Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Rant Every American Should Read

From Victor Davis Hanson at PajamasMedia:
This self-congratulatory generation can hardly, as we are learning, build a Bay Bridge again. Yet when we see on the Internet pictures of a new aircraft carrier we are stunned in amazement—we did that? We built such a powerful, sophisticated ship? We—at least someone— can actually still do things on rare occasion like that?

The American people are, to be frank, nauseated by the archetype of a John Edwards, who never created anything other than a legacy of bankrupting doctors in order to enrich himself. I’d prefer one gall bladder surgeon to fifty Botox experts, a good Perkins engine mechanic to 1,000 deconstructionists at the MLA, one competent chemist to fifty government attorneys.

For the present I think that we have enough social service bureaucrats, enough consultants, enough PhDs that will lecture how race/class/gender has made us, our air, our dogs even, so unfair. We simply are thirsty for the unapologetic doer, who never says he’s sorry for himself or his country or his ancestors, but instead thinks and plans how he can build something better and leave it for others–the age old agrarian commandment “make sure you leave a better farm than you inherit.” Where are they all, in the grave?

We all seem to stare at the rare genius under a semi, working on the transmission, or someone on a catwalk riveting a girder, or a teacher who can wade into an unruly class and say “damn it, we are going to learn calculus one way or another”.

My complaint against Hollywood actors is not that they are talentless, though many are; or that they talk in the same tones as women did sixty years ago, but that they have no imprint, no trademark of individuality. In short, to paraphrase Orwell, “If it paid better, they’d be fascists.”

I think we responded to Mickey Rorke’s brief renaissance, not because he survived while being drug-addled, or was punched out, or reckless, but because he showed, as a torn-cat, a certain dignity, a certain courage of being so very different from the norm. Yes, at this point we are so desperate for talent and singularity we will take eccentricity bordering on nihilism.

So there you have this rant.

Why are Americans hesitant, bewildered after the arrival of the Messiah?

Not for the reason our President attests about high unemployment or shaky GDP or the lack of national health care. We simply are ashamed of our profligacy; we don’t trust those who should be trusted; we put up with the crass and honor the mediocre and ugly; and we fight and bicker over the distribution, never over a share in the creation.

Hope and change, indeed.
Please, read the whole thing.

I'm going to be talking about this subject in next week's podcast. We are as a nation being devoured by our fear, but it just doesn't have to be so no matter how hard times get...

10 comments:

Mulligan said...

Who is John Galt?

Anonymous said...

Spent my life in a foundry and machine shops makin' stuff, the hard way. Gettin' old now, hurt a lot. Damn glad to see somebody can put it into words. themushroom

Anonymous said...

I concur and commiserate completely! It’s almost amazing to me each time it happens, and yet it happens all the time where I work. I work for a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant as a maintenance technician. “We” are faced with some insurmountable problem that the folks with brains can’t seem to come up with a reasonable solution to, (these would be the engineers and managers, most of whom graduated from college after my son was born). I am asked in passing by somebody after the meetings have concluded if there’s any way I could perform some minor task to hold us over or something. I provide a verbal description of a permanent solution that I have in mind. The person looks at me with a blank stare and says, “You can do that”? Three hours later I’m installing the new part I have turned out on a lathe and an endmill and a small amount of Tig welding and heat treating. When the “smart people” find out what has just be accomplished by a simple minded maintenance mechanic they are dumbfounded and amazed. They seem to need to trip all over themselves to try to thank me. I try to be gracious towards them, but if they only knew how amazed I am at their complete lack of knowledge and skill. God help the next generation of Americans when we are gone! Chris in Indiana

Clark Kent said...

Chris - You are hardly simple-minded! Your response was more stirring than the Hansen rant MB posted, not only because of your eloquence, but because altho Hansen obviously gets it, you're living it. Brings to mind Robert Pirsig's classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Good on ya!

Geoff aka Pathfinder said...

Chris, I am one fo those who still thanks hard workers.

