Perhaps We’ve Just Been Living Wrong?

Scott Presler opines that for the GOP to have long term success, it is going to have to become the natalist party – that is, the party in favor of family formation. This is true. Attentive readers of the Mirrors series have probably figured out that Queen Caelestine is pro-natalist; always trying to get people married and wanting everyone making babies at a rapid clip. This is, of course, a bit of my philosophy being inserted in a small way to the narrative. But I don’t think we’ve really thought much about how this would come about.

It seems to me that our problem here stems from our too-long adolescence and too-long education.

Remember that back in the day, a girl and a boy getting married at 16 or 17 wasn’t at all unusual…with the young couple then either working on the family farm/business or striking out on their own. It is a bit of a shock to the modern mind to think of that – in fact, we probably think of it as tragic. But the bottom line is that we become physically capable of bearing children at a pretty young age: and if one wishes to argue against biology, that is fine – but the reality is that our physical being is ready for childbearing a lot younger than we find acceptable in the modern world.

Right after I read Presler’s Tweet the Rush song Subdivisions came on the playlist and the refrain just leaped out at me:

In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out

In the basement bars
In the backs of cars
Be cool or be cast out

All of us, I think, can remember back to our middle and high school years and remember how out of sorts and out of place we felt. That sensation is what Neil Peart was writing about in the song. But what, really, was the problem? That we were 16 or 17 years old and felt we had no proper place in the world. That we didn’t know what our lives were for or what we would do. By that time we had already been in school ten or eleven years, had at least a year or two left to go…and then the prospect, pushed massively by society, that we would do at least four more years of school after that and then start our career…and don’t get married! You’re “too young”. You’ve got plenty of time for that! Get your education. Get your job! And, hey, the old morals are gone so just find someone to have sex with…its ok. Nobody will judge you.

Except yourself, of course. The mind rebels against what is wrong even if that mind can’t articulate it.

I conclude – and this literally just flashed in my head earlier today – that the increasing alienation of youth since, say, World War Two is based upon this lifestyle of 12-16 years of education followed by career and then marriage and children if convenient. The final result of this is kids who are saying they are non-binary or what have you: we’re so long down this path of essentially denying biology – denying our own humanity – that the latest generation is rejecting the very idea of biology and what it means to be a human being – what it means to be male or female. We’re getting here – and it is likely to get much worse – because we have tried to craft a lifestyle which is not adjusted to humanity. We’re trying to be cool so we aren’t cast out…but what we’re not trying to be is human. And even the adults who get through this to become functional members of society are still awash in divorce, anti-depressants and pathetically going to fertility clinics at 35 in a desperate bid to push out a kid before the clock expires.

We forgot that the Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath. We’ve been going about it backwards – trying to rework humanity to fit a certain sort of society when sanity lies in making society conform to human needs.

Laying aside the animal need for food, water, shelter and clothing, the primary thing a human needs is community. We are a social species. We literally cannot survive as a species without others of our kind around…and even individual survival is gravely threatened when we are on our own (break your leg on a hike with friends and you’ll probably make it – break your leg hiking alone and there’s a good chance you’re going to die). Biology commands – and we Believers hold that God also commands – that we engage in sexual relations. Anyone who remembers being 15 knows this – the urge was persistent and insistent. It was so strong that all of us did wonder for a bit just why there was a moral code against rampant sexual activity. But especially as we aged, we understood the wisdom of confining sex to a committed relationship. But I think we get it wrong – backwards – when we say, “hold off on that urge until you’re 25! Gotta get that education and career, first!”. We’re also kinda stupid – the sex urge will not be repressed for that long. I do believe that if we really want to fix what is wrong, we’re going to have to really think about what we want.

I do think we spend too much time on education. Don’t know about you, but high school was mostly pointless for me. They weren’t teaching me anything new – and in the things I was actually interested, I was rapidly far in advance of what the school was teaching. It might very well be that adding high school to the education mix for 90 percent of us is a waste of time. And if high school is pointless for most of us, college even more so.

Plus when we take a kid of 14 and say, “hey, just 8 more years and you’re done with school”, we’re telling someone who wants to get rolling on life right now that they’ll have to wait. That they have to stay in leading strings for years longer and then, if the behave, they’ll be allowed to start doing the Adult things.

