(The following is in response to a comment which I received from a reader who had looked over “Why Are American Men So Dumb?”. That post, and its follow-on companion piece “America’s Greatest Social Shame – Boys”, should be read over first in order to better understand my response below. My response is too long to post as a “reply”, so I’m posting it here as a separate article. The reader’s comment offered two references to items elsewhere – (a) one a documentary available on YouTube, and (b) a brief article by a male psychologist, internet addresses below at end.)
Thank you for visiting some of my posts. If you looked over several of them you probably found similar themes running throughout. I try to keep things here to the basics, to make maximum use of simple logic and history, most of which I personally observed or participated in (with least emphasis on the civil rights and military service parts). I am not a scientist. I am just a very well-educated soldier. I believe in personal responsibility, so I don’t look for excuses elsewhere. (See “About The Author” at ‘Home’.) Everything here is my own original work, and I would prefer not to distract readers by referring them to the work of esteemed others, especially academics, in the middle of what I’m trying to communicate. I will make an exception in this case, but please keep in mind that I am trying to cut through all the nonsense and reach a younger audience with broad concepts and principles and don’t want to get lost in a bunch of mind-numbing mumbo-jumbo that doesn’t add anything useful to my main purpose.
Concerning the You-Tube documentary (‘a’ below), I have not had time to watch it all the way through, but I will do so later when I have more quiet time. (I am currently traveling.) The first few minutes of the film, however, were enough to give me an idea of its direction. I should point out that I am familiar with theories, philosophies, works, conspiracies, processes, etc., beyond what I discuss here, but purposefully try to avoid them for the sake of clarity. (See my Comment below, dated 2011/04/13.)
Life is an unending series of personal choices, interspersed with critical decisions. Since age 15, I have always been a responsible adult, and therefore fully accountable for all of my actions, actions which I was always fully prepared to live with for the rest of my life. I have. In addition to responsibility (a trait which probably defines me), I value things like honor, trust, truth, leadership, bravery. I have never, and will never, seek to shift blame for any of my own actions onto anyone or anything else. Because of a rather unusual background that has mixed several different areas of specialty into one man over a rather long period, for better or worse I now understand some things from a different perspective than most, and before I take my leave would like to share a few of those things uncluttered by a lot of confusing stuff – with young smart people, young men and young women.
It’s nearly impossible for Americans today to understand how incredibly fast things happened in America between 1946 and 1971, just 25 years that completely changed what America was, what it even looked like. That period included the brief ten-year “eon” of “the Fifties” always so denigrated by “feminists”. During that time my dad was dead, and I was forever seeking answers to everything everywhere, on my own, mainly in and around Washington DC and throughout the South, restless, inquisitive, defensive. To a guy like me, that period after WW II was like someone had turned on the lights, and every day was Christmas with new and wonderful and fascinating things under the tree. And they weren’t just objects; they were ideas, too. I strongly suspect that many of those ideas were the result of GIs serving all over the world and of war-era immigration to America. It was all just “James Dean intoxicating”. But here and there, especially in inner cities and the South, were things I couldn’t understand and which I didn’t like. I eventually found some answers by exploring my own ancestry as a fourth generation Famine-Irish-American looking deep into the Irish serfs in Ireland and the Famine Irish in America.
But my first keen interest in the human condition was piqued by considerable publicity during the 1950s concerning a concept known as “planned obsolescence” (at that time associated with cars purposefully designed to need replacing every few years), which had been lurking around in the background (as I later learned) since the 1930s as an important underpinning of a rapidly growing industrialized society. (See Footnote #1.) Americans in the 1950s were shocked to learn, via an “exposé”, that such a purpose could actually exist in American industry, especially in their beloved Detroit auto industry. We made the best stuff in the world; why would we “shamefully” make stuff that would rapidly be discarded? At that time the subject generated very considerable heated public discussion, and there was even debate in Congress about banning the practice.
I found the whole idea incredibly devious but nevertheless ingenious. The trick was to overcome public resistance through advertising – making people actually believe that they had to have the latest new stuff, even if they really didn’t. And it worked. It created the industrial engine cycle that kept our economy churning. Sure, we could make cars that would run well for forty years, but why not make cars that would run well for only ten years – and sell four times as many cars to the same people? I don’t wish to delve into such areas here, or on their underlying philosophies, psychology and theoretical thinking, including principles of economics. Suffice it to say that the art of advertising drew heavily on work in pre-War Germany and quickly evolved into the science of marketing – and eventually found applicability to literally everything. In college I learned of the importance of Freudian theories, with their focus on the self, on the “id”, (on “me”), etc., of how it all was woven throughout work in propaganda, advertising, marketing. I think it’s important enough for Americans to have some basic but solid understanding of “marketing” (or its exact twin, propaganda) in order to recognize it for what it is, and THEN to make decisions, and judgments. The natural human predilection is to find excuses, to shift blame, etc., for one’s actions, even, or especially, if that excuse or blame is some background “evil conspiracy” hiding in the shadows. The result can be bogeymen everywhere, except in the mirror. I have been confronted with that nonsense at least 25,000 times over the past 40 years. People are either responsible, or they aren’t. “The truth shall set you free.”
But now our society has been running on premises that haven’t been valid for decades. We now have a whole populace (including a whole generation of ignorant, or cowardly, men) that doesn’t even know what Title IX actually IS. We have a country whose citizens don’t know that elections are now overwhelmingly dominated by women voters who elect proxy politicians who promise them the most free stuff purchased with money confiscated from “someone else”. We watch those politicians in Washington argue endlessly like children on a playground while accomplishing nothing but absurdities. We have most of our population believing that ten thousand rights completely without responsibilities come solely with an accident of birth, simply due to the difference of a single chromosome. We have to import tens of millions of Third World immigrants just to take up our baby slack and keep us viable as a society with all our enormous birthright entitlements, mostly paid by “someone else”. After complaining relentlessly for the past ten years about the same thing happening to us, and sacrificing over 7,000 soldiers to avenge it, due in no small part to four key unelected women (Clinton, Rice, Power & Albright) serving in very high places, we just undertook a massive unprovoked attack on a sovereign state (Libya) representing no threat to America or Americans or her allies.* We did it without Constitutional authority based solely on emotional nonsense about some local internal event that MIGHT happen, having absolutely no idea what we were doing much less how it would end or even who we were supporting to some unknown end – and with no consideration of what comes next or the greater consequences far beyond that country. THAT incredible nonsense is supremely “Baby Boomer”, full of feminine emotional absurdity. Has anyone heard any of all those rabid “anti-war” Boomers rioting in the streets and spitting on draftees during the 1960s objecting to all of our wars today? Of course not. It’s the supremacy of childish “me” in our culture. The Draft is gone; as with women, war is now for “someone else”, and we are now so powerful that we don’t have to worry about being subjected to consequences. We don’t even have to think about what we’re doing. A “friendly” country bows to our pressure and gives up its nuclear weapons, and then we destroy it – failing to see that our actions totally undercut our very grave concerns elsewhere. I could easily add another 100 items to this sickening list.
