Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 09

Some time ago I saw movie on either the History Channel or PBS, I forget which was the life story of Thomas Jefferson. Of his many accomplishments the show centered on his relationship with Sally Henning and made it appear that she was the one true love of his life, which he could never acknowledge. At the end of the show the actor who played Jefferson was asked if he considered Thomas Jefferson as a hypocrite because he said so much about freedom and equality and yet owned slaves. The actor said that Jefferson was not a hypocrite but was the victim of a hypocritical age. At first I thought that was a profound observation until I thought about it. There are those who believe that there can be no real heros and that all men are victims. I personally think this goes back to the most destructive "thinker" of the 20th Century, BF Skinner. In a nutshell he believed that freedom and freewill were illusions and that everything you do and every choice you make are predetermined by things beyond your control.

There was a book I read some 20 years ago called The Myth of Male Power and at first I found the book profound but as I read on and on I became disgusted with what I was reading. He correctly pointed out that men do not hold all the reigns of power in this country but in the end he reduced men to simply another group of victims. I remember wondering If everyone's a victim who is the victimizer?

As you watch shows like Oprah (gag) you see a curious thing. The true heros of these people are the victims who have the "courage" to speak out. You see book after book of "I am the victim" because I am this or that and society refuses to recognize my dignity as a human. I can't help but wonder why people would be proud of victimhood; it is handy, and sometimes valid, excuse but it is no source of pride.

What does this have to do with Memorial Day?

A hero is one who sees something far larger and more important than himself and risks, or even sacrifices his life for it. For the victimization crowd this is incomprehensible. Our soldiers who died in battle were the victims of an evil propoganda machine that convinced them to throw away their lives for nothing. They run heros down by proving they were nothing but flawed men, which we always knew and that the hero is an illusion.

All of which leads to this post by the Brilliant, or at least smarter than I am, Gagdad Bob and One Cosmos. He offers a posting that explains why so many do not understand heroes and thus do not understand Memorial Day. I suggest you read this article as I can do no better than he has.

Update: Some time ago I wrote about how WWII affected my mother's family.


Blogger Always On Watch said...

You're spot on with the fact that society today, especially academia, has dismantled our heroes. Indeed, many people all throughout the West have become inured to having heroes at all. It seems that they would rather have anti-heroes and, as you said, victims.

As far as I know, not a single one of our Founders saw himself as a victim. Well, with the possible exception of Alexander Hamilton.

Thank you for the link to that essay over at One Cosmos. I left a comment there as well.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

I wonder if it is too late to take back our culture.

Maybe it is too late for us to take back Hollywood and expect films or TV shows that reflect our values but it is never too late for us to stand up as individuals or in groups and proclaim them ourselves.

Unless that freedom is taken away (and it is surely being chipped away) we will never fail.

The goal then for me is to draw the line in the sand and refuse to let the cultural infidels the right to cross it.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Thanks for the essay, Shoprat!

Hope you had a great day!

8:16 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

You're spot on with the fact that society today, especially academia, has dismantled our heroes.Check out Juan Cole's May 25th post. Nice, huh?

Anyway, good job on your post, Shoprat.

Thanks for linking to your other post, too, regarding family members in WWII.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I remember commenting on the WWII post, Shoprat.

Why victims want to be considered victims and even go on television to babble and cry about it is beyond me. I can't watch Oprah anymore, period!

Real heroes are not illusions, but there is a terrible illusion going on in our society. It is the illusion that America is evil and bad and has caused all the problems the world over. Reality for such people is an illusion because what they perceive doesn't exist.

Thank you, television and the MSM. Of course we also have the socialist teachers and professors to thank.

I sincerely do thank you, Shoprat. This is a most insightful post.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

I read The Myth of Male Power and thought it was a great book. A bit cynical and such as you state, but you must say that it does make sense all throughout.

11:22 AM  
Blogger christian soldier said...

Thank you for linking to GB-gosh-I thought I had 'found' all of my favorites... (-:!

11:59 AM  
Blogger christian soldier said...

Also-SR- thank you for the link to WWII's affect on your family---

12:05 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Off topic, Shoprat, but I just now saw the video you left the link to on my Dentist post. LOL! Thanks a lot for that. It makes my happy that my dentist is as gentle as possible. :)

7:12 PM  
Blogger Z said...

Mike, you say "Maybe it is too late for us to take back Hollywood and expect films or TV shows that reflect our values but it is never too late for us to stand up as individuals or in groups and proclaim them ourselves."

I don't think that is at all true. be patient, and optimistic.
What sets us back is Mel Gibson's having left his wife with her 7 children and now having impregnating a younger woman and the excuse being 'it's my fault' if that's an excuse. This is more ammo for the "Oh, those Christians, he made the PASSION, how could he do this now?" One worries for those who'd looked up to him, particularly in the Catholic faith. Not good.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

The thing about the "victimization" crowd is how very much they ENJOY, no INSIST ON being victims.

That was a good essay...thanks for the link.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I share your disgust with BF Skinner. When I read Walden Two, I thought "I'd rather live in hell than Skinner's utopia."

12:33 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Yeah...I used to call myself a modified Skinnerian psychologist, but when you see my philosophy of psychology, it is about as far removed from Skinnerian Behaviorism as you can get.

11:23 PM  
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3:21 AM  

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