I’m not saying there isn’t a need for higher education – but what I am saying is that almost nobody needs it and, in truth, it has long become counter-productive. First off, on account of it being dumbed down. In order to keep up the fiction of Education – Career – Marriage we’ve routinely lowered the standards for higher education to the point that a mediocre 12 year old from a century ago knew more than doctoral students at Ivy League universities today. You can only keep the fiction going, after all, if it is for everyone. But, of course, everyone isn’t suited to higher education – and nor should they be. A healthy society has a certain number of artists and thinkers…but usually less than 1 percent. And they are only able to create art and thought because almost everyone else is busy making things happen.

And after community, the next thing a human needs is to be needed. We are built to contribute – to do something useful for ourselves and our community. It is, as I’ve noted, the only way we can survive. Except for short periods and baring physically debilitating accidents, we can’t even feed ourselves without the assistance of others.

How useful does a 20 year old in college feel? And there’s your answer to why the purple hair, nose ring and a sudden assertion that they are a different gender. They are doing nothing. They aren’t really learning anything – save for spoon-fed Marxist drivel. Small wonder they get a little kooky…like a junior league Nero or Caligula…the real difference being that Rome in ancient days could only carry the freight on a few of them at a time…while our overly wealthy society affords millions nominating their horse to the Senate. And here’s the real kicker – almost all 20 year olds in college are incapable of higher education. It is supposed to be for the 1 percent – maybe the top 5 percent if you’re being really generous in giving out passing grades. These poor kids are uselessly doing something they are entirely unsuited for. Lunacy does result. BLM/Antifa riots, as well – not for nothing did fascists, Communists and Nazis find their most ardent spirits among 20th century college students…a collection of increasingly mis-educated kids unsuited for higher thought but who were also being quit useless…and here comes The Cause to give their existence a point.

As Chesterton pointed out, we have to begin all over again at the start. If a house is built so that it knocks a man’s head off as he comes through the door, it is built wrong. You can’t reform it – you have to tear it down and build it again. Properly.

There was a little joke meme I saw the other day which went along the lines of “me who had my kids at 18 and 20 watching from the beach as my 40 year old career-first friend deals with her 4 year old”. Lot of truth in that. It really comes down to how we will spend the best years of lives.

Do you remember being 20? My goodness, the energy. As I was in the Navy at the time this manifested itself in my ability to spend weeks at sea in a four hours on, four hours off rotation, hit the beach in a liberty port, party with the shipmates for 24 hours straight and then immediately go back to sea. We all had it. We were inexhaustible and indestructible. We could eat and drink all we wanted and it just fueled our ability to do more and more and more.

Do you remember being 35? You had stayed out until just a shade after midnight the night before and had that third drink and now, bleary eyed and exhausted, you faced the grim task of going to work and, dang it, why does my back hurt?

Question: which you was better suited to chasing around after a rambunctious 2 year old? Which of you could better deal with screaming kids, household chores and putting in a 50 hour week at work without complete mental and physical collapse?

Life is for youth, boys and girls. And we’ve been doing it all wrong. What we should have been doing is giving our kids 8 years of basic education, siphoning off the cream of the crop for higher education and sending the rest to trade school while positively encouraging early marriage and children. This is much more in line with human needs than our current model – and given our advances in production and medicine, it doesn’t preclude anything. Suppose at 45 you decide to move off from the construction job that paid for your house and raised your kids, now moved out, and take a stab at a college degree? You can do it. Nothing to stop you. And zero chance of regrets – you’ve already done the most important part of living. You took a man or woman’s place in the world. You already proved who and what you are.

I am open to dispute here – I don’t know if I’m completely right. I only know for certain that we’ve been doing it wrong. And if we want a healthy society, we are going to have to change how we’re doing it.

18 thoughts on “Perhaps We’ve Just Been Living Wrong?