Others now know us far better than we know ourselves. One of the hardest jobs on the planet these days is trying to defend such glaring flaws intellectually with foreign local leaders in areas where death can be instantaneous and you need to somehow win over people to your side. Our fathers and grandfathers had it easy; America readily sold itself well before the GIs even showed up. Then the biggest part of the task was maintaining the standards and professionalism. These days our soldiers have to work hard to overcome the stupidity and ignorance of our politicians, and I often ask myself, “Just what are we selling? What sane knowledgeable person would actually want this craziness?” It reminds me of a time when I was a student working with schizophrenics and asking myself if maybe it would be better to leave them alone; perhaps they are happier where they are than where I wanted to take them.
Ours is a society that no longer even knows how to think. All we understand is emotion. All we do is shift blame. It’s ALL about “Me”. Self-involved American Boomer “feminists” truly excel at such things, at “marketing”, so much so that they actually believe all that stuff – and relentlessly teach it to our young. Only interested in themselves and making money from talk while perpetuating “female victimhood”, they are deliberately creating one colossal hell for their daughters and granddaughters – by deliberately destroying our boys. This is the most destructive of entrenched self-serving mindsets possible. American women seem totally oblivious that what they were incessantly taught by these “feminists” is what they are now incessantly teaching our children, of both genders. No wonder an Asian woman like Michelle Rhee, or even a Sarah Palin, a Carly Fiorina, comes at them out of right field like a typhoon – to be reviled and vilified, tarred and feathered, ostracized and excoriated. Their mere existence belies the dogma.
Even worse, since it is not possible to address the true root causes of very many major social ills in American society, including violence, without incurring the wrath of the almighty women’s lobby juggernaut, we end up creating huge industries of women “experts”, paid by taxpayers, who “treat” the symptoms of the disease – by searching everywhere but in the mirror. (Among their favorite “solutions”: the chemical equivalent of frontal lobotomies, followed by permanent social and political ostracism, for males. Another “solution”: “Pass more laws!”) A rational person observing the lunacy would conclude that all those social problems simply “created themselves”, like magic. Nothing will ever alter this self-serving arrogance until all American women receive what for them would be a traumatic experience – something in law that begins to re-insert an equal measure of responsibility into each and every one of all those rights they’ve been claiming for themselves for the past half century. Our society simply cannot survive with its majority women forever wallowing in their eternal victimhood solely to avoid their just responsibility. No cancer will ever be cured by applying band aids to the symptoms.
What causes the cancers!?
That’s why I keep encouraging young people and immigrants to think for themselves, to use their brains, to ignore all the self-serving text books written by Baby Boomers safely ensconced with tenure in the epitome of socialist campus utopias, to rise above all the pathetic self-serving nonsense – and do it THEIR way, with logic and the law, the only thing possible that will ever rattle that entrenched mindset. If they don’t, we as a society are finished. If someone doesn’t stand up for our boys, there is nothing but anarchy ahead. (See Footnote #2.) The numbers are just too huge, too unmanageable, for anyone.
In a certain way, the law presents an excellent approach for those who refuse to examine the causes. This law doesn’t ask why; it only asks if the existing condition complies with the law, under our Constitution, under that hallowed concept of “equal rights for all”, of “all equal under the law”. If the condition doesn’t comply, the law can order immediate change. Why and whose fault are irrelevant.
Concerning the Sax article (‘b’ below): Here’s an excellent example of Baby Boomer revisionism, contained in the article referenced in your comment: “We’re not going back to the bad old days of the 1960’s and earlier when women were denied equal opportunity in school and in the workplace.” – Leonard Sax, MD, PhD. It’s a group think premise based on thin air. (The following speaks in generalities; there are always exceptions to the rule in any human group.)
I’m actually a little older than Sax, and I was there. This is “feminist” revisionist nonsense. (American women have never been “denied” anything; it was always a matter of just what most women wanted, for themselves, and how long it took for them to decide.) First, there was NO “denial of equal opportunity” in America’s schools until the 1980s; girls were always doing just as well as boys, and both at more advanced levels than today. Actually most girls out-performed boys in subjects like English, History, etc. – and debating (using sound logic; the boys were always trying to “wing it”, with inadequate prior preparation.) As today, the teachers then were mostly women themselves. During the 1960’s “space race” there was a tremendous national emphasis in America on physical science, including math, physics, etc.), and often school teachers were not quite up to this sudden surge; in such a unique situation boys generally seemed to pick up on physical sciences quicker than girls, but overall the differences between the genders balanced out fairly evenly. The Greatest Generation demanded nothing but the very best from their schools – for ALL their children – and those schools were the world’s best. During that brief 1960s period, the money, of course, was in physical science, so perhaps there was some feeling (which I never heard) among women that girls were not sharing equally in such rewards. (Still, about 40% of those employed in high-tech companies in 1970 were women – over three times greater than what it is today.) It was just not all that big an issue; I myself opted to go into the social sciences, while all my buddies went into engineering, astronomy, physics, etc.. Potential monetary reward wasn’t really a deciding factor in a very vibrant society with so many possibilities everywhere. Black Americans had a legitimate beef; the gripes of American women were mostly dubious, seemingly more a matter of being caught up in the overwhelming emotional “protest” psychology of the time. (See Footnote #3.)
But one thing is absolutely certain: American girls definitely were NOT “denied equal opportunity in school”, either in the 1960s or at any time during the previous century. The notion is just totally absurd. Besides, most teachers then, as now, were women, and simple logic dictates that they would not be denying anything to their own group. In America, it has always been a case of “whatever women want“, as soon as they decided just what it was they wanted.
(And, for the record, American women have never been required to do anything, either (such as register for the draft or serve in wars).)
I actually conducted several small research works (around 1965-66), required of undergraduate ‘educational psychology’ and ‘sociology of education’ courses, using mixed gender public grade school classes chosen at random (low- to middle-class). Admittedly, I was not a tenured professor, and my work was not for publication, but in the course of those projects I found no differences in basic factors like learning achievement by gender, but I did find the expected differences in how each gender learned. (I remember these points because no study then was acceptable by anyone unless it took into account such important variables as gender, age, disabilities, etc., each of which required rather complex math concerning concepts like sampling error, standard deviations, etc. – without computers.) No one mentioned any gender problems with American public schools until the late-1960s, when the “feminists” started making noise in the middle of other major “movements”. At that time the greatest difficulty most young American girls and women, including college students, were having was trying to figure out what they wanted to do with their lives in a society that now offered seemingly unlimited possibilities. They definitely were not alone in that confusion; there was simply too much going on at once in the 1960s. Like most boys, I had major difficulty deciding just what I wanted to do with my own life; almost anyone could make a decent, interesting and challenging career with good pay in far too many different endeavors. The biggest problem for young people in America was the Draft faced by all boys, but not girls.
