An Observation About Men in Society

V the K notes what might actually help to prevent school massacres:

The best approach to ending mass murder incidents at public school seems pretty straightforward; make schools more secure. At the high school my son went to, there was only one to get into the school during school hours. You had to enter into a secure vestibule, then be buzzed into the main office by a staffer. This simple expedient, coupled with an alert staff, would have prevented what happened in Florida. It also would have worked at Sandy Hook.

This is true – but, also, a little sad. The thing about breaking the big rules is that you don’t end up with no rules, but with a lot of little rules, instead. We broke the big rules about what it means to be a man ’round about 50 years ago…and now we’re forced to enact a whole series of little rules to ensure that when the males who don’t know how to be men go nuts, fewer people will be killed and injured.

Men need to feel valued as providers and protectors. If men are not valued as such, then they will tend towards a nihilistic destructiveness. As no one was writing things down way back when, we don’t know if it was a man who cut the deal with the woman or the woman who cut the deal with the man, but the deal was struck: woman sticks loyally to the man and the man, in turn, sticks loyally with the woman…providing sustenance for their children and protection against other men. And when that deal was struck, however it was struck, for the first time a male became a man.

Yes, this does presuppose that the man, in return for doing his part, will gain a bit of authority – in Roman times, they called it pater familias. The concept was, ultimately, that if a man was to tie himself to one woman and make certain that she and all children were cared for, he was to exercise a level of authority over the family. Fair? Fair has nothing to do with it: it was what it was. It turned brutish males into civilized men who would throw their lives away in defense of wife, children and home. If you wonder at the return of the brutish male, look no further than our destruction of the idea of the man as protector and provider.

Build your security gates. Continue to drug males who won’t fit in. Jail them in ever greater numbers. Propagandize against “toxic masculinity” all you want. But unless men feel themselves to be part of a larger whole and have distinct duties and privileges attached to that, then we’ll continue to get madmen wading into our schools to kill.

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“Everyone predicted it,”

These were the words of a fellow student of Nikolas Cruz and a common theme that surrounds many of these mass shootings. Whether it be the Orlando nightclub, the San Bernardino Christmas party shooting, or Aurora, CO, it seems that many of these mass shooters are known by several people to be on the verge of such horrific actions, yet everyone stays quiet and these very disturbed people are given the space needed to act upon their demons. I even read one account where school officials were well aware of Mr. Cruz and his bizarre behavior and his penchant for fire arms, and if one account is correct, authorities were to be called if Mr. Cruz were to be seen on campus with a backpack. If these accounts are accurate, than there enough warning signs in my opinion to have prevented this.

I grew up in the 70’s in Montana and everyone owned guns, nearly everyone hunted, hunter safety was a school course, and it was a rite of passage to carry your rifles in the back of your pickup. AND THERE WAS NOT ONE SINGLE SHOOTING. I will easily wager a substantial bet that there were a lot more guns on my campus in the 70’s than there are at any campus today, yet not one person was shot in my four years of high school. Were the guns different? No. Is the culture different? Hell yes. One huge cultural difference in my opinion is the level of societal discipline towards children and the “first person shooter” games that so many kids are obsessed with. School officials, administrators, and teachers have abdicated their responsibilities and the inmates now run the asylums. Political correctness, and over emotional parents have handcuffed teachers who no longer can impose discipline and order in the classroom and I have seen this first hand. In my day, if you acted out in class and disobeyed school officials, there were real consequences, and the parents followed through. This level of discipline and order is missing from many kids lives these days and we see the negative societal impacts.

In a free country of 300+ million people and hundreds of millions of fire arms, confiscating and controlling fire arms is a non starter, but of course this is what you will hear every progressive across this nation crying about today. Guns are not, and never have been the problem. The cultural environment our kids are growing up in is the problem, and it needs to be addressed. Had there been some well trained officials on campus with fire arms, this may have been prevented. In fact in this day and age, why there aren’t armed guards on many of our school campuses is beyond me.

