Thursday, April 19, 2007

Westerns, self-reliance, & passivisity

Mark Steyn, in the timely A Culture of Passivisity

We do our children a disservice to raise them to entrust all to officialdom’s security blanket. Geraldo-like “protection” is a delusion: when something goes awry — whether on a September morning flight out of Logan or on a peaceful college campus — the state won’t be there to protect you. You’ll be the fellow on the scene who has to make the decision.


But this awful corrosive passivity is far more pervasive, and, unlike the psycho killer, is an existential threat to a functioning society.

Last Sunday we watched a Western from the 70's... set in the early 1900's in America. It was "Bite the Bullett" with Gene Hackman, James Coburn, and Candice Bergman.

Even as I watched it I noted the stark contrast between the self-reliance of the characters and what we see around us in today's nanny culture. Less than 100 years ago, American men -- even 18-22 year old men, would have rushed this loser Cho and taken him out -- even if they were unarmed. Some of them undoubtedly would have died, and several others injured. But Cho was shooting fish in a barell. (save one professor -- who was a product of that older culture or something very much like it.)

Which, incidentally for you losers out there who somehow think killing a bunch of people in such a manner somehow makes you respectable by anyone's standards -- merely confirms that you are among the worst of human beings. You aren't cold-blooded killers. You're unstable children throwing the worst kind of tantrum.

Being unpopular, having few friends... all things I have had plenty of experience with in my past. But I always liked my own company, because I'm one of the good guys. I never lost sight of that, and lo and behold I found out that the popularity rat race is just that. A rat race. You can simply choose not to run*, and it turns out watching it from the sidelines makes you feel better about yourself than trying to prove yourself against percieved, arbitrary standards.

Losers like the Columbine freaks and Cho are the real losers -- so caught up in what everybody else thinks that they lose focus, hope, themselves -- and go on a suicide mission to go out in a blaze of glory for which they will be remembered. And they will be remembered.

As losers.

A decent person would rather be a forgotten honest man than one of these losers.

Anti-gun people want to blame this all on our "gun culture". First of all, if we really did have a gun culture, Cho would have had a very difficult time pulling this off. He may not have even tried. It would have been much harder to achieve the glory he was going for (and thanks very much NBC for helping him out on this -- not) if, say, even 1 in 10 people on campus were packing and everybody pretty much knew that -- including Cho. But thanks to gun laws and a recent re-affirmation of this -- specifically at Virginia Tech -- he pretty much knew he'd be shooting fish in a barrel.

On top of that, I'm familiar with many people the MSM and the anti-gun folks ... but I repeat myself ... would consider "gun culture" people. I'd be considered one of them myself, and I don't fit the stereotype. The vast majority don't fit the stereotype. Most of these people are more like Gene Hackman in Bite the Bullett than anyone else. People I'd like to see walking around every day.

Packing heat.

* note that counter-culture is not the same as chosing not to run. Some people pretend not to run by choosing to run in alternative (on the face) but ultimately very similar to the percieved "mainstream" rat-race they felt they weren't doing so well in. And they do it for the same reasons in the end.

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