Second, concerning the workplace, the truth is that American women, Greatest Generation women, women who had been heavily employed in factories and in military support roles during the 1940s Second World War years, didn’t evidence much interest in returning to the tough workplace until the mid-1960s, when work conditions in America, thanks mostly to a booming economy, automation and labor unions, were suddenly enormously easier than in the past. (Nevertheless, in 1960 about 43% of American women were in that workforce, despite all the nonsense today that women were denied entrance.) However, discounting the effects of the discriminatory male-only Vietnam Draft, tens of millions of Baby Boomer women suddenly wanted it all, immediately. During the fifteen years from about 1965 to 1980, young women literally flooded into the workplace, displacing men everywhere, changing the rules, going to court, adjusting standards, driving down the value of labor (and wages paid for that labor), rendering unions superfluous, and making it necessary henceforth for two workers to support one family at the same level as one worker had done before – all in the interest of immediate rights under the Greatest Generation’s Civil Rights Act of 1964. (See Footnote #3.) Powerful special interest lobby groups like the National Organization of Women were constantly hammering girls with the propaganda that they HAD to leave the home and enter the workforce in order to be an actual human being, that “the fifties”, with its mutual emphasis on the home and family, with its equitable division of labor and shared responsibility, was “enslavement” for women. But these groups never considered the impact of their dogma on the society as a whole.
Over the 35 years between 1971 and 2007, due in no small part to an over-abundance of workers and piss poor prior planning, wages in America rose by just 4%. But productivity doubled (200%), making labor even less valuable. Worker wages now are the smallest share of national income since 1945, and far fewer workers are now buying everything in sight for steadily growing families, but rather just for “me”. When women flooded into the workplace, they drove down the value of labor, but they did not create new opportunities, new industries that created new jobs. All that extra labor was going into a rather static workplace, kept static by increasing automation and similar efficiencies. (The eventual “solutions” for women were to (1) demand “fair quotas” and “affirmative actions”, (2) turn to government employment, and (3) create service businesses that performed functions previously done much better by women in the home – which, of course, is just another cost of women in the workplace. No, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.)
As comparatively easier as that workplace now is, women have never stopped complaining about it, even in Washington where women now head most federal agencies, have huge majorities of women employees, and STILL enjoy monthly taxpayer-funded social events to champion themselves ad nauseam while dumb minority men, ever fearful of the dreaded “sexist” label, fill in during their absence. A half century later these women as a group are still running on 1960s auto-pilot, with all the same old rhetoric and even the same old “numbers”, still have not met the standards of women of the 1930s and ’40s – and they won’t until they accept an equal level of responsibility for ALL of their society, including the other half. I’d follow the US Army’s Monica Brown’s leadership (or that of Michelle Rhee) long before I would ever even think about following any self-interested academic “feminist” (or one of their “male” clones) anywhere. (See Footnote #4.) During the 1920s and ‘30s independent American women, if they were so inclined, were ingenious inventors and built and ran their own big factories and large businesses making and selling their own products – for everyone’s use, including car and truck manufacturers. Competition in the arena is tough, but there were no barriers to such women. Very much of what young Americans today imagine as “real life” during the first half of the 20th century is actually “feminist” group think super-imposed on actual reality.
With an education earned at a teacher’s college and three kids, my own widowed mother entered the workforce with the Defense Department in the WW II era, stayed in her field and steadily worked her way up without a break; she was the first woman to reach GS-13 in that “male-dominated” military world well before 1960s “feminists” made an issue of the whole employment thing, and kept on going well into the 1980s, when she finally retired as a senior executive heading a top secret division employing many thousands of very capable others all over the world and absolutely critical to the nation’s defense. With a list of credentials and extra capabilities that still really impress me, she always said, “You learn the rules; you master the process; and then you beat the jerks at their own game.” She did. Just like successful men did. Obviously that tough “male-dominated world” respected that. My Irish-American mother was smart. And she most definitely was not alone. Check out what the Greatest Generation’s Yvonne Brill did for a half century with mathematics and chemistry for rocket propulsion in space. Beginning before WW II, she worked for such top cutting-edge companies as Douglas Aircraft, Rand Corporation, RCA Astro Electronics and NASA while also raising three kids plus holding a number of highly advanced patents.
Also, Sax cites contemporary college ratio figures that are way out of balance, but still closer than reality. Independent studies (not those generated by the education industry) place the college undergraduate ratio in 2010 at around 63 (or 64) to 37 (or 36) in favor of women, by including well over 100 private women’s liberal arts colleges. (The figure projected for 2012 is 66-33 – exactly two women for every one man.) There is also a rapidly rising predominance of women in postgraduate schools, including law and medical schools. Most studies that are not conducted by self-serving women’s groups, primarily by looking at what American women-dominated public K-12 is sending to higher education, predict that such gross disparities will continue to grow ever wider as far into the future as can be reasonably estimated. Projections of both undergraduate and post-graduate dominance of women continue to progressively widen far into the future – despite powerful federal civil rights law mandating 50-50 gender balance in the results of every aspect of taxpayer-funded education. Complicating such figures is the really huge number of foreign schooled students (well over 800,000), mostly male, who come to American colleges and universities every year to study and do research, mostly in physical sciences.
Concerning Sax’s three points: First point (“school is for girls”), I agree. This is what boys say to me, too. (They also say that they do just like adult males do – and tell women whatever they think women want to hear. See Footnote #5.) Second point (“boys do better in schools other than public schools”), I agree. Private all-boys schools have incredibly higher graduation and college admission rates than do public schools, race immaterial, and without the drop-outs; the differences are truly astounding. Third point (“other factors at play”), I agree. It is entirely despicable to blame boys for failing in tax-paid public institutions; under the law, the institution is supposed to meet the educational needs of everyone, equitably, no matter what that takes. (Yes, parents do play a role, but if parents aren’t going to step up, society must, equitably. Women certainly would accept nothing less for girls. That’s why those schools are financed by taxes on all Americans.) Does anyone really think that if the genders were reversed in this education world, that every woman in the country would not long ago have taken to the streets in full riot gear? (It’s just one more manifestation of “all rights and no responsibility”, for the “special” people, in a nation based on “equality”.)
What to do? It is not possible to accomplish anything against enormously powerful special interest lobbies, unions and academics – all carping in unison. What is needed is a major shock to the American consciousness, a shock that will really rattle the sclerotic mindset. The only thing that can accomplish that without all the irrelevant nonsense is the law.
I have a clean and uncluttered four-step plan: (1) Force women “education journalists”, via incessant complaints to editors, to report the full truth about gender data in ALL public schools to the American public or be fired as bigots disseminating self-serving propaganda, (2) force the education industry via select Freedom of Information law suits to provide verifiably accurate gender data on a wide range of critical school factors, including drop-outs, expulsions, mind-altering drug prescriptions, participation in advanced placement and vocational programs, graduation rates, college admissions, scholarship awards, etc., (See Footnote #6.), (3) use Title IX selectively to force schools across the country to change in order to meet the educational needs of boys just as well as they meet the educational needs of girls, and (4) remove as many boys as possible from the bigotry of American public schools and into private or charter schools as rapidly as possible until those public schools can demonstrate that they are fully capable of complying with the law, of meeting the civil rights of ALL American citizens equitably. (All of this must be accompanied by a loud refusal to accept the slick “uni-sex” ploy for anything other than what it is – a despicable subterfuge designed to hide gross gender discrimination in all of American education. Never trust anyone discussing K-12 schools or education who speaks only in terms of “children” and “students” and refuses to mention “boys” and “girls”. Instead, call them out for the sexist bigots and propagandists they are.)
