The graceful and the graceless:
The hemlines, the hemlines!
Decades ago, there was an interesting feature article in one of the magazines about “those sick men who govern us”. It went into the maladies suffered by various world leaders and how those could be expected to affect the performance of their duties.
The whole idea of something other than day to day factors affecting decisions in a big way is a bit daunting. MPs are expected to declare financial interests – why not health as well, particularly mental health?
And how does one declare level of maturity? The moment one mentions maturity, people bristle. An adolescent is forever trying to escape childhood and be taken as a grown-up but I’ve known many, especially girls, who then regress for a time and don’t wish to take up emotional maturity quite yet. For many boys – it takes years and decades more.
How does this affect ability to govern? What about GCSE results in this dumbed down education system, both sides of the pond?
How to determine the thickness index?
Pundits have been writing about the nanny state and infantilization – it fits right in there in the context of this question, in Warsi’s emotional outburst, plus a quote from a book I’d forgotten about, Christie’s Crooked House .
The dust jacket mentions families where, even though they’re not particularly evil per se, nevertheless all grow up crooked. That is, their environment is such that they have no real choice but to grow up that way – there’s no provision for them to become normal.
Christie’s quote on maturity, through her policeman, was:
They get very soon to that stage where they know it’s wrong, to the extent that they’ll be punished [if caught]. Later, they get to feel [inside] that it is wrong. But some people, I suspect, remain morally immature. They continue to be aware that [it] is wrong but they don’t feel it. I don’t feel, in my experience, that any [of them] ever really feel remorse.
And that is the Mark of Cain. [It’s] wrong but they don’t feel that. For them, they’ve asked for it, they’ve had to have it The victim has “asked for it”, it was “the only way”.
To the mature mind, there is no “has asked for it” and “the only way”. There are always other ways and people can choose them. But the morally stunted are essentially children who failed to grow up. A child is, it’s horrible to have to say, a sociopath. Observe the way a toddler will push the other off something he wants, hit the other with no compunction.
Carry that into adult life – and there are a whole lot of Norman Bateses and sociopathic women walking about with short fuses – the significant increase in mothers killing babies they get annoyed with, the “players” who just use people, the gang rape – it’s a product of infantilization – the inability to see consequences or to see them as not important, the inability to delay gratification – I must have it NOW [!], sheer ignorance of history – how far into the age groups does it go?
I’d suggest it could even stretch into the Boomers, the first generation to fail to take their responsibilities but still later became the company directors and politicians and sired Gen Y.
And then the earring-in-men’s-ears and grungy women of Gen X with their stay-at-home-to-save-money-until-you’re-thirty, welfare-state, acid-house-party lives, the tattooed generation who think nothing of swearing in front of ladies and might even ask, “What ladies?”
And across those two warring generations – the egregious feminists.
Moving on to the vacuous Gen Y – no job prospects or else McJobs, drugs, sex, poor education, truly dumbed down in a sad way, either uninterested in feminism but into themselves [which is actually the same thing, I suppose], fashion, shopping, sleeping around and not even seeing it for what it is, with older generations Boomer and X saying I want some of that and trying to be mutton served as lamb, cougars, paedophiles.
And out of all of that come our “leaders” who make decisions affecting us, courtesy of an evermore intrusive state, hellbent on infantilizing further. Media running articles on why even a few glasses of red wine is bad for you and can cause cancer and all sorts and then, not having got the message across, now bringing out “studies” which show that even one glass is harmful and still not having got the point across, now saying it is bad for dental health in the evening.
Have they not heard of cleaning one’s teeth after a meal or before bed? Perhaps people have stopped doing this – never thought about that.
If that’s a sign of where we’re headed and who’s at the helm, heaven help us.
There’s a logic to reformations, the coming back to sanity, responsibility, integrity, discretion in public matters. Nobility. That is, it has to follow a period of disintegration, such as we’re in the rush of now.