UPDATE, By Mark Noonan: Looks like the FBI missed it, too. And as usual for me, I bring up this song on these events. It’ll keep happening until we change.

Crime Network, Inc.

We are currently witnessing the largest attempted cover up of the most egregious political malfeasance our country has ever experienced, and the media is complicit. What is being revealed is a crime network led by the Clinton’s and aided and abetted by the Obama administration, Deep State bureaucrats, and the numerous media members who willingly promote the Democrat talking points in exchange for an invite to the hippest DC soiree, and if it weren’t for the election of Donald Trump, we would not be hearing of any of this. We would not know that James Comey and the FBI lied to the FISA courts three times to secure a warrant to spy on an American citizen. We would not know that Hillary Clinton used a private server to conduct her StateSec business and in the process compromised national security. We would not know that the exoneration of Hillary Clinton pertaining to that server, began even before the investigation. We would not know that the DNC rigged the primary to ensure a Hillary Clinton candidacy in the first place, and we would not know that the DNC destroyed servers and cell phones to keep them away from the eyes of law enforcement. And these are just the crimes we have become familiar with – what is it that we still don’t know?

Did Russia manipulate the Obama’s and the Clinton’s to acquire uranium? Was that the “flexibility” Obama promised Medvedved? How extensive and evasive were Lois Lerner’s actions at the IRS? How political were the actions of the ATF with the Fast & Furious debacle that resulted in the death of border guard Brian Terry? Why was Ghaddaffi deposed, and what was Sidney Blumenthal doing in Libya?

And you know what? They all had convinced themselves that Hillary was going to win and all of this would have been swept under the rug. Well a funny thing happened on the way to the White House.

Post Superbowl Open Thread

I did watch the Superbowl – it was quite good. Still a bit too much SJW in the commercials, but the game, itself, was great as a game. I’d like to think the NFL has learned its lesson…but it probably hasn’t. The ratings for the Superbowl were at an 8 year low…and if the NFL wants to turn that around, they’d better drop the SJW drivel.

Of course, Philly then went on to behave rather badly. That is something I just don’t get – rioting after a game. But it seems a thing in the deep, blue cities. I’ll leave it to you to speculate why.

Always remember that the Trump/Russia thing started with the paranoid conspiracy theory that Putin had altered votes in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan to throw the election to Trump. This did not happen. We know it didn’t happen because you can’t do that – it isn’t physically possible…and, of course, Stein’s recounts confirmed that the vote was valid. But that didn’t stop the Democrats from running with it. They just can’t get over the fact that Hillary lost – and so, here we are, 14 months later, still wallowing in their psychological stew. But do keep in mind where it came from – it is like starting a math equation with 1+1=3: no matter what you do after that, it will be wrong. Those who are trying to claim that this or that aspect of the Trump/Russia investigation is valid are being quite silly about the whole thing…the underlying basis of it is false; all that follows from that underlying basis is also false. It can’t be otherwise…no amount of addition to a lie will ever make a lie true. This is why I’m quite confident that Trump will never be tripped up over Trump/Russia…there’s nothing to trip him up over. Its also why I think that Trump should just shut it down: yeah, it would cause shrieks, but that will be rapidly drowned out by rising wages and increased employment.

Steele apparently had a second dossier about Trump…and it was peddled back and forth between State and Team Hillary. This is the real scandal: that Obama’s Administration placed itself at Hillary’s disposal for the 2016 campaign. That is what we need to investigate.

A Colt’s linebacker was killed by a drunk driver…this tragedy apparently caused by an illegal immigrant. There’s a reason to enforce the laws, folks.

The MSM is getting filled with heart-wrenching stories of poor, sweet Dreamers being deported by that cruel, racist Trump…and Don Surber digs into one and finds, surprise!, that the MSM isn’t really giving the whole story. Of course they aren’t. Bottom line, folks, is that getting deported from the United States isn’t easy. You’ve really got to work at it, especially if you’ve been here any length of time. The subject of the linked story did work at it – getting convicted on drug offenses. Obama let him skate, Trump is enforcing the law.

