Riding to the Sound of the Guns; Defending Men

I’d guess that by now you’ve all heard of the American Psychological Association’s guidance for treating boys and men. No, I haven’t read it, nor do I intend to. Most of what I’ve heard is intensely negative, making ‘pure crap’ sound like a compliment. Plus I’m a technical, engineering type guy, you know, yes or no, right or wrong.works or doesn’t work, ‘0’ or ‘1’. If it’s not absolutely right, it’s completely wrong. I’m mostly digital, not analog, although I do tend to have quite a lot of empathy for the fixes people get themselves into. Been there, done that. I still sort of believe the engineering school definition of psychology: “Nuts and S**ts. Deal with it, that’s the sort of guy I am.

But I’m not everybody, and more and more I notice a lot of young guys (girls too) seem a bit screwed up, so maybe somebody should help them and I’m very likely not that guy, so maybe psychologists do have a place. But I don’t think these guidelines, or at least what I’ve read about them, are helpful.

Quillette Magazine reached out to 12 well-known practitioners (some I’ve even heard of, and even read some of their stuff). What they said is about as balanced as I’ve seen. And it is interesting. A few excerpts follow. much more at the link.

Introduction — John P. Wright, Ph.D.

Thirteen years in the making, the American Psychological Association (APA) released the newly drafted “Guidelines for Psychological Practice for Boys and Men.” Backed by 40 years of science, the APA claims, the guidelines boldly pronounce that “traditional masculinity” is the cause and consequence of men’s mental health concerns. Masculine stoicism, the APA tells us, prevents men from seeking treatment when in need, while beliefs rooted in “masculine ideology” perpetuate men’s worst behaviors—including sexual harassment and rape. Masculine ideology, itself a byproduct of the “patriarchy,” benefits men and simultaneously victimizes them, the guidelines explain. Thus, the APA committee advises therapists that men need to become allies to feminism. “Change men,” an author of the report stated, “and we can change the world.”

But if the reaction to the APA’s guidelines is any indication, this change won’t happen anytime soon. Criticism was immediate and fierce. Few outside of a handful of departments within the academy had ever heard of “masculine ideology,” and fewer still understood how defining traditional masculinity by men’s most boorish—even criminal—behavior would serve the interests of men or entice them to seek professional help. Instead of passing quietly into the night, as most academic pronouncements do, the APA’s guidelines did what few such documents have ever done: They engendered a social media maelstrom, and likely not only lost professional credibility, but potentially created new barriers for men who need help. […]

We are heartened by the criticism that emerged from the APA’s guidelines. Why? Because we don’t believe that most of the backlash resulted from crass political motives. Instead, much of it was rooted in a deep concern about men and boys. The culture wars have not been kind to men, and data from an assortment of surveys tell us that boys and men are not thriving. Documents can be edited, but goodwill is a commodity no one should erase. If the APA is truly concerned about the mental and emotional health of men, it will recognize the goodwill and constructive intent underpinning much of the criticism, and consider the feedback as a starting point for a broader and more productive discussion of how to most effectively provide successful treatment for boys and men.

A sample from one contributor.

Who Will Mount Up and Ride to the Sound of the Guns? — B. Christopher Frueh, Ph.D.

The APA’s latest manifesto is an embarrassment to the discipline of psychology. It is an abdication of scientific responsibility, denying biological and evolutionary realities in favor of a progressive fantasy pushed by “social justice” and “feminist” ideologies. It is harmful to all members of our society and dangerous to our national security. Masculine qualities like rugged individualism, courage, stoicism, ambition, and a willingness to protect and sacrifice for others helped secure the freedom and prosperity that so many now take for granted.  

At a time when many academics are virtue-signaling by whining about “toxic masculinity,” taking offense at every imagined “microaggression,” and listing their “pronouns” in their email signature blocks, we should ask where does this line of absurdity end? Perhaps the next APA manifesto will seek to abolish religion, athletics, heterosexual marriage, eating meat, etc. Whatever happened to common sense? And where does this take us? Will we next ban books, movies, and podcasts by people named Ernest Hemingway, Clint Eastwood, or Jocko Willink?

OK, I’m not neutral in this fight, and Dr. Frueh says what I think, so I featured him here. That makes neither him nor me correct, but he damn sure raises a valid question. Read the whole thing, I found that each of the 12 contributors has something valuable to add. None of this is simple. I can’t speak for you, of course, but often I wonder exactly why I think, speak, or write as I do. Dr. Frueh also quotes one of my favorite authors, and it is important that we keep it in mind as we move forward. Remember, life is movement, if we’re not moving forward, we are slipping back.