But equally logically, for a period of disintegration to occur, it must have followed something higher, something better. I want to know what the signposts are which show a “return to the old values”, such as they’re imagined through rose coloured glasses.
Christie, in Ten Little Niggers  had a character observe:
Every one made such a fuss over things nowadays! They wanted injections before they had teeth pulled – they took drugs if they couldn’t sleep – they wanted easy chairs and cushions and the girls allowed their figures to slop about anyhow and lay about half naked on the beaches in summer.
So there is the very disintegration this post’s on about … but back in 1939. Where, therefore, was that former period then when things were better, higher, more noble?
Answer is – in one’s own imagined youth. Perhaps youth was ever thus – slovenly, disrespectful, dumb and grown-ups were forever trying to make them responsible for their actions.
On the other hand, there were periods in recent history when it was excessively moral or excessively immoral – you can pinpoint them. Victorian times for the former and the 20s for the latter.
I ran a post or two on Berlin and Paris between the wars, the demoralization and the bit which stood out for me was not the Louise Brookses, products of broken homes, but that ordinary people, the bourgeoisie, were actually prostituting their wives to make enough to economically survive but even more than that – the 20s had demoralized the society to the extent they were rudderless. Or more than that – that women now saw it as publicly acceptable to flaunt sexuality instead of being ladies.
Women are good signposts in history. Follow the hemlines is a good rule of thumb, follow the fashions of the day.
On that basis, it was more moral on the surface, in terms of public perception, in Victorian times through to war, then it went down in the 20s through to war, seemed to be moral again in the 50s, went down again in the 60s and 70s … but this time it’s stayed down and got worse and worse.
Interesting that society at the high points, e.g. the Jazz Age, the Swinging 60s, was also when women were at their most openly or publicly skankiest. But there’s never been anything like we have today – internet hard porn and drugs right down into earlier grades at school wasn’t even about in the permissive 60s and 70s. This is a new thing.
It’s as if the reformation which ordinarily would have occurred – hasn’t. Something has stopped it this time. And apart from skirmishes and spot fires all over the world, what has there not been for a long time?
War. I’m against it but Them are all for it. Ian Hay :
War is hell and all that but it has a good deal to recommend it. It wipes out all the small nuisances of peacetime.
This is a frightening thought. That in order for men and women, plus children these days, to return to some sort of decency and nobility, one must have a war, a conflagration of some kind.
And let’s face it – Them have been hell bent on trying to get one going for quite some time. See Obama’s trying the bomb-Iraq trick again, as a precursor to “reluctantly” sending in the troops. Abu Ghraib again.
Quick question – why was Nixon stitched up? Yes, his own corruption got him but plenty of “leaders” have been like that. Why was he stitched up?
He wanted to end Vietnam. You also saw Twilight’s Last Gleaming. And of course, there’s the eternal question of JFK’s fall. It’s almost as if we’re “supposed to have” a falling away of morals and the exploitation and abuse of children, followed by the “high” war years of Lily Marlene, Keep the Homefires Burning and so on.
But something has gone wrong with the plan this time and we slip ever closer to the outright bestial and skanky without the correction. Similar to Moses coming down from the mountain the people having gone all idolatrous and perverted in the interim. In fact, it’s shaping up, is it not, to an almost open invitation for some messiah to come along and put an end to it, to get people back on track.
Someone like Adolph Hitler after the Weimar years? No thanks.
It’s more frightening during such times of “falling away” because there is no compunction derived from a code of conduct most agree on anymore. Personal safety is a prime concern when that happens. Always has been. Ages of Aquarius have never been accompanied by peace and love – they’ve always been accompanied by venereal disease, broken homes and violence in the streets.
See the 60s.
So, we are overdue for a reformation – this sort of thing we have can’t go on forever.
But how? Through a war? Or through former libertines growing up and amending their ways? Saying never again for our children? From whom comes the mental will to change things for the better? Not so sure it’s from us older men and women, gradually being bumped off by the NHS and by sociopathic staff in care homes.