I don’t care who or what is to blame; going down that road is a dead end leading to the same intransigent nothingness that has characterized the past thirty years. (I happen to fault most a “mindset” running on auto-pilot, among EVERYONE.) Just like women of the 1970s, I don’t much care how the objective is accomplished, even if the schools have to hire 100,000 Regular Army sergeants as teachers; results are all that really count. As Baby Boomer “feminists” learned so well, focus on results will force any process that works. And I want it all to be done yesterday. Furthermore, I do not advocate one cent more of taxpayer money going to any of those schools than is now going to them. Money is NOT the problem, and it is not the solution.
I don’t care about college sports programs; they are far too low on any sensible list of priorities. If people want training and experience in teamwork and leadership, they can try to qualify for membership in the US Army. I don’t care about any “problems” men are having today; Baby Boomer men (and women) should have started DOING something thirty years ago. I only care about their sons, their grandsons, the future of my nation, and I stand 100% behind everything that I have posted here. I simply urge Americans to stop talking and DO something. (And they shouldn’t waste more time looking for excuses or conspiracies or bogymen.) Continuing to tell women only the utter nonsense they want to hear is just incredibly stupid; tell them the truth, and make them measure up, or get out of the way. Knowledge IS power – if it’s accurate, and uncluttered by propaganda and other nonsense.
One of the very best depictions ever of an American hero was written during the 1950s and published in 1960. It was written by a Silent Generation woman who grew up during the Great Depression and then used her father as her model – a father not championing himself or his daughter, but standing up against deeply entrenched ‘group think’ for justice and high principles far greater than the two of them – in an American court room. More than anything else, America today desperately needs American heroes like Harper Lee’s Atticus Finch – not in foreign wars, but right here at home.
Now, is there anyone left out there with a spine? Is there anyone who actually cares about our boys? About our daughters tomorrow? About our nation’s future? Or are we just going to keep TALKING about it for another quarter century? Until it’s gone?
Do we need to call Walt Kowalski back from the grave?
Or are we going to accept the destructive hatred of contemporary American women like Harper Lee who couldn’t rest until she published in 2015 a sequel to her book – that trashed her iconic father. American women do such things so very well, don’t they?
Addendum (in response to e-mails). I’ll try to make this as succinct as possible.
1. The American K-12 public school system is, under unambiguous federal civil rights law and a library of court precedent, one massive case of institutional sexist discrimination. It is a system made and run by women for girls, and girls mostly trained to shuffle papers while contemplating their navels, girls ensured of getting university educations at twice the rate for boys – all on the taxpayer’s dime to the negligible benefit of the nation and its position in the world.
2. Furthermore, the extremes to which our female-dominated schools and their legions of women “journalists” have gone over the past 15 years to hide from the public the degree to which their schools are systematically failing to educate American boys is the most despicable form of self-serving propaganda that has existed in this country for over a century. I personally refuse to trust on face value ANYTHING that these self-serving bigoted women in “education” have to say about education in America simply because their results so totally contradict their words, and the results are the ONLY things that count.
3. Since those running our public schools have failed to achieve positive equal results for BOTH genders for the past thirty years, they have totally failed in their mission and need to be replaced by something that actually works. Fast. It is long past the time for American women to assume the responsibility and accountability for others that is theirs. Ours is NOT a caste society, college is not the place for high school subjects, and we desperately need a very well educated populace, bottom to top, through and through. The “Greatest Nation On Earth” should NEVER become a nation of dummies and losers, either in the desks or in front of the classroom.
Being an American in today’s world should NOT be an embarrassment.
Is that clear enough?
(See “Why Are American Men So Dumb?”, “America’s Greatest Social Shame – Boys”, and “Gymnastics Of The Mind“, posted separately.)
* Czech-born and London-raised Albright played the same game in Bosnia in 1995 and in Kosovo in 1999, when the Europeans wouldn’t step up to their own blatant responsibility; she was able to do it with the assistance of an Arkansas bureaucrat general and political appointee named Clark, eager to make a name for himself. This time in 2011 the four sisters used an aging Navy guy in Congress named McCain, eager to save as much Navy money as possible from coming Defense cuts. Clinton intends to run for the Presidency in 2016 based on her “vast foreign policy” experience, with Libya as her centerpiece. See “Conversation With A Young Lady”. (She also intended to use Egypt – where she muscled aside the US-trained Egyptian military, the only moderate force capable of holding the country together until the civilians figured out how to run an equitable government, so that the Muslim Brotherhood could take over the country unopposed; this will NOT go well. See “Smiling Faces And Purple Fingers – And Egypt”.) In America, emotion and ignorance now completely trump logic and truth. A nation that no longer knows how to think is the clearest sign of a society in rapid decline – which represents the best encouragement possible for al Qaeda and its ilk. Totally focused on “me”, Americans perceive only slights committed against them, and, in all their glorious perfection, American women remain totally oblivious of slights they commit against others – that will inevitably come back to destroy us.)
Footnote #1. Planned obsolescence may have been invented in 1924 by the Phoebus Cartel at a meeting in Paris of several leading American and European manufacturers of light bulbs. Ostensibly “setting standards”, the cartel established industry rules to lower costs and standardize the life expectancy of light bulbs at 1,000 hours (around 40 days), while at the same time raising prices without fear of competition. A pre-Phoebus hand-blown, carbon-filament, Shelby light bulb manufactured in the late 1890s in Shelby, Ohio, has been burning non-stop for 115 years in the Livermore, California, fire house.
Footnote #2. After “Gran Torino”, my favorite modern movie is “American Beauty”. In the end it didn’t make any difference at all if his wife shot him to death with his own gun or not; the dumb schmuck was already long dead. He just didn’t know it. His condition was apparently his choice, too. Thank God the man didn’t have any sons.
Footnote #3. This is NOT to say that women did not experience very considerable resentment and opposition in the workplace, especially in blue collar industries (often by men who had violently battled other men for very scarce jobs during the Great Depression, or served in and survived as soldiers in World War II and Korea, etc.), or that women did not suffer under a range of other societal constraints (such as with unwanted pregnancies before the pill). They definitely did, and they were fully justified in seeking changes in some areas; I and many other young men stood with them in such efforts, often even helping to write their tracts and slogans in Washington designed for maximum effect on other men. (I also happen to be 110% opposed to anyone resorting to physical or psychological abuse against anyone, period, no excuses, man OR woman.)
Footnote #4. I can’t think of things more obscene than women with degrees in psych and similar social sciences actually being paid to super-impose their views and instilled prejudices on male combat soldiers. It’s bad enough that such privileged unaccountable women are permitted to turn boys into girls in our nation’s public schools without them also being permitted as “special” transients to turn the minds of men into emotional mush “just like me”. Anyone granted such authoritative entrée should be required to earn the privilege – by serving with those men in the exact same circumstances for as long as they do. The current practice boils down to a cheap side door to absurd “leadership as a right” – simply by showing up at the top and “pulling rank” on those who occupy a world completely unknown to these “experts”.