We have been working on a thing called a “railgun” for a while…and haven’t done a very good job at it. Now, China is picking up the idea. This is bad news – we daren’t let China get ahead of us on this. This is revolutionary stuff – it could be as decisive a change to naval warfare as was the introduction of the aircraft carrier. The railgun will fire a projectile at about Mach 7 and will have a range of about 100 miles…though I’ve read that this could be extended to 200 miles. There is no explosive…it is just a piece of metal fired so fast that it completely destroys whatever it hits (think about it: we’re basically reviving the cannon ball…and this might revive the Battleship: we were about to build the USS Montana BB-67 when we dropped the Battleship concept, so I say we go with that when we start again). Nothing in anyone’s inventory at present can withstand it (though, I’ve also read of some new metals being developed which might provide protection against it…in the battle between offense and defense, there’s never a final answer). The main thing is that if such a weapon is practical (and it looks like it is, though more R&D is necessary), then we want them…and we want them before anyone else has them. Imagine a ship carrying, say, four such weapons parked 20 miles off an enemy coast…anything up to 80 miles inland from it is doomed. Time for Trump to get busy on this – and I think he is: you might recall he wants an end to the Defense budget sequestration and it has been, partially, lack of money which has held us back here.

The NFL

Just my thoughts on the NFL:

I heard a report the other day that 10 years ago (I think) could be 5, but not too long ago, 75% of males 25+ said that they followed the NFL closely. Now, only 51% say the same. That’s a huge drop off, and I count myself in that group. Here are three reasons why my interest has dropped:

– The players have become activists and celebrities – these gentleman who play professional sports are gifted with physical talents few of us possess, and it is fun watching them perform at high levels but that is where it needs to end. If you want to protest and/or bling up and hang with celebrities, then do it on your own time. Don’t protest or wear your bling on the field. You’re not rock stars or high paid celebrities, you’re athletes and the field is your stage. Act like it and respect it.

– Too many flags – let the guys play. If the refs wanted to, they could call something on every play. There is always going to be contact violations if you apply a strict interpretation of the rules, so they need to find a better balance. I think that a flag should be thrown only if the violation was blatant and/or egregious, or directly impacted the result of the play. These calls for holding that are on the other side of the field and not even close to the action are ridiculous.

– THE DESIRE TO WIN – sadly I think that because of the money, many players no longer have their heart in the game. When you’re playing on a 4-11 team and still getting in your Ferrari and driving home to your estate at the end of the day, why push it? Why kill yourself when you don’t have to? Few players anymore in my opinion have that true competitive desire to just win. And this is where college ball is different. I am a BIG FAN of college sports because of the desire to win.

Re: this year’s Super Bowl, while I am not a big fan you have to admire Tom Brady. 40 years old and still picking apart defenses. He is the best QB to ever play the game and I say that as a 49er fan and former Joe Montana groupie. My hope is that Nick Foles and the Eagles will pull off the upset and prevent us all from having to watch another Bill Belichick press conference. Eagles 31 Patriots 27.

 

Open Thread

Marcy Miller, a Twitter friend of mine, keeps up on Arizona history:

By five a.m. on a cold November 2, 1889, Gila County Sheriff Glenn Reynolds and his deputy, William A. Holmes, had barely begun the second day of their long trek from Globe to the Yuma Territorial Prison with nine prisoners. Eight of the convicts were Apaches – one of them the infamous Apache Kid, another Pash-Tan-Tah – and the remaining prisoner a Mexican man named Jesus Avott. The prisoners rode in a stagecoach driven by its owner, Eugene Middleton. Next to Middleton sat Deputy Holmes, riding shotgun, while Sheriff Reynolds accompanied them on horseback…

Read the whole thing. Interesting slice of old west history.

