Get smart, get dumb
Lately I've been watching the old TV show 'Get Smart', which is rerunning in syndication. The plot and devices were totally foolish, but there was an underlying sense of common purpose, a non-ironic devotion to duty, that is absent from similar modern shows and modern life in general.
Observing that common purpose led me to the line of thought in Tuesday's entry,
which I need to extend a bit more.
Here's what scares me most of all: The Communist media, including Fox, and many conservative and libertarian commentators, who should know better, have fallen in lockstep with a perfectly fascist recommendation: Let's just gather up the odd and quiet people,
slam them in the oven and open the Zyklon valve. These commentators don't even seem to recognize what they're saying; they don't catch the unmistakable aroma of Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot. Rounding up the oddballs, the Jews, the eyeglass-wearers, is always a necessary step in establishing a proper totalitarian regime.
Rush, who understands human nature better than any other commentator, has not fallen into this trap. Medved has also firmly departed from this mindset. Bravo to them, shame on the others. Special shame on Dennis Miller, who until now seemed to be a thoughtful libertarian, but now proudly wears the two lightning flashes of the SS on his sleeve.
To run a proper Reich or Utopia, you need a nation of extroverted gregarious sports fans. Team loyalty above all.
A decent Christian civilization needs both sports fans and thinkers. Until recently America cultivated both types.
= = = = =
Now to extend and expand my previous entry with two clarifications.
(1) This probably doesn't apply to Cho, who now sounds like a full-fledged birthright psychopath, devoted to violence and harm from the start. It does apply to the earlier school shooter, the type who gradually takes the turn into darkness at each junction until the sunny road is out of his visual field.
(2) I'm not saying that we should suppress bullying and teasing. That's just pointless. At base, I'm talking about two words: respect and hope. Odd people, shy people, ugly people, are always going to be bullied; there's no fix for that. If we try to suppress teasing and bullying, it will pop up in other forms, and we would also lose an important signal among peers, which helps everyone to shape their lives toward success.
The question is, how do we arrange things so that odd youngsters can view the future with hope, and gain a sense of respect from somewhere --- because they're certainly not going to get it from their peers, and they're not supposed to.
I began thinking about this when Columbine went down. Klebold and Harris closely resembled me and my nerd buddies in high school. It was uncanny. Forced me to ask: why did none of us 1965-era nerds go wild, while several of the 1995-era nerds were snapping? What good influences did we receive that are absent now, and what bad influences are present now? It wasn't a question of guns, of course. Guns were more easily available then, and tools are never the important variable anyway. An evil impulse will find or invent its tools. The question is, how does the evil impulse grow until it takes over completely?
The good influence in '65, as I mentioned in Tuesday's entry, was a leftover respect for intelligence in general, and parents and teachers who insisted on shaping intelligence toward good ends. Literature had already surrendered to the enemy, so we didn't have many examples there. But the space program was a well-publicized connection of intelligence and adventure, understandable by boys. And in turn boys who pursued that connection were respected if not kissed by girls, who could see the adventure if not the math.
So we had respect and shaping from adults, and a hope for a decent and even exciting future to sustain us through the bullying and beating.
The hope didn't really pan out, as the space program fizzled shortly thereafter.
And that's more than merely symbolic. Eisenhower and Kennedy had pushed for better math and science education, and gave us the space program as a leading icon. The purpose of all this was to give us a better chance of defeating Communism. A mutual and meaningful goal, clearly visible in 'Get Smart'. Maxwell was dumb and clumsy, but he had no doubt that he was working for the triumph of Control over Chaos.
Nixon reversed both the purpose and the push. He carried Apollo up to the moon landing, then turned our focus to pollution. He established the EPA, which opened the door for our internal Communists to replace science with superstition. He implemented forced bussing and affirmative action, which opened the door for Gang Leaders Jackson and Sharpton to take over our culture, replacing poetry with rap, and making it culturally illegal for a teacher to encourage Christianity or decency. Nixon pulled out of Vietnam and turned toward negotiating with the enemy. It's still unclear if Nixon understood or wanted the future consequences of these actions, but he was unquestionably following the Left into perdition.
Worst of all, we have separated adults and adolescents into legally segregated camps, so that peer pressure is the only available influence on a boy.
Sexual harassment laws and suspicion of any adult-child connection, pushed by the left and the media, have made mentoring relationships dubious and difficult. In 1965 I could talk with teachers, male or female, and they didn't have to watch out for the thought police. They could listen to my ramblings and give me useful advice if they felt like it, or politely dismiss me if they felt like it. All quite normal and natural, and I learned something about adult values from both types of response. A modern teacher who established a mentoring relation with a student would find herself in the spotlight of Court TV, if not actually in jail.
In a parallel way, the Roman church formerly offered a sheltered and productive path for thinkers. Many of history's ugliest and oddest oddballs have turned out great works of philosophy, art and science within the walls of the monastery or convent, where quietness is not considered dangerous. (Ahem: Vow of silence.) Partly due to the Church's own cultivation of bad impulses, partly from the Left's gleeful magnification of those impulses, this path is now lost, and will probably disappear forever.
Needless to say, all of these consequences are INTENDED. They are all part of Lenin's well-formed plan to confuse, disorient, divide and soften the West. And it works perfectly.