Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cultural Standards and Traditions

I was over at Morgan's place the other day, and I found something that has been rolling around in my mind but has never come out in actual words.   Well Mr. Freeberg, my buddy, my pal in Sacremento -- he put it into words:
What we have condemned with such severity — without having the balls to out-and-out condemn it — is inter-generational transfer of knowledge. Bar Mitzvahs, taming the wild mare, the institution of marriage itself, Ten Commandments, Pan Far…these are traditions that got started for a reason. And the reason is that these are traditions that got started for a reason. And the reason is that some requirements, some customs, some prohibitions that are needed for a society to continue to thrive, are absolutely essential. Among those are essential, even if you’re a real smart ticket it’ll take you a long time to figure out they’re helpful. Like, to age fifty or so. Well, we don’t have time for everyone to reach age fifty and figure it out. And so traditions are handed down from mother to daughter and from father to son. Rules are recorded in books, and then they’re followed. Old people are going to have to tell young people what to do, and then the young people are going to have to do it without asking questions about everything.
I was in the car today, which is the only time I ever hear Dr. Laura ... if I happen to be in the car around noon-ish ... and she was playing Bristol Palin's statement that having had sex out of wedlock and having become pregnant -- she had learned a lesson, and she vowed abstainence until she gets married in some teen magazine article.

She was on Oprah Winfrey's show, and Opra was apalled.  She "bristled" (Oprah's words) at Bristol's words.  "Why set yourself up for failure?"

I hear the women on The View were cackling disapprovingly at it as well.

This is one big difference between progressives and conservatives. Conservatives, especially Christian conservatives (they're usually the targets of these charges) tend to shoot for standards to better themselves, understanding that they may fail.

Progressives say "Why try? You might fail!"

Jesus Christ himself said that even the just man sins seven times daily.  You are not expected to be perfect.  You are expected to try.

Misunderstanding this, progressives call those who fail "hypocrites" -- and they themselves are immune to the charge because they believe in no such standards to try live up to.  Which brings me to Things I Know #29.
29. I much prefer people who have standards and sometimes fail to live up to them over people who never fail to live up to theirs because they have none.
You can't be a hypocrite if you have no standards.  Unless of course you want to criticize people for their failures to live up to standards that you don't hold yourself.

They can't stand the fact that Bristol is determined to try her best and thinks it's the right thing to do -- because they don't even want the standard out there for anyone to try to live up to.

Here's the kicker.  In another story yesterday, an increase in teen pregnancies last year is blamed on .... wait for it .... abstainence programs implemented during George W. Bush's presidency.  That evil GW.  Getting girls pregnant by not having sex.  My favorite comment on one of the Oprah/Bristol videos on YouTube was
"Abstinence doesn't work without sex education and access to condoms."
Yup.  That's right.  Abstinence doesn't work without condoms.  This is like saying that diets don't work without food ads and mouth plugs.

If you assume the worst about people and expect nothing, you can expect more destructive behavior.  If we expect people to live up to a standard, more people will do it, or at the very least try harder to.  And there will be less of the destructive behavior.

How many years of sex education and passing condoms out have we had?  Is the problem better, or worse?

What are you telling kids when you pass out condoms on prom night?  What are you telling the girl who would like to abstain, but feels the pressure of the culture that results from saying "Hey, it's ok.  We know you're going to do it anyway!" and her boyfriend is looking at her, slappin' the free condom packet against his hand in the parked car or hotel room?

Of course the progressive answer will always be, "oh, yes, but it would be much worse if we hadn't implemented these policies" with absolutely no requirement of themselves that they back that claim up with anything approaching hard data.  Just speculation and theories.  It's what they always do.  And the answer is always more of the same.


tim said...

Maybe Orka wouldn’t bristle if Bristol was Black, obese and on welfare.

Well, that might be unfair, Ofra did open that school for girls in…where was it…oh yea, South Africa…that should help young American girls grow up the right way.

At 18 yrs. old Bristol has more integrity that Opra.

Cylar said...

I had to sit at my desk at work and listen to my idiotic, ignorant, left-wing co-workers sneer at Bristol, too. Fracking idiots. It was lovely listening to them prattle about how "ridiculous" it was that we had to hear about abstinence from someone for whom it "hadn't worked." Why couldn't we find an actual virgin to lecture us about this, they demanded.

I wanted to say, "Well, gosh, genius. Maybe you can explain to me why Bristol's failing to meet the standard means that the standard itself is wrong? If anything, the lesson has more impact coming from someone who learned it the hard way." Isn't that why we get former druggies to tell us why we shouldn't sniff coke and shoot heroin? Ex-cons to talk to students about how scary prison is?

Fucking morons. You have no idea what it's like to spend eight or ten hours a day with these ignorant loudmouths.

philmon said...

Oh, I know. I work at a State University in a college town.

But to be fair, there are a fair number of us quiet conservatives and we've learned who each other is over several years. Part of that is the department I'm in and the fact that we're in the midwest. But there's plenty of liberal techies around, for sure.

I just had a guy, though, not an hour ago pacing around the cubicles loudly talking on his cell phone -- bend over to read a cartoon I have posted outside of my cube. It's a spoof on the "Free Credit Report dot Com" commercials. Fairly gutsy for me to do that here, but it's small and I did it because I see so many progressive cartoons on others' cubes.

I was wondering what he was doing. He was still on the phone, and I could see his head in my peripheral vision.

He stood up and walked off, saying "What a stupid cartoon" plenty loud for me to hear as he walked off.

There was a time that would have bugged me - but that shit rolls off my back anymore fairly quickly.

tim said...

"There was a time that would have bugged me - but that shit rolls off my back anymore fairly quickly."

Yea, I think that comes with age. Had an older lady comment a few years ago on my "I (Heart) Halliburton tee shirt, she said something like "Well, it takes all kinds". I just grinned and said, "Evidently" and walked off laughing. She didn't look amused, which is what I was hoping for.

philmon said...

I haven't had the balls to wear my "No Che" shirt anywhere yet. I'd really like to do the "Che is Dead. Get Over It" shirt.

Gavin said...

It is one of my life's axioms that the higher your standards are the greater your potential will be. Every young person in America should hear that from their school every day. High standards benefit those that embrace them and those around the one with high standards. If your standards keep you from premarital sex and teenage pregnancy you are certain not to get an STD and be able to attend college without the use of public funds for child care. High standards protect your potential.

If you never use illegal drugs you will never be an addict on public assistance.

If you never steal you will never spend time in a public prison.

If you take school seriously get train yourself to aquire a valuable skill you will be much less likely to need public assitance.

You could say high standards would protect you freedom and not require others to pay for your low standards.

It is irresponsible for someone like Opra (who has all the resourses in the world) to mock high standards that could preserve young men and women from life changing mistakes that affect us all.

I realize no one can keep high standards all the time and I'm all for helping those who fail but I'm completely against ecouraging them to fail and ridiculing those who try not to.

Cylar said...

"If you never steal you will never spend time in a public prison."

Unless you forget to buy-in to Obama's health insurance plan, that is.