I'm no longer writing this book ...
Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:04 PM
He certainly played characters who drank a lot and enjoyed a woman's company, but whether he ever portrayed an adulterer I don't know.
Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:11 PM
You know, I mostly agree with you Nezpop on Gilvary's article. She's definately over-exagerating some.
She's actually based her entire defense on over exagerations.
I've watched random Oprah episodes...though really, only the ones interviewing people I find interesting. But on Entourage... Huh? The one word that has not popped into my mind in seven years of watching the show is feminized.
Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:35 PM
Posted 26 August 2010 - 06:36 PM
Edited by J.A.A. Purves, 06 September 2012 - 03:05 PM.
Posted 26 August 2010 - 07:28 PM
President Theodore Roosevelt personally strove to embody the vigorous, virile stereotype ... and yet there's something he wrote in his journal about his first wife, Alice, that is the most profound expression of tenderness I've ever come across. (I believe the passage I'm thinking of was excerpted in David McCulloch's biography of TR.) It's possible for a man to be macho and still refuse to raise his hand against a woman.
Posted 26 August 2010 - 09:30 PM
I wonder what John Wayne or Maureen O'Hara would have said to anyone complaining to them that their film was condoning domestic abuse? This is so obviously not what the film was about that it is funny that anyone would think so.
I enjoyed The Quiet Man movie, and damn it all, I like John Wayne, and it's indicative of a cultural trend when these movies suddenly start offending everyone.
Edited by J.A.A. Purves, 06 September 2012 - 03:08 PM.
Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:11 PM
Everyone agrees that cultural shifts have taken place, but you seem to be saying that increased cultural sensitivity toward domestic violence is a bad thing. If that indeed is what you are saying, then you need to offer some proof.
Edited by mrmando, 26 August 2010 - 10:26 PM.
Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:26 PM
Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:29 PM
So maybe some clips of people smoking in movies would show how cool and desireable it really is, even today?
And another scene with Dennis Hopper also comes to mind.
The way our modern day culture thinks about cigarettes is another major example. It's pretty obvious that smoking in significant amounts harms your health. And most modern day Americans would probably say that smoking in very small amounts harms your health. The government has and is constantly funding anti-smoking campaigns to stop people (and especially children) from smoking. It's actually ridiculous how many of the scientific studies promoted by the Surgeon General about the horrible effects of second-hand smoking rely on bad and manipulated science. Smoking can and will hurt you, but the harms of smoking are often exaggerated by the anti-smoking lobby. The science they want to use to justify all their smoking bans is already starting to be taken apart.
Take the two above film clips for example. Do they make smoking a cigarette look cool? Yes, they do. So, what would a culture that that tends to overvalue good feminine values (like comfort, security, safety, relationships, love, nurturing, harmony) to the loss of what are considered more masculine values (risk-taking, challenge, competition, strength, individual autonomy, etc.), do about scenes in movies like this? It would want to discourage them. It would want to use rules and regulations to put a stop to them. It would want to protect little children (especially boys who might want to emulate film icons like Willis or De Niro) from seeing them. That would be the more kind and caring, motherly, Nanny-State sort of thing to do. I understand the idea, but we need more balance than that. We need to balance our needs and desires for things like safety and nurturing with reasonable amounts of freedom, allowing risk taking, and letting others figure out some things for themselves.
What, as a Christian, do you do about something like smoking? Instead of thinking of how the government (or your local church) can make rules against it, you should follow more in line with principles like those in I Corinthians 6:12 which understands that there are a number of things that aren't sin (and thus not for you to condemn), but you still shouldn't allow yourself to be enslaved/addicted to anything either. Doing that is neither overly feminine or overly masculine.
Edited by J.A.A. Purves, 06 September 2012 - 03:12 PM.
Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:48 PM
It simply isn't true that, back in, oh say, John Wayne's day, men thought it was morally acceptable to physically abuse women. The Quiet Man is a story about a spirited fiery Irish/American couple, and there's a physicality to it that most people who like the film probably thought either funny or romantic. No one but a crackpot would watch this film and think he should copy how John Wayne drags around his wife.
Edited by J.A.A. Purves, 06 September 2012 - 03:16 PM.
Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:53 PM
I'm also unclear as to what these false assertions about domestic abuse are that I've made, other than insisting that The Quiet Man isn't portraying a different time where domestic violence was morally acceptable.