Women long ago made a major case about such male professionals presuming to “understand” the minds of the other gender. Just what twisted sense of “logic” makes the reverse completely acceptable? Answer: Supreme arrogance (padding its résumé). Medical doctors in combat zones are like high-tech mechanics – paid to fix the bodies of others as best and as fast as possible, while also gaining very valuable experience for future use anywhere. People dealing with the minds of others are an entirely different matter. “I do NOT think like you, ma’am.” Nor would I want to. Someone HAS to have the responsibility. It’s ok to mine the dead bodies of soldiers for parts to help others; it is NOT ok to screw up the minds of living soldiers for the benefit of “me” – which is quite obviously the primary, if not the sole, interest of American women, including those arrogantly presuming to be “experts” in male psychology. Your right to any job you want does NOT trump my right to tell you to find someone else’s mind to play with. This country is already overflowing with the broken male consequences of female social science “expertise”. The fact that so many “men” find this crap acceptable is merely an indication of just how stupid they have become at the hands of that expertise.
Footnote #5. Most American males do this because American women always seem to take on a personal level whatever males say, so it’s best for males to just say whatever they think women want them to say and avoid the hassle of apologizing or equivocating for speaking the truth. (The men most successful with women, such as Bill Clinton, are those who have learned to lie to them most convincingly, without getting tripped up.) But there are other factors at play here, too. A recent study of 35 national newspapers and magazines discovered that 81% of the quotes contained in stories about abortion were from men, and only 12% from women. The same study found that 75% of the quotes in stories about birth control were also from men, and only 19% from women. Now why would so many men be considered “quotable experts” on matters such as abortion and birth control? I haven’t a clue – other than that these brainless male puppets have been programmed very well indeed to say what they are supposed to say, are expected to say, in order to win favor with women. (Morons all.)
Most of the stories were written by women “journalists” who know it’s always best to get views from others to support their own views in order to give at least the appearance of “impartiality”. But these are men trained from birth onward to fear the “sexist” label so much that they will then go out of their way to parrot the dictated dogma in order to ingratiate themselves with the other half – both writers and readers. These moronic lemmings never seem to consider that American women are going to do whatever they want to do, regardless of what men say, so whatever men have to say on such matters as birth control and abortion is totally irrelevant, and, in this case, even silly. Presumably many of those quoted men were from academia, which still garners trainloads of money to support women’s “studies” and women’s “issues” plus a wide range of self-serving women’s propaganda. But, still, very well trained from birth onward with the constant “sexist” whip cracking menacingly everywhere around them to ensure they parrot the dogma, stupid grown American men can’t seem to avoid shooting off their big mouths with whatever nonsense they perceive women want them to say. These male “experts” then teach other dumb males how to make the “correct” response. What sane male wants to be accused of “waging war on women” – a whole century on? This is how “My Truth” becomes “The Truth”. It’s mostly a matter of fear. And stupidity. Plus a very unhealthy measure of cowardice. On the minority male side.
There are times these days when I get truly ashamed of my own gender.
Footnote #6. As you attorneys know, you can’t go to court with a Title IX class action law suit without solid data. (Anecdotal testimony from inside sources can be used effectively to support that data.) However, obtaining such data anymore is not easy. There are at least six sources – (a) “education journalists”, (b) women’s lobbies, (c) teacher’s unions, (d) “feminists” in academia, (e) government oversight agencies, and (f) school districts. All are overwhelmingly dominated by women. The first four will immediately bury you under a mountain of irrelevant side issues, so I would go after government oversight and school districts by putting their top officials in court under oath to testify as to the methods and accuracy of the data provided, while independent researchers attempt to verify that data. Keep in mind that they are ALL engaged in deliberate self-serving deception to deflect public scrutiny.
Footnote #7. From a March 2013 Washington Post blog on ‘The Value of Education’:
— Irving H, who asked that his last name not be used, is a single father who worked multiple jobs to afford his son’s tuition to DeMatha High School, an all-male private school in (the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC). The product of a single parent home himself, Irving never attended college but always instilled its importance in his son. Irving’s decision to incur the cost of one of the most prestigious private schools in the region was based on the school’s relative diversity and storied record over the past fifty years of alumni being awarded both academic and athletic college scholarships. The cost of tuition required Irving to generate more revenue from his rental properties, take on additional work assignments as a home contractor, and take on extra hours as a Service Technician with a local cable company. Irving shared, “[Paying for school] was definitely not easy. If it took paying a bill late to make sure my son’s school was paid, I did it.” Irving’s son eventually received a full scholarship to a four-year college in Pennsylvania. —
At the end of the blog is this: — Irving said it best, “If you can invest in a home or a property, than you can invest in your son.”
(Why do you suppose this man asked that his last name not be used? Note that Irving paid taxes to support DC public schools while also paying to send his son to a private school. The cost of tuition at DeMatha is about half what it costs taxpayers to send a child to DC’s women-dominated public schools, which have the highest drop-out and worst overall records of any “education” system in the country, most especially for boys. Many of this four-year private school’s alumni over the past half century support the school financially to help keep costs for struggling parents down and quality of education quite high. Those alumni also contribute to help insure the school’s physical plant remains of the best standards. The school has steadily grown to about 1,200 students and graduates over 98% of them, very many with scholarships. DeMatha is actually more socially (racially, ethnically, religiously) and economically “diverse” than DC public schools, with one exception: DeMatha teaches boys to become solid well-educated leader men, without being held down by women cooperatively contemplating navels, focusing on their own stupid self-serving process regardless of the results to boys. In addition to its top-rated academic and music programs, the school fields top-rated championship teams in 14 varsity sports, even though it still lacks its own athletic field and rents such facilities as needed from area public schools. There is no greater testimony to a non-profit school’s value than an alumni of both famous and obscure men, most of whom had parents just like Irving, that continues to “pay back” for many decades after graduation.)
Footnote #8: Employment. You can forget about what the announcement says are minimum qualifications for a particular job; the qualifications are whatever those doing the hiring use to select applicants, and increasingly education is the critical factor for quality jobs, and most especially in an era of high unemployment. Economists have referred to this phenomenon as “degree inflation,” and it has been steadily infiltrating America’s job market. Across industries and geographic areas, many jobs that previously didn’t “require” a degree — positions like dental hygienists, cargo agents, clerks and claims adjusters — are increasingly requiring one, according to Burning Glass, a company that analyzes job ads from more than 20,000 online sources, including major job boards and small- to midsize-employer sites. This up-credentialing is pushing the less educated even further down the food chain, and it helps explain why the unemployment rate for workers with no more than a high school diploma is more than twice that for workers with a bachelor’s degree. (Those without a high school diploma, overwhelmingly male, don’t even figure in the equation. It’s not even the value of the education that counts; it’s just that one has the necessary piece of paper, the “ticket”.) A part of this is due to the recognition that a college degree today doesn’t impart a value appreciably greater than did a high school diploma of a half century ago – a consequence of steadily declining standards across the board throughout all of American education. But it’s also because so many people are now going to college, even for degrees which on their face have little market value, that those who do not graduate from college are often assumed to be “unambitious” or “less capable”. (And, of course, if no one else will hire someone with a “worthless” college degree, government always will.) All this has shifted a tremendous advantage to women in the employment arena, almost across the board. Women are thus using the women-dominated education industry to “advance” on the crippled minds of boys. (I challenge anyone to find a contemporary press report on school drop-outs that mentions gender, that ever hints that over 90% of those drop-outs are boys. Just imagine the screaming from women if the genders in this instance were reversed; they would never ever tolerate such cheap deception.)
