “Honoring God by Honoring His Creatures.” This is another one for which I regret that I will almost certainly never qualify! But once again, I respect and admire them, even though I must do so from afar.
Both of these, and the other remaining exemplars of their type, are a far cry from what is referred to as “gentlemen’s clubs,” in the common (in several sense of the word) parlance! But I have now digressed far from the central point – that words do, indeed, have meaning, and that the words we choose matter, and matter deeply – of this excellent essay, to which, once again, I commend your sympathetic attention.
As Stephen Clay McGeehee so aptly concludes,
“Perhaps we cannot stop the process of cultural Marxism as it destroys our society by changing the way people think. Perhaps it has already gone too far. We can, however, control it in our families, among our friends and associates, in our churches, and other places where we have a leadership role. Men think in words, and words have meaning. Insist that words be used correctly.”