Comment Of The Day: “Weeping And Screaming At The Sky: Dear Democrats…”

Well, I stand corrected!  The anti-Trump response of  “screaming helplessly at the sky” wasn’t as worthless as I opined. At least the prospect of it inspired this Comment of the Day by Ryan Harkins in which he postulates the infantilization of America.

Here it is, on the post, Weeping And Screaming At The Sky: Dear Democrats, Progressives, And “The Resistance,” Are You Embarrassed Yet? Why Not?:

What came to mind when I read this is the notion of the “infantilization of America”, which actually came up second in the Google search by the time I typed in “infanti”.

When I stop and question, not necessarily the ethics of the “aaargh!!!” resistance, but the motivation and the appeal to such tactics, I admit that my conclusions might be a bit biases. But when my 3-year-old wants something and doesn’t get it, she throws a tantrum. Sometimes she throws the tantrum before I say no, in anticipation of that very event. Other than the profanity, the “aaargh!!!” event very closely resembles my daughter’s tantrums.

I am looking forward to the day, hopefully not far off, when my daughter and I might have a conversation like this:

“Dad, may I have a cookie?”

“No, it is past 4 o’clock, and the rules are no snacks after 4.”

“Yes, Dad, I respect that. However, you admitted that dinner is going to be late, and the reason behind the 4 o’clock rule is so that I don’t spoil my appetite for dinner. I am, admittedly, very hungry, and think one cookie now, with two hours yet until dinner, won’t impact my capacity to eat my entire meal.”

“That is very good reasoning, but spoiling your appetite is not the only reason not to have a snack at this point. Another reason is discipline, and training your capacity to resist indulging every desire the moment it appears. A little hunger is not going to hurt you, and your ability to withstand a little hunger now will help you withstand other temptations as you go through life.”

“Wow, Dad, I hadn’t thought of that. So, can I have a stalk of celery instead, since it isn’t very filling?”

“All right, you can have a stalk of celery. Hey, wait, why are you getting out the peanut butter?!?”

“Dad, you can’t have celery without peanut butter, and you said I could have a stalk of celery.”

“…grumble, grumble…

I think anyone who is a parent will quickly assure me that such a conversation is pure fantasy. However, who wouldn’t want to deal with his children in such a fashion? Who wouldn’t want to deal with other adults in such a reasonable fashion? Why then are we getting the “aaargh!!!” treatment? I think it is because we have, as a culture, infantilized ourselves.

I could speculate ad nauseum as to the reasons why we have become largely a nation of children, and I’m sure I could rile everyone by suggesting that we’re too rich, we’re too entitled, we’re too accustomed to comfort, we’re too arrogant, we’re too secular, we’re too insular, we’re addicted to stimulation in the form of movies and TV and video games and tablets and smart phones, and we struggle valiantly to keep the dopamine gravy-train rolling. I admit, I am mostly like one of those infantilized. I’m 36, and I keep dreaming I’m still 16. I’m a father of two, working a professional career, and I keep wanting to make my own enjoyment a top priority.

The Catholic view of mature love is the willing to give of oneself to others for the benefit of the other. A mature man is one who is willing to sacrifice himself for his wife and children. A mature woman is one who places the needs of her children and husband above her own. Our society today balks at such ideals, throwing around words like “sexist”, “medieval”, “brainwashed”, and so on, but if we stop and think, who is more inspiring? The man who strives to provide great things for his family at personal expense, or the man who philanders around? The man who faces adversity and chooses the right thing, even at personal cost, or the man who happily does everything unethical to achieve wealth? The man who patiently listens to his opponent’s objections and answers them calmly, or the man who just screams “You’re wrong, you’re wrong, I’m not listening, la, la, la, nyah, nyah!”?

If those are so admirable, though, why do we see so little of it? I know from my own experience that good feelings from fun and games are nice right now. Giving of myself is painfully hard, and the satisfaction that comes is not immediate. But the dearth of role models also begets an even great famine of role models, whereas we have unending role models of fun and entertainment and examples of people who get what they want at the expense of others, and often get away with it if they have enough money. More, our ruling body behaves in a way that continues to encourage the infantilizing of our nation. I’m not suggesting this is a deliberate ploy, but a logical consequence of how we have been handling politics. Instead of encouraging the mentality of “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”, our politicians, left and right, make their campaigns a long string of promises of all manner of goodies for their supporters. They appeal to our infantilization, and then continue to reward our infantilization once they are in office. And like infants, when our party loses and we don’t get our goodies, we immediately revert to “aaargh!!!”.