Question: What is the largest industry in the US with the highest salaries and the lowest unemployment rate still in 2012, four years after the beginning of the Great Recession?
Answer: Government. Its staggering 22.6 million workers with an average salary of $54,000* (not counting the best health care, pensions and other benefits in the US) have an unemployment rate of just 3.9%. (4% unemployment is considered “full employment”, with a small portion of jobs in normal transition.) (That salary is $14,000 above the national norm; throw in benefits, and government workers are compensated at twice the national average. These people enjoy the biggest and most powerful unions in the country, which get to negotiate their contracts with … other government employees.)
Next comes – Health Services (16.7 million, $47,000, 5.7%) and Education – (3.3 million, $49,000, 5.9%). (The health services industry spends four times as much on lobbying government in Washington than does the military industrial complex, and the education industry hides behind “the children”, but government, health and education are all women-dominant industries, so it’s very difficult separating out true influence. As self-proclaimed “eternal victims”, all women habitually consider only what’s best for “me” and “my group”.)
These 42,600,000 privileged Americans (in Government, Health and Education), the vast majority of whom are women, owe their comfortable lifestyles primarily to money government simply confiscates from everyone else – who have an unemployment rate of over 16% (which includes those no longer receiving unemployment insurance and those who have stopped filling out job applications. It does not include those many millions who have had to shift to part-time work.). These are all very secure no-risk careers with the nation’s most powerful unions which habitually garner enormous support from politicians.
Added to this privileged mix are those 7,600,000 employed in Finance (banking, insurance, etc.), also overwhelmingly women, who have average salaries of $58,000 and an unemployment rate of 6.1% – and owe their comfortable lifestyles mostly to mortgages, loans, government laws and bail-outs. These, too, are secure no-risk careers.
That’s over 50,000,000 American workers – a third of the labor force – with far and away the best job security, pay and benefits, and working conditions, in the country, mostly oblivious to the trials and tribulations of everyone else. (This is why, although the value of your home fell through the floor due to a lack of responsible government oversight, your mortgage, insurance and tax costs haven’t budged, may even have risen. Those “special” industries have a ravenous appetite that MUST be fed.)
Small wonder that a Nancy Pelosi-led Congress was so eager to enact a massive new government health care system AND bail out the financial industry, on top of a new prescription drug program, all with massive amounts of other people’s money. Women have constituted the majority self-serving voting bloc in America since 1980.
The Defense Department in July 2011 quietly began its first round of personnel reductions – 45,400 people. All, of course, are military people (93% Army and Marine soldiers, which all the self-anointed “special” people like to call inanimate, brainless “troops”, à la Lord Cardigan) – no pension, no severance, no negotiation. Military personnel do not have unions, and Army and Marine soldiers today incur over 98% of war casualties, for the “special” people. You can hire and fire soldiers at will, no fuss.
Some facts that help explain reality:
A “normal” unemployment rate in a dynamic US economy is around 4% at any given moment (due to people changing jobs or retiring, jobs closing here and opening there, women making choices, etc.). Thus, only Government is at full employment, followed closely by Health Services, Education and Finance. All other industries (or “sectors”), which employ far more men than women, have significantly higher unemployment rates, some even well over 20%.
The labor force in the US is about 158,000,000 people – about 66% of all adults (an increase from about 60% in 1948). About 60% of women are in this labor force, a figure that has risen from 32% in 1948 and 43% in 1960. About 73% of men are in the labor force, a figure that has declined from 87% in 1948. (This last figure declines steadily.)
(Three years later, in 2015, less than 60% of employable people were in the labor force, the lowest since before WW II. Who or what is supporting all those millions of unemployed? They certainly aren’t paying taxes to fund a government that has to keep shelling out more and more free goodies demanded by the “special” people.) Employment figures are based on those who are employed or are seeking employment; this is the “labor pool”. Those unemployed who are not seeking employment are not relevant. This makes it possible for the employment rate to rise even as the number of jobs remains constant or even declines. (A shrinking labor pool will by itself create a lower unemployment rate – giving a totally false impression of what’s really going on with employment and the economy. It’s math.)
Every 1% of the US labor force is about 1,580,000 people. An unemployment rate of 16% means there are around 25,000,000 people without jobs in America – a figure that is considerably larger than the entire population of Australia. About 85% of the unemployed are male.
You’d never suspect any of this, since women’s lobby machines with the help of their male clones, as usual, keep churning out the emotional propaganda about something, however petty, for our ever-“persecuted” women “victims” to whine about. It’s all about keeping alive and well the totally absurd notion of a million rights with no responsibility – that it’s ALL about “me” ad nauseam, that women played no role at all in creating their own condition and that of everyone else, and that it’s the job of government to come running to their rescue. And in a society that now decides on the basis of girly emotion, it works.
*Average (median) personal income in the US for those 25 and older employed full time is about $40,000. This figure includes all American adults, regardless of employment. (“Household” income is around $50,000 – a reflection of the fact that it now requires two workers to provide the family living level previously provided by one.) A 2012 study of 19 metropolitan areas across America showed that women working full time earn about 119% of the incomes of men working full time.
Almost eight times as many boys as girls drop out and never graduate from high school. But even for those who do graduate, the picture is not nearly as bright as it once was. Today a high school graduate earns $12,000 less than he or she did in 1980 (adjusted for inflation), yet only about 30% of Americans get college degrees, and twice as many of those degrees go to women as to men. An average high school graduate earns about $32,000 full-time. A average person with an undergraduate college degree earns $24,000 more, a masters $30,000 more, and a doctorate $48,000 more than an average high school grad. (Averages: High school – $32,000. Bachelors – $56,000. Masters – $62,000. Doctorate – $80,000.)
That’s why women’s lobbies and their education industry have now started a new campaign to convince people that “not everyone needs a college degree.” The insider’s secret, of course, is that the campaign is intended only for boys, that it’s perfectly acceptable for twice as many women as men to earn college degrees in America and then get jobs paying far more than for men. If the campaign were intended for girls, every women’s lobby in the country would be up in arms. It’s always been true, of course, that not everyone needs a college degree in America, but you’d have to be a moron not to suspect more sinister intent, especially now when women are routinely garnering twice as many such educations as men. (And if you have a useless degree no other employer wants, you can always get hired by government.)