“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

—C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1943)

Saddle Up!

 

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Culture Wars

Daniel Oliver writing in The Federalist has a question for us. Where has all the culture gone? Where indeed. Let’s see what he’s on about, shall we?

From the New York island to the Redwood forest, Western Civilization continues to collapse, gradually now, but soon, maybe, suddenly. For now, only a relatively small band of traditionalists are manning the gates against the cultural nihilists. And, of course, manning is the right word. Once upon a time, hand-to-hand combat was not thought to be women’s work: if the women were killed in battle, who would take care of the children?

Assuming there are any children. About 800,000 babies are aborted each year in the US. Given that about 39 percent of those babies are black but that blacks are only 12 percent of the population, why isn’t abortion seen as racist? Whatever happened to disparate impact?

How can Democrats, who are the primary advocates for abortion, say with a straight face that their pro-abortion stance isn’t a dog whistle for racists? Can Democrats say they know no one who favors abortion who has not also at least once said, or perhaps “opined,” that a complementary effect of abortion is that it helps keep down the poor black population?

If Ralph (not his real name) were to beat a black man to death in the forest while yelling racial insults, but The New York Times didn’t cover the attack, would it be a racist act?

Just recently the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, indicated that he would not oppose an “abortion” even after a baby was born. Most people were scandalized by his remarks, but the only remarkable aspect of them was that he said them out loud, not that had thought them. That he, and thousands of others, had thought them is really unremarkable, because of Burnham’s Second law: “Who says A must say B.” (James Burnham was a philosopher and a founding editor of National Review; he wrote many books, including his seminal work, The Managerial Revolution.)

Burnham’s Second Law makes the point that taking one position can require taking a subsequent position. If you murder Duncan, you must also kill Banquo.

A baby in the womb either is or is not a person. The abortionists say “it” is not (they have to say that because it is still not quite acceptable to kill “people” — unless perhaps they are really old or sick and, you know, like, really not enjoying life), but the abortionists refuse to say when “it” does become a person. In theory they might say “when it is born,” but that is now transparently only terminological.

Even a fool can tell that there’s no substantive difference between the personhood of a “baby” in the womb on December 24 and that same baby born on December 25. But where are the fools when we need them?

Yeah, he’s right, without question, and you should read the rest. But the culture ain’t just abortion, and the question is a lot broader. Where’s popular music that is music? That died about 1980, maybe earlier. Now we simply have noise, and not because I’m an old fogey, I thought so in the 80s, and quit listening. Now, I listen to a 60s station from London on the internet, mostly, because even the classical stations have caught the infection.

Think that irrelevant? It’s not, culture pervades and includes all facets of life. If you listen to Handel and Bach (or even Elvis and the early Beatles, let alone Pet Clark and Frank Sinatra, it’s not something that wants to make you go kill babies. Now, I wonder.

What do you think when you see a US Soldier on the street? For me, and many of us, they are the heirs of the Continental Army, both sides in the Civil War, and the men that fought off Hitler’s and Tojo’s minions, thus saving the world. If you see anything else, well the culture is declining and quickly.

So many things like that, and it all goes into the death of our culture. If we don’t resuscitate if soon, it, and we, will die.

Brexit, There Isn’t Really a Choice

Some of you are likely wondering why I have become so insistent on a clean WTO Brexit. Well, it’s pretty much in what the EU has written. This is a list of the clauses of the Lisbon Treaty which the UK will have to accept to remain in the EU, or indeed to take May’s cretinous withdrawal agreement.
, who pulled this together.

You only have to know the following about Selmayr and the EU.

Check out the Lisbon Treaty if you wish:

1: The UK along with all existing members of the EU lose their abstention veto in 2020 as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty when the system changes to that of majority acceptance with no abstentions or veto’s being allowed.
2: All member nations will become states of the new federal nation of the EU by 2022 as clearly laid out in the Lisbon treaty with no exceptions or veto’s.
3: All member states must adopt the Euro by 2022 and any new member state must do so within 2 years of joining the EU as laid down in the Lisbon treaty.
4: The London stock exchange will move to Frankfurt in 2020 and be integrated into the EU stock exchange resulting in a loss of 200,000 plus jobs in the UK because of the relocation. (This has already been pre-agreed and is only on a holding pattern due to the Brexit negotiations, which if Brexit does happen the move is fully cancelled but if not and the UK remains a member it’s full steam ahead for the move.)
5: The EU Parliament and ECJ become supreme over all legislative bodies of the UK.
6: The UK will adopt 100% of whatever the EU Parliament and ECJ lays down without any means of abstention or veto, negating the need for the UK to have the Lords or even the Commons as we know it today.
7: The UK will NOT be able to make its own trade deals.
8: The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade tariffs.
9 The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade quotas.
10: The UK loses control of its fishing rights
11: The UK loses control of its oil and gas rights
12: The UK loses control of its borders and enters the Schengen region by 2022 as clearly laid down in the Lisbon treaty
13: The UK loses control of its planning legislation
14: The UK loses control of its armed forces including its nuclear deterrent
15: The UK loses full control of its taxation police
17: The UK loses its standing in the Commonwealth
18: The UK loses control of any provinces or affiliated nations e.g.; Falklands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar etc
19: The UK loses control of its judicial system
20: The UK loses control of its international policy
21: The UK loses full control of its national policy
22: The UK loses its right to call itself a nation in its own right.
23: The UK loses control of its space exploration program
24: The UK loses control of its Aviation and Sea lane jurisdiction
25: The UK loses its rebate in 2020 as laid down in the Lisbon treaty
26: The UK’s contribution to the EU is set to increase by an average of 1.2bn pa and by 2.3bn pa by 2020

This is the future of what the youths of today think we stole from them?
They should be on their knees thanking us for saving them from being turned into Orwellian automatons.

Want it in one line? Great Britain becomes a province wholly controlled from Brussels, of no account in its internal affairs, or even less in international affairs. Remember what happened in 1940? Yeah, me too.

What Parliament and the government are setting up here is not 1940 rewritten, but 1642, and the first of the Cousin’s Wars, and I note without comment that quite a few of the American Cousins went home to fight for their family.

This may be on point, one hopes. Because what Her Majesty’s Government are doing is selling the Throne of England, and all those other places we love so much, to Belgium, ultimately to Das Vierte Reich.

And an update: If you would like to know why Britain must do this now, Timothy Bradshaw, writing in The Conservative Woman explains it.

Wednesday Video

Ennui has set in with me. I just don’t see anything I really want to write about today, so  let’s have a video. How about a complete change of pace? How about Victor Davis Hanson on World War II? Yeah, that works for me, and probably you, as well.

Enjoy!

Missing Rooster Cogburn

You know, like many of you, I’ve become desensitized somewhat to slurs on manhood, when I first saw that infamous Gillette ad, I didn’t quite get what was so bad. A second viewing fixed that, forever. Then came Lou Aguilar to put it all in context.

[S]omething detrimental to manhood happened in the late Sixties, planting an emasculative seed now sprouting in the loathsome new commercial by Gillette. Many of you have seen the shaving giant’s ad, nagging its male customer base for such unpardonable behavior as approving their sons’ rough play, laughing at a raunchy sitcom, or, gasp, approaching a sexy young woman, while brandishing the “MeToo” movement and “toxic masculinity” like hammer and sickle. What made Gillette think it could do this with impunity — even hiring a radical feminist filmmaker to sell razor blades while promoting pajama boy docility — has roots stretching back 50 years, from the end of a once popular genre, the Western.

We baby boomers, and our fathers and grandfathers, didn’t need Gillette and its ilk lecturing us on the liberal preference for male conduct when growing up. We had the Ringo Kid, Zorro, Wyatt Earp, Shane, Matt Dillon, Davy Crockett, Paladin, John T. Chance, Rowdy Yates, the Magnificent Seven, the Virginian, the Barkleys, and Rooster Cogburn for role models. They taught millions of us boys to be strong, tough, face down bullies, protect the weak, and absolutely respect women. Not one of those men would ever abuse or force himself on a girl, or allow less virtuous types to do so.

In the first classic Western, John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939), John Wayne’s Ringo Kid is the only man who treats prostitute Claire Trevor as a lady, shaming others into doing the same. In Ford’s next Western gem, My Darling Clementine (1946), Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) realizes Doc Holliday’s genteel ex-girlfriend, Clementine, is more vital to pacifying Tombstone than his gun. Shane and his farmer employer’s wife, Marion, never act on their growing mutual attraction, out of respect for her role of wife and mother. An older John Wayne as Sheriff John Chance in Rio Bravo (1959) gets repeatedly flummoxed by Angie Dickinson’s sexual candidness. The Magnificent Seven risk their lives, and ultimate lose four, defending a dirt poor Mexican farm village. One of the seven, Charles Bronson, delivers the greatest speech about fatherhood in all of cinema, lecturing a group of hero-worshipping young boys.