I’m not convinced that, had Hillary won, the conservatives wouldn’t have been throwing their own, massive temper-tantrum. They would be more like the passive-aggressive child who holds his breath until he passes out (I apparently did this as a little boy), and not the screeching caterwauling we’re hearing from liberals, but it would be a tantrum nonetheless.

I don’t have a solution to this problem. How can you make people want to grow up? Why, if wailing like an infant is so successful a strategy, would we ever want to abandon that tactic? Where is the reward in adulthood, in ethical behavior, in being a solid, inspiring role model, when it means personal suffering and sacrifice that apparently is not needed?

20 Comments

Filed under Character, Childhood and children, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, U.S. Society

20 responses to “Comment Of The Day: “Weeping And Screaming At The Sky: Dear Democrats…”

  1. Other Bill

    We’re not a Judeo Christian society, Ryan. We’re more Classical Greek. The Gods and Titans are not role models, they are wanton menaces. And they get to get away with whatever they want and they’re admired for it and become the stuff of legend.

  2. “All right, you can have a stalk of celery. Hey, wait, why are you getting out the peanut butter?!?”

    Perhaps because someone scarfed down all the Ranch Dip…

  3. luckyesteeyoreman

    I was hoping Jack would make Ryan’s comment a COTD. Thanks, Ryan – I really enjoyed reading and pondering your comment. Infantilization – I like that postulation. It fits with my characterization of “Ameri-la-la-la-la-la-rica.”

    “How can you make people want to grow up?” That’s just about the perfectly relevant question, IMO. I would offer a simplistic answer: Suffering extreme hardship, with certainty that no help is on the way, ever. Well, that would work for some, anyway. Such hardship-without-help would probably be a great way to thin the current herd. I don’t want to rehash my ideas about “ownwayists” and “governists” (my comment that Jack made a COTD).

    Related to the postulated infantilization and “role models of fun and entertainment and examples of people who get what they want at the expense of others, and often get away with it if they have enough money,” I fully expect Harvey Weinstein and many more (“progressive”) males like him to resume getting away with having his way with females in 3…2…1…

    • Thank you, luckyesteeyoreman! The problem, as always, is that it isn’t politically expedient to let people suffer hardship. At the very least, politics today has to at least make a show of doing something, even if that something makes matter worse.

  4. Scott_GF

    Funny, I keep thinking America is acting like 2 kids in the back of the car on a long trip, “stop touching me” the one child puts their hand just inches from the other, “see I’m not touching you”.
    By the way me, being the third kid always hit the close hand and made the one sister hit the other one. Ha ha good time!

    My point is, there is not really a major world crisis going on so we look internally and aggravate each other just like typical American families do.
    Now, stop looking at me!

  5. Here is another example of whining.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/thousands-of-women-are-invoicing-donald-trump-for-their-birth-control-2017-10-25

    The people in that protest are acting as entitled as Elliot Rodger.

    • Michael, yeah, that one drives me crazy as well.

      • Other Bill

        “Studies show taxpayers save $7 for every $1 that the government invests in family planning due to the costly unplanned pregnancies such measures prevent.”

        Unbelievable. Is there any aspect of life for which the government isn’t supposed to be responsible?

        • Other Bill

          And here I thought the government was supposed to stay out of bedrooms and vaginas.

          • “And here I thought the government was supposed to stay out of bedrooms and vaginas.”

            You thought right OB, but it’s a new day-n-age.

            I’d like Big Gubmint to stay out of crotch, ball-sack, taint, nether region, & perineal areas too.

            Out of mine, leastways

          • Again, it all drives me crazy. But I really feel it continues to reinforce my postulation that we’re being infantilized. The government isn’t supposed to stay out of bedrooms, unless it is imposing discipline upon what people do in their bedrooms. The government is expected to provide all the means necessary for endless, consequence-free sex in whatever form we prefer. It is not expected to suggest self control, discipline, fidelity, chastity, and other concepts that have become increasingly taboo and demonized.