Posted 26 August 2010 - 11:19 PM
Some people succeed at smoking in very small amounts. I've known people who have a cigarette once a day, or every few days when they're particularly stressed, or just once in a while for special occasions.
However: Cigarettes are addictive. Many people who try them end up getting hooked and find it difficult to limit their smoking to very small amounts.
It's not merely a question of willpower. Smoking changes your brain chemistry. I had two cigarettes at my bachelor party. For a week thereafter, the smell of tobacco smoke, which I had found repugnant my entire life, struck me as thoroughly pleasant any time I encountered it via secondhand smoking.
I think you're underestimating both how strong the chemical addiction is, and how easy it is to become addicted.
My favorite movie smoking scene is Andy Garcia in Dead Again (at about 7:58 in this clip).
Edited by mrmando, 13 November 2011 - 11:13 PM.
Posted 26 August 2010 - 11:47 PM
Posted 27 August 2010 - 02:10 AM
Edited by mrmando, 27 August 2010 - 02:11 AM.
Posted 27 August 2010 - 03:46 AM
Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:52 PM
I understand this is a very emotional issue for some. However, this is not to say we should just all automatically absorb all the "science" used by anti-smoking campaigns without question. It's also interesting to point out that many, if not most, of anti-smoking campaigns are funded by the government. In fact, those bailouts and stimuluses the U.S. government recently passed - putting Americans in further debt/obligation to pay more taxes in the future - well, some of that money's being used in different states to start funding more hardcore anti-smoking campaigns.
Of course smoking is very addictive. But even the more honest anti-smoking people out there will admit that it's not really the physical/chemical addiction that's the problem. Smoking addiction is more psychological than physical. If it was just the nicotine addiction, that could be easily remedied by easily affordable replacements like nicotine patches or chewing gum. The reason someone who has quit for 20-30 years can still suddenly feel an intense craving for a cigarette is that it's an inherently psychological addiction. So don't think it's something that once you start, you suddenly physically need more and more of. This is why there are so many smokers who have smoked in quite small amounts for decades at a time. What I'm interested in is why it is that we live in a culture where psychological addiction is suddenly something that we are supposed to be more helpless against than even physical addiction. Why do we live in a culture of more and more addictions, neurosises, and victims? What kind of mindset are we giving to everyone about this?
We live in a modern day culture where something like smoking is being gradually and systematically forbidden by the government, and by more sensitive people who have been taught to complain and to complain loudly whenever the slightest hint of smoke brushes their nostrils. Regardless of whether one is a smoker or not, this is not the sort of society I'm interested in living in. In fact, I'd say it's downright unAmerican.
No one even bothers to ask whether the costs of going all Brave New World on smoking are worth paying, or why can't we just use science to make smoking safer in the first place? The options of individual ingenuity to solving the problem of the harms of smoking are much brighter than the options of simply increased reliance on the government to be your personal Nanny. So, we can (1) cry and complain about other smokers, (2) advocate various government bans on smoking, OR smile and remain silent when the government passes its latest encroachment because you personally don't like smokers hanging around outside the building anyway, (3) unquestioningly and blindly accept all the anti-smoking propaganda you hear by the latest SmokeFreeAmerica commerical, (4) fling up our hands in horror whenever we see a 6-year-old child ambling across the path of a smoker huddled outside, or (5) actually pay a rudimentary amount of attention to the opposing side, (There are plenty of reasonable, non-conspiracy theorist participants in the public forum who object when the Environmental Protection Agency declares that three thousand non-smokers are killed by second hand smoke per year.) Science can and has been misused by the pro-tobacco and anti-smoking lobby alike. A reasonable man should take a more moderate approach, ask questions, and discourage solutions that treat the world like we're all living in a nursery.
Edited by J.A.A. Purves, 06 September 2012 - 03:27 PM.
Posted 29 August 2010 - 06:54 PM
Neither of the sources you refer to is "honest." They are both therapists trying to sell a psychology-based tobacco cessation program, and they both attack a straw man: the idea that nicotine replacement therapy is intended to help people stop smoking all on its own. That's B.S. No responsible physician will prescribe you patches and tell you that is how they are supposed to work. Rather, nicotine replacement therapy allows a smoker to try to break the psychological and chemical addictions separately, and a physician will tell you that the patches will work best in conjunction with some kind of psychological approach.