“Don’t you ever say that again about your fathers, because they are not cowards. You think I am brave because I carry a gun. Well, your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility. For you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there’s nobody says they have to do this. They do this because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage. Running a farm, working like a mule every day with no guarantee anything will ever come of it. This is bravery.”

These were the men we baby boomers hoped to emulate in our adult life. Many of us to some extent succeeded.

You remember one of the lessons we learned from all of those films. Yep, that’s the one. There just ain’t no excuses, if you don’t get it done right, you are quite simply a failure. I’ve lived my life according to that time tested rule, as have many of you. But we’ve failed to pass it on. And this:

Yet so positively ingrained in the American male consciousness was the Western Hero, that one lone figure defied the liberal zeitgeist and continued making billions for the cigarette company he represented long after television tobacco ads got banned in 1970. The Marlboro Man rode on in print until 1999, when anti-smoking pressure and the internet finally unhorsed him. But we older guys remember him — roping a wild stallion then lighting up a cigarette, appropriately to Elmer Bernstein’s stirring theme from The Magnificent Seven. Watching him, even I wanted to smoke, and I didn’t. One of the most successful advertising creations of all time, the Marlboro Man could never occupy the same media universe as the chastened beta males currently populating the Gillette commercial. Neither can I. I threw away my Trac II in disgust.

Well, I haven’t although I considered it, but I only use the accursed thing when I have to fly somewhere, so I don’t have to buy blades for my safety razor instantly on landing. I did throw away my package of Gillette double edge blades though, I’ll stick to Wilkinson Sword from now on. If I can’t have the Marlboro Man anymore, I’ll have to make do with the defenders of Rorke’s Drift.

War

In many ways, I took Satchel Paige to heart. I rarely look back short term, for fear they may be gaining on us. But we’ve lost some real heroes along the way.  Andrew Breitbart is one of them. What he would have done to the press in the last couple of years is beyond imagining. For instance.

Andrew Breitbart loathed the mainstream media. If you have any doubt about this fact, watch the following videos. He was disgusted by them and wasn’t shy about saying it.

He called out the liars and frauds to their faces.

He knew, to his core, the mendacity pointed at ideological enemies of Leftist dogma. He ran flank for Tea Party leaders who were being investigated by every government department including the IRS, FBI, EPA, and more. He loved these people who the elites in both parties hated. He defended them.

He protected those who were willing to be apostates to the leftist cause including guys like Brandon Darby who thwarted a Lefty terrorist group who planned a bombing at the Republican National Convention, and Milo Yiannopoulos, a flamboyant anti-feminist gay man.

He promoted the brave and gave them platforms including Dana Loesch, Ben Shapiro, James O’Keefe, and Hannah Giles. He was famous for finding talented and fair-minded people and developing their gifts. [Full disclosure: He promoted my work and helped build my consulting business before I came to The American Spectator.]

Andrew was nothing if not righteously indignant. One of my most prized possessions is the galley copy of Righteous Indignation that he gave me to read before I helped him promote his work. It was my great joy to do so. A naturally talented writer, Andrew’s book is a story worth reading if you haven’t yet.

Most of all, Andrew was prescient. He saw the corruption in the media. He saw the utter malevolence of their intentions. He saw them as the enemy. I try to imagine the rage he’d be unleashing today, if he were here to see the media’s constant war against the truth. Andrew’s antipathy to the media was wholly rational. Many on his own side thought he was too extreme. They were wrong.

Andrew was right.

Why has it taken so long for the Right, and anyone interested in truth, to see the truth about the Lefty-dominated culture? Why are the purported “Bulwark” guardians of the Right defending the Left and the media, purveyors of falsehoods and slander?

One answer is that they hate Donald Trump. Even more, they hate the voters who voted for Donald Trump. In this way, their aims are perfectly aligned with the Left. Destroying Trump and his supporters is a shared goal, truth be damned.

Keep reading Andrew Breitbart Was Right About the Media, by Melisssa Mackenzie, watch the videos, Andrew was right then, and he is right now.

We, the conservatives are starting to win, in America, in Britain, in Brazil, In Italy, Poland, Austria, even in Germany. This is no time for cold feet. Andrew is still right.

War, it is.

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