This is one reason why I left my cushy computer desk job near Chicago - and the life that came with it - and bought a cattle ranch, ran cows and other critters, lived in a single-wide. I am also shooting for EMT-B training come May. I am tired of making my bones off of someone else's hard work.

Anonymous said...

All we need is one guy, like Chris, to rise up through the ranks and become a leader. For some, it may be too late in their careers, but there are many more like him. That is and will forever be our countries strength and we need to start taking it all back in 2010.
Life Member

Anonymous said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I read this blog. It is fun to listen to the Republican die-hards try to blame a President of 60 days for the current mess we are in. After 8 years of record setting debt racked up by the Bush administration, not to mention the atmosphere of greed, arrogance and lies, lets put the blame where it belongs (so far ).
On the other hand, it is sad to hear all these self-professed patriots say that they want to see the Obama administration fail. If he fails, we fail, don't you get it? In my mind, this kind of thinking makes you a traitor to this country.
Being a gun owner doesn't make you a patriot, as some of the writers here seem to believe. All it makes you is a gun owner. If you want to be a patriot, you must act on behalf of this country, not the NRA, or your political party, or your union, etc. etc. Sometimes that means sucking it up and taking one for the team. I know that G.W.Bush never understood that(though his father did): I just hope that Barack Obama does.
A little background: 20 year USAF retired MSgt, no political affiliation, NRA member, work in a hospital lab.

pops1911 said...

I thought it was just me - I agree whole-heartedly with this - unfortunately I have to also blame our generation (these idiots in power are our kids' generation & they & our grandkids voted them in) for the cluelessness of the current administration & the voters who put them there. We were too busy earning a living & fixing things to pay attention while someone dropped the ball. It's hard to raise productive, common-sense, honest kids & it tends to distract one from watching the world go to hell in a handbasket - look at who got elected because of a bad choice & no choice. Apathy won out again, only this time it may be fatal to the US.

The anonymous post (USAF MSgt) just shows how we failed to raise the next generation to be aware & not clueless - the country had no new problems after 9-11 until they voted the Dems in office in 2006, then you see the sharp decline in our country, our government & our rights. I used to think the USAF was a decent branch of the service, but after working with many of them in aerospace for 25+ years, it has become apparent that they are a bunch of ... well knuckleheads is the nice way to put it. They couldn't find their butts with a map - their mentality is a lot of the problem with our current circumstances - they just don't get it & never will!!

Middle Man said...

I will "act on behalf of this country" and continue to wish (as well as, promote and work for) our current leadership to fail in their plans to "change" my country into a social democracy (with emphasis on social).

"...if this be treason, make the most of it!" -Patrick Henry

Anonymous said...

the 20 year USAF MSgt is a troll.

Whew, now that I got that out of the way, I feel better.

It's NOT so much that people, us bitter clinger on's of religion and guns, want the Teleprompter Messiah to fail, it's just that we think the pendulum of ideological winds has swung so far that it is going to take him failing for everyone else to see the light and to get that pendulum moving in the "right"...err... our direction again.

If the President "fails" ... however you can operationally define that as "failure", he may or may NOT take this great nation with him. (of course, the mainstream media being so liberally biased would never mention Obama and fail in the same sentence. Eeekk...Gasp!)

I can only hope that we will survive this post turtle's tenure.

Preferably with our gun and ammo rights intact.

As far as Chris, our pharmaceutical maintennance man in Indiana... well, I hate to be a pessimist, but I suspect he will get laid off by summer.

I hope not, though.

Jeesh, I wish I had learned how to run a lathe and mill way back when. But it was all the stoner kids who took shop back in the late '80's.

"College! college! college!" was our guidance counselors mantra back then.

In fact, I remember when the ACT scores arrived at the high school and we were all lined up to receive the paper copies of the results. My counselor, an almost grandmotherly like woman, gave me a hug when saw my results.

I guess I could have stuck around and spied who got hugs and who didn't and then figured who got the high scores and who didn't.