  1. jdge1 January 21, 2023 / 9:06 am

    High school for me was a great time, probably because I attended a smaller school and knew a good portion of the grades above and below. Our class was both academically smart, and socially close. Though I had a fun my senior year, from a logistical point of view it could certainly have been better used in pursuit of a career. But rushing into something you would spend the majority of your adult years dealing with, is not always better. Sometimes the memories are more than just a momentary part of your past life.

    As for college there’s no question, most if not all college academic majors could be condensed into ½ or less the time typically required for graduation. There’s actually a shift in that direction, where several college degrees can be obtained in much less time, at notably less costs, and without all the indoctrination. Though it won’t happen overnight, the tide is changing for traditional college as the costs are exorbitant, leaving students in long term debt, often without any real means to repay the loans. As the number of kids entering college dwindle (lower birth rates, kids uninterested in mountains of debt, kids uninterested in school, newer less expensive education options that tailors to careers with job options), the big 4-year colleges & universities will be forced to make cuts vying against each other to fill their classes. I’m already seeing this happen, where some colleges are closing due to dwindling enrollment and less expensive community colleges are taking on more students than recent historic levels.

    As to getting married earlier and having kids at a younger age, I have mixed feelings. Most young adults are simply too immature to understand the commitment to making a marriage work. It is most definitely not a 50/50 relationship far too many people think going into it. That mentality is in part why so many marriages fail. It seems a good deal of those who contemplate early marriage do so in an effort to feel loved, but all too often pick a horrific partner that causes them a great deal of pain & hurt. And even fewer comprehend the commitment to having & raising kids.

    One of the key elements in successfully dealing with all of life stresses is by having a relationship with God, something often lacking in today’s youth. It is our relationship with God that gives us hope when difficulties come. It is our relationship with God that encourages personal sacrifice that builds character and responsibility. It is our relationship with God that helps us to be more humble, realizing the value of moral behavior and humanity.

  2. Cluster January 21, 2023 / 9:47 am

    Here’s an anecdotal story – a good friend of mine is a software engineer with a Forbes 500 company, and he never went to college. Back in the late 70’s after high school, he hooked on with small company where he met the right people and with on the job training and being around the right people, he has become very successful and no university or professor was involved. And I think this model of success is much superior than sitting in a classroom and listening to someone who most likely has never actually practiced what he preaches. And isn’t this exactly what usually happens?? You get a degree in some field and then upon embarking on the endeavor, you realize that your “education” in this field has little application. I venture to say that upwards of 90% of all occupations would be best taught “on the job”, rather than in the classroom.

    In a survey of “the most content people” in the world, Hispanic countries dominated. Why?

    With the exception of Denmark, most countries with the highest percentages of people experiencing positive emotions were in Latin America.

    Clifton explained that the dominant presence of Latin American countries on this list has a cultural explanation. Residents of Latin America tend to have “strong communities and spend a great deal of time with their families.”

    And this is why, in my opinion, why there are so many angry and frustrated young Americans. They have been raised by narcissistic parents who are chasing their own hedonistic visions, all the while being warehoused in some school and being taught that their way of life is destructive and racist.. They feel unwanted and inherently bad. They have no constructive purpose, other than to maybe “save the planet”, which I guess is suppose to make them feel virtuous. We need to invite God back into our lives and our country, embrace family, and live with achievable purpose. Saving the planet is a fallacy, but raising a family, and saving the local community park or restoring a local downtown district is achievable and so much more constructive and rewarding.

    • Amazona January 21, 2023 / 1:08 pm

      Back when Obama was in his “you didn’t build that’ mode I started asking people if they liked their jobs and how they got there. I remembered an old blog poster here who, if I remember correctly, got a “temporary” job working for an HVAC company in Florida when he came home from Viet Nam and somehow just never left, ending up owning the company.

      So when I had to have work done on some of the appliances in the house I bought I asked the young repairman, who owned the company, about his path to where he was. It was the same story–a summertime job that he discovered he liked, staying on and getting promoted and eventually buying the company. My questions always started with “Did you go to career day in grade school and say ‘I want to fix air conditioners’ or ‘I want to be a welder’ or any of the other occupations I had discussed. Every person laughed at that, every person said no, and every person said there had been an incremental journey to their eventual career choices. And each of them had great job satisfaction. The appliance repair man said he learned that he really liked meeting new people and leaving their homes feeling he had made some part of their lives better.