So, they voted to Release The Memo – we’ll see if Trump approves it. I bet he will – but even if he doesn’t, I understand the House can still release it. At any rate, things are rapidly heating up on this front. From what I’ve read, it seems pretty clear to me that the Obama Administration cooked up a reason to spy on the Trump Campaign in order to aid Hillary’s quest for the White House and when Trump wound up winning, they switched it over to a story about Trump colluding with Russia to win the election. We’re all used to Democrats getting away with stuff like this – but this is really big. Like, Watergate was nothing compared to it big. We’ll see how it comes out.

Google has a new camera that will neatly keep track of your every move. I really don’t understand why anyone buys these things. Look, I like being connected, too…but we’re already in enough databases: why give people permission to essentially spy on you 24/7? Want to know what really set me off on how bad things are getting? Some months back the Mrs and I were walking through a store and I mentioned that we needed to buy more treats for the dog…almost instantly, an ad for dog treats at that store popped up in my Facebook timeline. The fricking thing was listening to me and matched what I said to where I was! I don’t like that, at all. I’ve taken to occasionally entirely shutting off my phone so that there is at least some blocks of time no one knows where I am. But, you just watch: eventually not having your phone on and with you will be seen as evidence against you. 1984 turned out to be an instruction manual.

A possibly intoxicated Gam Gam was last seen reading passages from a pack of lies at the Grammy’s. For some odd reason, this resulted in very low TV ratings for the Grammy Awards. Go figure.

MSMer, in the spirit of 1984, throws the actual news coverage of the 2016 into the Memory Hole and announces that the MSM was too tough on Hillary.

Allahpundit, who really has been allowing his disdain for Trump to get the better of him, wants Trump to jettison the televised State of the Union. I don’t see any reason for this – other than a fierce desire on the part of some to deny Trump a widely-watched, national platform. Heck with that – just having him up there giving the speech will bug our Progressive friends…and that is always a worthy object.

Donald Surber points out that some people coming to ardently support the Wall are illegal immigrants…specifically those who would benefit from the codification of DACA. When you think about it, it makes sense: Democrats might want the DACA people stuck in legal limbo in order to wring whatever political advantage they can out of it…but the actual, flesh and blood human beings involved probably just want to get themselves to legal status so they don’t have to worry about it any more. This is a very illustrative thing: Democrats don’t actually give a darn about anyone. It is perfectly ok, in their minds, if people suffer if they think that suffering can get them power and wealth. The thing for the GOP to do is to figure out a way to explain this – not just to DACA types, but all the various social groups the Democrats keep poor and hopeless. We want them to rise and live their lives in independent dignity…Democrats just want them poor and hopeless because that way they may be suckered into voting Democrat.

Thinking About Art

So, I’m still writing the novel. Just past 57,000 words, now. I figure I’ve got about 20-25,000 left to go. Very importantly, I figured out how it ends. Meaning, I knew in general how it ended all along, but now I know how to get there. I’ve re-read what I’ve written from time to time…make a few changes here and there, but the main thing is the story is compelling. At least, to me it is. I do hope other people like it. To me, it’s a real page-turner…and I already know what’s on the next page, being the author of it, and all. There will be a lot to do in the re-write after the first draft is done…increasing the descriptions, diving a bit more deeply into character development, making the overall Narrative flow better. I’m having a lot of fun writing it. Though it will take longer than I first thought – originally hoped to have it out in May, but now that will slip by several months. Partly because I got dragooned into working on another project which will absorb some writing time over the next month or so.

The other day the news did what Chesterton pointed out is the primary purpose of the news: telling people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive that Lord Jones is dead. In this case, Lord Jones was Ursula Le Guin. I had never heard of her until I found out she was dead. In case your ignorance matches mine regarding this lady, she was a famed sci-fi/fantasy author…writing lots of books and winning all manner of awards. Someone quoted a passage from one of her books and said this was the most beautiful opening paragraph he had ever read:

Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of the ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the tidal abyss. The light shines through it, and the dark enters it. Borne, flung, tugged from anywhere to anywhere for in the deep sea there is no compass but nearer and farther, higher and lower, the jellyfish hangs and sways; pulses move slight and quick within it, as the vast diurnal pulses beat in the moon-driven sea. Hanging, swaying, pulsing, the most vulnerable and insubstantial creature, it has for its defense the violence and power of the whole ocean, to which it has entrusted its being, its going, and its will.

