Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Boys to men
I wrote about this before but it's worth revisiting. I have also written about how much society has changed since my childhood in the 50's. There's a link between the two, I believe. Let's explore this.
When I was a wee lad, boys were (according to girls) "icky". But boys were also going to grow up to be men and men were not "icky". Men were strong, men were smart, men were heroes. Not all of them, of course, but all boys had that potential. They could grow up to be strong, courageous, and smart. And they were taught this by society. You could be a skinny little kid but you could believe you would still grow up to be a strong man who could provide for, and protect, his family. Just like Dad.
Along the way (growing up), you found ideals. Young men or men that you would want to emulate. Policemen, firemen, cowboys, soldiers, sports figures at first then other, less stereotypical types, less socially important but more common but just as masculine.
Our heroes were on the silver screen or on TV; Dick Tracy, Marshal Matt Dillon (Gunsmoke), anyone portrayed by John Wayne or Errol Flynn. Strong men, firm men. Men with convictions, who were honest and incorruptible, fighting the "good fight."
Then came the era of the antihero. The flawed guy, the one who had the wrong motives or the bad past. "Jim Stark", played by James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" brought that character to the forefront. These characters had been around for a long time. Mostly as flawed men who finally do the "Right Thing" and save the day. But Dean's character was different. He was lost, he had rejected the role society held out for him, he was lost, adrift, and when he did the right thing, it turned out bad.
Over the years since, more and more characters that could have been good role models had flawed lives, made lots of mistakes, with no direction in life. The most interesting thing about them was their rebelliousness.
Eventually, society elevated the anti-social as the ideal for young boys and men to emulate. Today, we have the "thug" as hero, glorified in Rap music (which still seems an oxymoron). I don't know where this will lead but I am not optimistic. I am hoping that the grandchildren of my peers will rebel against this and return to something closer to what I grew up with.