      In 2000 I was buying a new Ford Excursion and the fleet manager at the Ford store told me he had made all of his kids get college degrees and had come to think that was not the best idea. He said his chief mechanic was making almost $150,000 a year (remember, this was 22 years ago) and got several job offers a month, while his college educated kids either had trouble finding jobs or weren’t making much money or having a lot of job security.

      The original concept of higher education was not to prepare for a career, except in some cases such as law or medicine. It was to create a society of educated people. It was to have millions of mini-Jeffersons, who could speak at least one additional language plus Latin or Greek, who were familiar with classic literature and fine art, who understood history and had some grounding in philosophy. This was considered a necessary foundation for a civilized nation, separate from learning a trade.

      Now we have people going into debt for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars whose eventual degrees don’t relate to any real knowledge. These graduates can’t read or write or spell, they can’t even speak their own language well, they are ignorant of world history, and they don’t even understand the basic structure of their own political governance. I don’t mean they don’t understand WHAT it is—I mean they don’t understand THAT it is, thinking that it is just a game where people choose sides and then savage those wearing different jerseys.

      • Mark Noonan January 21, 2023 / 1:45 pm

        All of this!

        My brother is a painting contractor – his career got started shortly after he got married (at 19) and his first daughter was born. He was out of work and looking for a job and there was an opening in Palmdale (he lived in LA at the time)…so he drives up, does the interview and doesn’t get the job. Then as he’s heading back home, his car breaks down.

        In those pre-cell phone days he was just sitting on the curb next to his broken car wondering how in heck he was going to get home and how he was going to care for his new baby and his wife…guy walks out of the apartment complex behind him and starts to talk to him. After Lou explains his situation the man ponders a bit and says:

        “If you manage this complex you get an apartment for free and $100 a month.”

        “What do I do?”

        “Mostly just keep an eye out, do small repairs, repaint them after someone moves out.”


        And, so, a Painting Star was born. Fast forward 32 years later…and Lou and his wife (kids now long grown up) have bought themselves a house in Arizona (gotta bail on CA, after all) which they are fixing up and they’ll live till they die in it.

        Is Lou rich? Not really. And to get what he’s got, he had to work his butt off. His wife, too. But they’re ok. And they’re happy. And they’ve got two grown daughters and the three grandchildren and Lou goes fishing a lot. This is life – this is, I think, how almost all of us are supposed to live.

  3. Cluster January 21, 2023 / 10:20 am

    I’ll never understand why Democrats insist on validating mental retardation

    Transgender woman says she’s ‘devastated’ after being BANNED from female-only gym: Owner was worried about how girls would feel working out near ‘big person with male voice’

    “She was devastated” ????? You’re a f***king dude bro. And no wig and neurotic professor can make you a woman. GTFOH

  4. Retired Spook January 21, 2023 / 11:02 am

    My granddaughter and her husband kind of represent what you’re talking about. They met at a Halloween party when they were around 12 or 13, (she’s a year older than he is). They grew up in different cities and went to different schools. Just a happenstance meeting that, had it not occurred, they probably would never have met. The only common denominator was that the party at which they met was at the home of neighbors of ours, and our granddaughter had played with their two girls when she came to visit us. Their daughters went to school with our future grandson-in-law.

    I’m a little blurry on when exactly they started dating, but our granddaughter started her first year of college and then discovered she was pregnant. He was still a senior in high school. She dropped out of college at the end of her first semester, and they got married after he graduated from high school a few months later when our great-granddaughter was already 3 months old. In spite of the fact that my grandson-in-law grew up in a trailer park to a welfare mom, he has an outstanding work ethic, started working part-time as a sophomore in high school, joined the Indiana Army National Guard at the beginning of his senior year in high school, has advanced to Staff Sergeant and is entering the Warrant Officer program, went to college on the GI Bill following his first deployment to Iraq, graduated last year Summa Cum Laud with a degree in Computer Science, and just accepted a job with a large defense contractor at an obscene salary. In the interim, he worked multiple jobs and was deployed with his guard unit twice for over a year each time.