If you like that, then I’m afraid my novel is going to be a terrible disappointment to you. It is just a bunch of words strung together, in my view. I initially thought the guy who posted that on Twitter was joking – and maybe he was (it is hard to tell), but the comments from people about it indicates that some people actually think this is meaningful stuff. Deep. Thoughtful.

Its about a freaking jellyfish drifting with the tide! Its drivel!

It got me thinking about the whole concept of creative arts – and thinking that it is in a very bad way. Ms. Le Guin wrote that on purpose and people read it and gave it awards. I am flabbergasted. I’d be embarrassed if I wrote anything like that. I’m hoping that she wrote it as a joke – that the rest of her writing was better and that she merely put that out once securely rich and famous as part of an “I wonder if they’ll really just buy anything I write?” experiment.

Then I read a bit from Andrew Klavan about how he was viewing the upcoming Oscar awards:

The Oscars as a glamorous, televised, fun event are a relic of the days when film was the central American art form, the way America told stories to itself. When an art form is at its peak — which usually comes pretty early in its life cycle — the greatest works and the most popular works are usually one and the same. The movies, for instance, peaked around 1939 when the nominees included Gone With The Wind, Dark Victory, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, and The Wizard of Oz. All are still rightly considered classics and all were in the top ten at the box office.

I’ll have to agree with that. My Mrs gently chides me for my preference for old movies, but I really find most modern movies unwatchable. There have been a few recent offerings I liked. In sci-fi, for instance, I liked Interstellar. It got panned, but I thought it the most interesting sci-fi movie since, say, Planet of the Apes in 1968. But, mostly I just keep watching old movies. They are just better, in my view. For instance, for most of my life I had ignored Citizen Kane: mostly because I figure a movie that praised couldn’t be as good as people were saying. Then I watched it all the way through. And then watched it again. It is the best movie ever made in my view. I’ve watched Lord only knows how many movies, but I’ve never seen anything as interesting as that – something so crisply done, such great dialogue, such phenomenal acting and cinematography. Klaven has hit upon something – the movies are worn out. So is fiction writing. So, too, is writing in general (Matt and I were most pleased with those who opined Worst was well-written; we really appreciated that…but, I can’t argue against the people saying it…most books written these days are simply badly written…I mean, just terrible, and they are written by people who supposedly went to school and learned how to write. I just started writing in 2003 and slowly got better at it).

It occurred to me that part of the reason I’m writing my novel is the same reason that C S Lewis wrote the Narnia series: he took one look at what people were reading, was appalled and set about trying to write something worth reading. So am I. I don’t know if anyone will read it; I hope they do. But my purpose is clear: to write a story which will be interesting and fun to read.

And I think that is where the modern arts have gone wrong: they aren’t trying for interesting and fun. They are trying for something else…a message, or a moral, or simply to be as weird as they can, because that is where the awards and book contracts are. I’m writing a fairy tale – and that means I’ve taken some average folks and put them in strange, dangerous situations where they can only rely on their courage and each other to triumph over evil. You know – it is a story which you can imagine yourself landing in, and then imagine how you might react. There is no sex in my book; though there is love. There is violence, but not gross violence. No one is depressed. They are, at turns, afraid and unsure…but they aren’t wallowing in self-pity and trying to get to some cosmic truth because they have it hard. Having it hard is just part of life, and you take it with as much grit and good humor as you can.

We need to recapture the sense of wonder and hope which art is supposed to provide us. We’ve had quite enough of weirdos and psychopaths. Maybe my book flops. Doesn’t matter. I’m writing it because it is fun to write…and I’m going to keep on writing it. I just hope that other people will join in – we’ve learned that our experts in most areas are rather dumb. The experts in the arts are no less so. If you’ve got a song in your heart, a story in your mind, a painting that is waiting to be done…do it. After all, the really great art wells up from the people…and perhaps it is time for we, the people, to take back the arts, too.