While everyone is screaming about the high cost of a college education (It is, after all, a business, selling whatever the customer wants to buy), it might be worthwhile to consider this: In 1980, when the cost of a degree was considerably less than it is today and when just as many men as women were earning them, it took nearly 25 years to earn back the investment cost of that degree. Today, it takes just 10 years. (Guys, women and their lobbies know this stuff.) Are self-interested women, who have never once demonstrated any sense of responsibility for anyone beyond themselves, simply setting up their own group for all the cushy, effortless, very high-paying jobs close to the headquarters flagpole, where they can lord their better educations over all those dumb male ditch diggers, store clerks, toilet uncloggers and all-around go-fors out there – while also demanding that government bail them out of their college loans? Based on their well-established record over the past half century, I, for one, certainly wouldn’t put that intent past bigoted “entitled” American women at all.
There have been several stories in news outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post about women-run companies now requiring college degrees for all hired employees, including for receptionist and file clerk. This makes it very easy for such companies to hire only women, who then have their very own “comfortable working atmosphere” unpolluted by those disgusting competitive men. When the criteria is college degrees, it’s very difficult to make a legal case of gender discrimination in hiring. Apparently, in the employment arena, it’s not what you know or don’t know, about what results you can actually achieve, about any leadership capabilities you have or don’t have, but rather how well you fit in the social group, especially when the group is composed only of women college graduates steeped in liberal arts. (And just try making civil rights law, concerned with artificial labels like gender (or race), apply to credential inflation in hiring – even in companies that now employ only women. All the company has to do is point to its education requirement in hiring to overcome any potential liability in gender discrimination. And it all begins with gross gender discrimination in our women-dominated K-12 public “education” system – and stupid American men, for not taking the legal action on behalf of their sons clearly demanded now for over a quarter of a century.)
Women are still allowed to drop out and back in the labor market with little stigma, and many do so, but there are no acceptable excuses for a man to not be always gainfully employed. Inability to find employment within a brief period for an American man is still grounds for non-hire as well as fertile grounds for clinical depression and can, and often does, lead to suicide, enormously more so than for women. In fact, unemployment is still the leading cause of adult male suicide. (As the country goes through yet another debate over guns, everyone is hearing about the 30,000 gunshot deaths every year in the US, a number one-third that of the premature deaths that occur every year due to mistakes made in American hospitals. What one does not hear in that gun debate is that well over half of those gunshot deaths are deliberate male suicides.)
Most income statistics published in the US are now concerned with “household income”, in recognition of the fact that, with labor devalued by so many workers, it now takes two wage earners to support a family at the same level previously achieved by one 1960 wage earner. Most “families” in America are now those of “single mothers”; only one in four American boys can count on a father through age 18. And all those women in the labor force now have less than half the children needed to pay for their own birthright entitled benefits in Social Security, Medicare, etc.. – a “future-taxpayer-producing job” now mostly farmed out to “someone else” (Third World immigrants) but still falling far short of actual need, all while their premiums are heavily subsidized by those dumb men. (Women receive far greater benefits from such welfare programs than do men, but still pay the same premiums.) If women don’t step up to their responsibilities fast, this country has no hope of surviving intact beyond mid-century. And that is the simplest truth of all; it’s just basic math. And unemotional logic.
Working, in America, is in decline. The portion of adults in the US working force is at its lowest since before World War II. The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to over 18 percent. The trend was pushed to new heights by the last recession, with 20 percent of prime-age men not working in 2009 before partly receding. But the recovery is unlikely to be complete. The United States, which had one of the highest employment rates among developed nations as recently as 2000, has fallen toward the bottom of the list. Today there are over 10 million prime-age men who are not working, but there are only 4.8 million job openings for men and women of all ages, according to the most recent federal data. And all those many millions of college-educated women out there don’t seem to be interested in creating the giant corporations needed to provide the necessary jobs. On the contrary.
Many men, in particular, have decided that low-wage work will not improve their lives, in part because deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working. These changes include the availability of federal disability benefits and the decline of marriage, which means fewer men providing for children, buying homes, etc.. The resulting absence of millions of potential workers has serious consequences not just for the men and their families but for the nation as a whole. A smaller work force is likely to lead to a slower-growing economy, and will leave a smaller share of the population to cover the cost of government, even as a larger share seeks government help. (Eventually the takers overwhelm the givers, and the whole house of cards collapses.) Most young men are starting to ask, “Why bother?”
A study published in October 2014 by scholars at the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies estimated that 37 percent of the decline in male employment since 1979 could be explained by this retreat from marriage and fatherhood. “When the legal, entry-level economy isn’t providing a wage that allows someone a convincing and realistic option to become an adult — to go out and get married and form a household — it demoralizes them and shunts them into illegal economies,” said Philippe Bourgois, an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied the lives of young men in urban areas. (Of course, these days, many men make the same discoveries after they’ve already saddled themselves with marriage, fatherhood and household – that any potential low-probability “rewards” just aren’t worth the investment required.)
There is also evidence that working has become more expensive. A recent analysis by the Brookings Institution found that prices since 1990 had climbed most quickly for labor-intensive services like child care, health care and education – increasing what might be described as the cost of working: getting a degree, staying healthy, hiring someone to watch the children, paying for schools. Women are demanding that government pick up ever larger portions of these costs, but with fewer and fewer men working, there are fewer and fewer men paying taxes to pay for such government services. This pushes taxes higher so that the benefits of working become ever less desirable. (And, of course, very quickly you hear demands to “tax the rich” – well above the 78% of all taxes on income they already pay. This makes them less inclined to invest their money in America, to create new enterprises, more employment opportunities, etc..) “Why bother?”
At the same time, it has become harder for men to find higher-paying jobs. Foreign competition and technological advances have eliminated many of the jobs in which high school graduates once could earn $40 an hour, or more. A recent New York Times poll found that 85 percent of prime-age men without jobs do not have bachelor’s degrees. And 34 percent said they had criminal records, making it hard to find any work.
Men today may feel less pressure to find jobs because they are less likely than previous generations to be providing for others. Only 28 percent of men without jobs — compared with 58 percent of women — said a child under 18 lived with them. They are unhappy to be out of work and eager to find new jobs. They are struggling both with the loss of income and a loss of dignity. Their mental and physical health is suffering. Yet 44 percent of men in the survey said there were jobs in their area they could get but were not willing to take. The most common explanation is, “Why bother?”
For the past century American women have been laser-focused solely on themselves. They have doggedly re-engineered society to suit themselves, but they didn’t consider how their society could sustain itself. And while they’ve been doing that, they haven’t noticed that the other half has been undergoing some really major changes of its own, changes that portend truly enormous problems for our future. Let’s all hope that women finally achieve all their wants very soon, because we need them to get to work as fast as possible and start solving, and funding, all the other major problems that have risen in our society – before we all go out of business. There are fewer and fewer guys willing to listen to your whines, ladies. Men are steadily being sidelined, leaving their former responsibilities to you. The irony for you will be that with all your relentless demands, you will have arrived at a point where the future of our society is solely dependent on you, and the prospects are just dismal. You and your daughters and their daughters will spend the rest of your lives listening to the relentless demands of men. Yes, Virginia, all those rights DO have corresponding responsibilities. It was never about “Me”; it was always about “Us”.