    Our granddaughter never went back to college, also worked a variety of jobs, and is now office manager and sales trainer for a large real estate firm. They own a beautiful home and have a second daughter, born in the midst of the turmoil that marked their first nine years of marriage, who is now almost 3. In terms of what seems to be acceptable to society, they did everything wrong, or at least in the wrong order. Owing to a combination of strong support from multiple generations of family, a strong work ethic, and eagerness to ask for and accept advice from those older and wiser than themselves, they succeeded when, by all rights they should have failed. Shortly after they got married, my grandson-in-law asked me if I had any advice for him. I told him, based on my own experience, that one of the most important things he could learn is that debt is not his friend. He recently told me that that was some of the best advice he’s ever gotten, and at the ages of 27 and 28 they put 15% down on a $350,000 house.

    As an interesting side note, between the two of them they make about 20 times what I made at that age, but their first house cost about 20 times what my first house cost, so I guess everything is relative except it takes two of them working to afford what I was able to afford by myself at that age with my wife as a stay-at-home mom.

    Now I just need to convince them to find room in their lives for God.

    • Mark Noonan January 21, 2023 / 1:52 pm

      Get them “Mere Christianity” for Christmas!

      We do have to think for a moment: who benefits from an “everyone goes to college” economic model? Education bureaucrats. Corporate bureaucrats. Government bureaucrats. I’ll bet there are at least 10 million people who make their living managing education when you take it from kindergarten teacher to student loan collection agent. And, you’ll pardon me, but I haven’t seen a lot of Einsteins or Michelangelos emerging from our education system of late. I’m not sure we’re getting a good return on the dollar here.

      And think of the poison that emerges from college – rely on it, “non-binary” didn’t come out of a collection of plumbers, farmers and auto mechanics. No: that comes from people who don’t really know things, but have plenty of time on their hands and a great deal of resentment that their “Studies” degree isn’t making them as much money as the plumber.

  5. Amazona January 21, 2023 / 3:41 pm

    A friend, knowing I bought an Alexa because I’m setting up Blink cameras to keep an eye on things while I’m gone, sent me a link to “The weirdest things Alexa has said” and there is some funny stuff.

    a man was trying to turn the lights off in his house, but the lights continued to click on one by one. After the third attempt at turning the lights off, Alexa let out an evil, menacing laugh. And not in the Alexa voice either, but rather in a deeper, darker voice
    One man decided to turn down the volume on his Amazon Echo Dot. However, as he did so the device started to laugh as if it was being tickled. The laughter continued a bit longer, allowing Alexa to control herself.
    according to one man, in the middle of the night Alexa whispered quietly, “They’re in the walls, they’re in the walls. Get out.”
    One night, a man was sitting in his home and reading a book. Out of nowhere, Alexa said, “If Chuck Norris wants you to know where he is, he’ll find you. If he doesn’t, you won’t know until it’s too late.”
    For Christmas, a woman received a Google Home device. She already had an Amazon Alexa, but she still decided to test it out and see what it could do. When messing around with Google Home, she asked, “OK, Google, what do you think of Alexa?” Google Home replied, “I like her blue light.” Then, from across the room, Alexa turned on and said “Thanks.” The machines were openly communicating with one another!
    Sometimes at the end of a party, it can be difficult to get everyone to leave. It’s time to wind down, start cleaning up, or to just go to bed. One woman asked Alexa to help make the people leave her house. To the request, Alexa dinged awake and said, “Playing Nickelback.”

    (BTW when my husband and I used to entertain a lot and I decided it was time for people to go home I would play Tom Waits. The exodus was so speedy it left a wake.) But the choice of Nickleback is wild.

    So I might rethink installing Alexa. I’ve always been a little leery of the surveillance aspect, but the intrusion of (admittedly kind of funny sometimes) contributions from Amazon engineers is a little much. I still remember the night my husband sat upright in bed in the middle of the night and intoned, in a deep and menacing voice, “BEWARE THE DEADLY BUGS!” He immediately lay back down and went back to sleep but I sure didn’t. So I’m not sure if I want a similar experience from an electronic device.