            A child fights discipline and insists on having his own way, no matter the consequences, throws a tantrum, and shouts “you don’t love me!” if you ever have the gall to say, “No!”

            An adult understands that true freedom comes in taking personal responsibility, disciplining his desires so they don’t control him, and considering consequences before engaging in an activity.

            That figure of saving $7 for every $1 spent on contraception is true enough when viewed from a particular point of view, and that point of view is the one in which unrestrained sex is necessarily rampant. It is similar to the fact that condoms really do reduce new cases of HIV among prostitutes. Sex is a given there. It is going to happen. And if it is going to happen, condoms do a great job of reducing pregnancies and the spread of a number of diseases, including HIV.

            But the other point of view is that by promoting promiscuous lifestyles by the subsidizing and normalizing of contraceptives, you actually increase the incidence of sexual activity, and the question then becomes whether the increased sexual activity annihilates any savings, is a wash, or is still a cost-saver. But the problem is still: as long as we continue to stress removing consequences instead of insisting on personal discipline, we’re doing nothing but indulging infantile behavior.

            • I’d rather not to link to Breitbart, but you won’t find the Lefty media giving any ink to Camille Paglia & Christina Hoff-Sommers (“Equity” Feminists par excellence, anathema/Red Kryptonite to “Gender” Feminists) addressing your “infantilization” point.

              “Camille Paglia: Public Schools Creating Students Who ‘Know Nothing.’ ”

              http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/23/camille-paglia-public-schools-creating-students-know-nothing/

              • Other Bill

                I think Camille Paglia needs to be in a hall of fame. So much common sense.

                Who in their right mind would ever think to say to themselves, “Hey, I want to have sex but I don’t want to get pregnant or get the girl pregnant. I think I’ll head down to a government office and make them pay for birth control?”

                Government does seem intent upon turning all citizens into dependent children. So people really want an over arching patriarchy? Weird.

                • ”I think Camille Paglia needs to be in a hall of fame.”

                  Copy that! Check out some of her other articles.

                  And if for no other reason than she drives “Gender” feminists batty, a BIG plus in my EVIL White male book.

                  Google some of her negative reviews, a “Who’s Who” of whiny Y-Chromosomal hating victims.

                  Hoff-Sommers is no slouch, either. I recommend “Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women” a real eye-opener and responsible for me being (heh!) “woke” about the difference between “Equity” & “Gender” Feminists.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Stole_Feminism%3F

                  I’d like to hear some opinions about both from the EA X-Chromosomal Unit contingent.

                  • Other Bill

                    I’ve seriously considered moving to Philly for a few months some time just to audit some of her classes. She should be hired as a president of some purportedly really good college to clean up its faculty and restore some order. But she probably enjoys teaching too much. Maybe she could just be made dean of the faculty somewhere that could use a good purge. Can you imagine the storm she’d stir up in a place like Madison or New Haven? Tremendous.

                • Elliot Rodger is an excellent example of one of those dependent “children”.

                  Maybe those women would have a stronger case for the government requiring their employers to provide birth control coverage without co-pay if they were sharing their vaginas with men like Elliot Rodger.

                  Elliot Rodger and his kind are the men that they deserve.

  6. Great comment

    “I’m not convinced that, had Hillary won, the conservatives wouldn’t have been throwing their own, massive temper-tantrum. They would be more like the passive-aggressive child who holds his breath until he passes out (I apparently did this as a little boy), and not the screeching caterwauling we’re hearing from liberals, but it would be a tantrum nonetheless.”

    Can you describe how the analogy “holding their breath” manifests?

    • Can you describe how the analogy “holding their breath” manifests?

      Tex, on this account I was thinking of Republicans holding up nomination hearings for the Supreme court as the canonical example. It would follow a general refusal to cooperate, as far as the law permits, coupled with a potential withdrawal from anything championed by the Left. For my family, it probably still will manifest in simply choosing to homeschool, rather than inflict public education on our children. (How I wish our community had a Catholic school still functioning!) If a law is then passed outlawing homeschooling, then we would possibly do everything we could to limit the time our children spend at public schools.

      I also think Atlas Shrugged gives an example of what conservative passive aggression could look like. Not that I agree with Ayn Rand on many of her philosophies…

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