Wanted to thank you for the reply in the form of this blog. The documentary is not a “conspiracy theory” but rather a very mainstream BBC documentary. But it explains something that even I (a part-time conspiracy theory tracker) was not aware of.
My apologizes; this material was part of my undergraduate college education long ago, and a subject of side interest ever since. And, yes, I do agree: The BBC series is an excellent summary – of a topic that is very real and enormously powerful, especially among an under-educated populace. Here with my posts I am trying to emphasize personal responsibility, mainly to Americans under forty. I have two posts on some basics in marketing and propaganda if readers wish to peruse them. My thinking was that a basic understanding of such things would be sufficient to keep personal responsibility at the fore. However, I am considering adding a new entry to my list of propaganda techniques – absolutely absurd lies. As in “the bad old days of the 1960’s and earlier when women were denied equal opportunity in school and in the workplace.” I never imagined anyone could get away with such utter nonsense in America, and under a PhD title at that, but I guess our education industry is far worse off than even I imagined (or the power of lobbies far greater than I could imagine).
Concerning all the various marketing schemes and social-psychological movements that tried to shape human behavior through much of the twentieth century, some far more effectively than others, I regard the temper-tantrum 1960s as the Turning Point in American society. For better or worse, I just happened to be present on the corner, witness to all the whines and demands and impatience, a very few valid but most just utterly ignorant childish emotionalism. It was then, a whole half century ago, that the sophisticated campaigns left Madison Avenue advertising en masse to find their way into a plethora of “life-style” philosophies, all focused via interest group marketing on “me”, some to eventually become an integral part of the culture. I’ve found it more palatable today to provide examples in popular culture to illustrate things that just get too esoteric for the average person who just wants to understand what’s going on without a lot of complicated (and often meaningless) mumbo jumbo. (In the US military, the KISS principle is “Keep It Simple, Stupid”.)
“The Detective”, for example, was an above-average and under-rated Hollywood film released in that pivotal year 1968 based on a 1966 novel by Roderick Thorp and staring Frank Sinatra. Most of the reviews written today, lacking a full appreciation of those times devoid of decades of subsequent self-serving propaganda, are off the mark in understanding what is actually going on with this complex story.
The movie concerns a tough but principled old-school middle-aged cop in New York City faced with, and adjusting to, a lot of the social changes then coming to the fore throughout American society, including divorce, promiscuity, drugs, and, most importantly, juvenile blame-shifting. An undercurrent in the film also concerns homosexuality coming out of the closet and forcing others to come to terms with it, often rather ineptly. All of these social changes were in addition to all the major political movements by the rising Baby Boomers then making headlines – including those championing blacks, the anti-war (Draft) movement, and, of course, women and their massive “affirmative actions”, none of which – like the riots, hippies, mass arrests and assassinations – the film even mentions. (The fictional police department is concerned with avoiding potential problems with regard to various civil rights.) But the audience of the time did know all this other stuff; titanic change was inescapable, all everywhere around them, screaming “in your face” from the TV to the office, from the Reflecting Pool to Main Street.
The cop has been taking a criminology course at NYU in his off-time, which might explain his more perceptive approach to the range of social and political problems he constantly faces, on the job and off. (During the 1960s the oracle for criminology was with the University of Chicago’s Department Of Sociology and several esteemed members of its faculty transplanted from Europe, especially Hungary; these gentlemen had a number of respected disciples at key American universities, including NYU.) The police squad has the full compliment of male humans, from a thug and a bigot to a methodical paper trail investigator, a conscientious official and a beleagured chief hoping to survive to retirement. The cop’s father had also been a policeman, one who went 25 years on the job without a promotion, and now after decades on the job the son, a proven effective by-the book detective, but childless himself, has a shot at making lieutenant.
But now he has a resentful younger black cop as partner (played by the great boxing champion and role model Sugar Ray Robinson) who’s been on the job all of two years and is already bucking for promotion and willing to go to almost any length to get “results” – including justifying his aggressive humiliation of a man stripped naked in the interrogation room as an effective tactic learned from Nazi Germany, while an older Jewish cop stands there mute. The film is literally packed with examples, drifting in and out of the main story line, of short cuts, easy answers and quick fixes, of the greater good subordinated to the needs of “me”, of high principles obliterated by expediency for personal profit, of the past being irrelevant to the now, of one man buffeted by a thousand squalls and still somehow stoicly remaining the respected calm in the middle of the storm, just trying to do his job. (When you add all this to all the other stuff then boiling in American society, buffeting every waking moment just outside the theater, a knowledgeable viewer gradually perceives an image of this guy as made of solid granite, an image still somehow made totally incongruous by his easy and steady manner on an even keel as the typhoon rages all around him. Today this cop reminds me of a rare man who has been very well seasoned as a stoic professional ground combat leader.)
Toward the end of “The Detective”, there’s a scene between the cop (Sinatra) and a society psychiatrist (Lloyd Bochner) in the latter’s plush up-town office. The psychiatrist, it turns out, has been blithely sitting on the critical key to a homosexual’s murder, a psychotic’s wrongful execution, a bi-sexual’s suicide and a very major big-money corruption scheme involving lucrative real estate swaps – some even by duplicitous community leaders manipulating civil rights issues for personal profit from taxpayer money. All this is taking place while the cop’s high society second wife, a sociologist no less, is whining about her inability to maintain relationships as an excuse for her promiscuity with other men. (Thankfully, the film doesn’t pause long enough for the viewer to sum up everything; otherwise it would look like the whole world has simply gone totally psychotic. Very many members of the Greatest Generation at that time, including many in Congress, in fact, did feel that was the case, that Armageddon was tomorrow.)
The cop’s calm demeanor belies the fact that the stakes couldn’t be higher. The smooth psychiatrist offers the conflicted cop a rationalization and a way to avoid an explosive scandal reaching from the pillars of the community into the police department itself, a major scandal that will also bring into question his own handling of a mentally deranged confession – which, of course, will also deprive him of that long-sought promotion to lieutenant.
But the cop comes from a different time.
Sgt. Joe Leland: “Ah, You’re awful good, doc. It’s easy to understand why you do such a thriving business here. Oh, you’re awfully good at getting people off the hook, aren’t you?”
Dr. Wendell Roberts: “I think too many of us are on the hook. I think that’s part of the world’s problem.”
Sgt. Joe Leland: “Is it? I thought it was because we don’t face responsibility.”
Maybe it’s the advantage of hindsight, but, to me, that pretty much sums it up. I call it The Sin Of The Boomers. From there, apparently, the avoidance of responsibility became an inheritable trait of the American animal. Police Sergeant Leland was a member of the Greatest Generation and thus could never escape the responsibility that was his.
And, ever since, American losers by the millions have been inventing an endless list of ways to get themselves “off the hook”, to rationalize away their own responsibility for their own decisions, their own choices, their own behavior. “It can’t be my fault. It HAS to be “someone else”.” All these “special” people have rights; they do not have responsibilities. (P.S. It’s ALL bullshit.)