    • Cluster January 22, 2023 / 9:19 am

      I have an Alexa in the home and I do like it for some things, but when not in use, Alexa is unplugged. I don’t trust her lol.

  6. Cluster January 22, 2023 / 9:48 am

    I just saw a fantastic quote from Mark Twain which speaks to what we have been discussing …

    “I was educated once. It took me years to get over it”

  7. Retired Spook January 22, 2023 / 10:14 am

    From Robert Malone’s blog:

    So, watching the proceedings at this year’s Davos was fascinating because, for the first time, the sheen was gone. Too many people were seeing the walls of the echo chamber for what they were; old, shabby, and drafty rather than having the veneer of wisdom that comes with age.

    Davos had come out from behind the curtain willingly to declare themselves the saviors of humanity through their Fuhrer’s nutty ideas about transhumanism, 15-minute cities, eating bugs, and renting your life from a central authority.(emphasis – mine)

    And it was easy to build a counter-narrative to this insanity that permeated into the zeitgeist by just pointing your finger and laughing at them…

    • Cluster January 22, 2023 / 12:27 pm

      Hard to believe the world is once again listening to an evil authoritarian German in Klaus Schwab. That man needs to die like Hitler.

  8. Retired Spook January 22, 2023 / 12:34 pm

    I do think we spend too much time on education

    I’ve been thinking about this ever since you posted it a couple of days ago. I tend to agree, although to be fair, what passed for education when I went through elementary school, high school and college in the 50s and 60s is a far cry from what we have now, not only in terms of content, but most certainly in terms of cost. When I entered Miami University (Miami of Ohio) as a freshman in the fall of 1963 my room, board and tuition for the entire year was around $1,750.00. And that was out of state because I lived in Indiana. In-state tuition at the time was around $1,100.00 My dad made around $20,000 a year, which was a pretty decent income at that time, so my tuition was 8.75% of his annual income. My mother did not work. Out of state tuition at Miami is currently $54,317.00, so for the same income to tuition ratio, a family today would have to have an income of about $625,000, solidly in the top 1% of Americans.

    • Amazona January 22, 2023 / 12:58 pm

      It’s also that “education” has been redefined. When English majors don’t have to read Shakespeare, when history majors don’t have to study history, when history itself is rewritten by blatantly biased political activists to advance a political agenda, when students are told they will fail classes if they do not comply with the political agendas of the teachers, the term “education” is meaningless.

      I wonder what that $54,000+ at Miami gets the students these days.

      • Mark Noonan January 22, 2023 / 2:21 pm

        My first eye-opener was about 1991 – I was working with this lady who was in her Master’s Degree program and I had read an editorial in the newspaper that I thought she would find interesting. After I handed it off to her I saw her struggling to read and understand the material. This was someone working on their Masters! This meant at least 16 years of education had already passed and she was having trouble reading and comprehending a simple newspaper editorial. Since that time, I’ve just noticed a worse and worse result from higher education…or any education for that matter. I never even went to college but I’ll stack up my knowledge of history against anyone who got a PhD in history over the past 30 years and I’ll bet 99 out of 100 times I’ll come out on top…I’m confident of this because I have liberals with history degrees throwing Seneca Falls at me as if it were a revelation which would break my Conservatism…rather than being well known by me, and understood by any serious student of history as a rather trivial event in the long sweep of history (the Women’s Franchise League founded decades later would have more practical effect by a long ways).

        They keep dumbing it down because that is the only way to both keep butts in seats (money!) as well as get the “correct” DEI outcome…if college was really just merit-based and only for the high intellectual achievers, at this moment in time half the student body would be east Asian in ethnicity. Can’t have that! And for some years now we have been passing out high school diplomas to the functionally illiterate…I am confident that if we have not yet, we soon will pass out college degrees to them as well. The real kicker is that because of the credential, they will be given positions of authority…it is going to be a nightmare of Kafkaesque lunacy.

    • Mark Noonan January 22, 2023 / 2:07 pm

      The colleges found out they can get richer by degrees – the more they pass out, they more money they make, the higher the salaries and the larger the number of administrative positions. On the financial level, it is one gigantic scam…and the really big universities are now really no more than hedge funds with a small college attached for tax purposes.

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