Stone even claims that nicotine is not chemically addictive, so he's a loony as well as a liar. If he really believes this claim, he can prove it by going on a regimen of high-dose nicotine patches for a month and then quitting them cold turkey.
Nicotine replacement is not a 1:1 substitute for cigarettes ... there are 4,000 other chemicals in cigarette smoke apart from nicotine. And besides, nicotine itself is toxic. You can't get a bottomless prescription for patches or gum. The idea behind patches/gum, again, is to satisfy the chemical addiction while the smoker tries to break the psychological habits ... then the smoker is expected to gradually "step down" the doses of patches/gum to wean himself/herself off the chemical addiction. And the stepping down is no picnic.
Needing more and more is a hallmark of the classic psychological addictions (money, sex, gambling, power, and Arts & Faith). The fact that most smokers don't need more and more, i.e., they tend to establish a level of consumption and remain there, suggests that they have a certain amount of chemical need for smoking, and once that need has been met for the day, there's no reason to continue the behavior. Chain smokers may be the ones who have the strongest psychological addiction.
The more you talk, the further off the rails you get.
(Linking to a story about a smoking ban in Ireland and then calling it "unAmerican" ... reminds me of the clergyman who reportedly read The Screwtape Letters and remarked that some of the advice therein seemed "positively diabolical.")
When you describe smokers as "too weak [not*] to overcome a psychological addiction to cigarettes," you're describing your own grandfather, for pity's sake. How many hundreds of thousands of grandfathers are you willing to throw under the bus every year in order to preserve your cartoon notion of masculinity?
Anyway ... since regulating chemicals in the brain is a major component of psychology, it's really hard to draw a line and say "This part of the addiction is chemical and that part is psychological." Suppose you take up jogging or meditation to help you quit smoking, and those activities alter the levels of serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, etc., in your system, which makes you less dependent on nicotine. Are you helping yourself psychologically, or chemically?
At various times in Western societies it was considered "right" to buy and sell slaves, or to hang a man for stealing a loaf of bread. Would you say it's wrong for us in our enlightened age to speak up and say that people were wrong to think that way?
*You said "not" but I don't think you meant to ... your sentence doesn't make sense unless one removes the "not."
Edited by mrmando, 30 August 2010 - 07:48 PM.
Posted 01 September 2010 - 08:25 PM
Also been reading up on e-cigarettes ... a nicotine-delivery method that, unlike patches or gum, is not (yet) regulated by the FDA and therefore is available without prescription.
Regarding gov't funding of anti-tobacco programs: as long as gov't money is being spent to treat the results of tobacco use, the gov't has every right to try to discourage that use. Allow gov'ts to deny Medicare/Medicaid benefits to smokers -- or get rid of Medicare/Medicaid altogether -- and you can get rid of gov't-funded anti-tobacco programs as well. That strikes me as a consistent libertarian/small gov't argument, although it might not be a very popular one.
Edited by mrmando, 02 September 2010 - 11:51 AM.
Posted 03 September 2010 - 02:25 AM
Speaking of best friends, in 1902 Theodore Morse and Edward Madden wrote the song “Two Little Boys”, in which the eponymous tykes are wont to play soldiers on wooden horses. (The great Aussie didgeridooist Rolf Harris revived the song in 1969, and it got to Number One: Mrs Thatcher named it one of her favorite records). “One little chap/Then had a mishap,” as the song says, and breaks his mount. So his friend offers to share his steed:
“Did you think I would leave you crying
When there’s room on my horse for two?
Climb up here, Jack, and don’t be crying
I can go just as fast with two…”
“Did you think I would leave you dying
When there’s room on my horse for two?
Climb up here, Joe, we’ll soon be flying…"
In an essay on democracy for The New Criterion, Kenneth Minogue began by “observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much… The distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us.”
What to do? The state can, as Brecht advised, elect a new people – which the immigration policies of many western nations seem intended to accomplish. But you can also change the existing people, in profound ways and over a surprisingly short space of time. Give me a boy till seven, said the Jesuits, and I will show you the man. Give me a boy till Seventh Grade, say today’s educators, and we can eliminate the man problem entirely. FWIW, one of the people quoted in that New York Times story -- and then re-quoted by Steyn -- has written a letter to Steyn distancing herself from the spin that the Times put on her quotes.
Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:08 PM
Thanks again for everyone's criticism, questions, discussion and suggestions. While I still hold to many of the ideas I brought up in this thread, I've become convinced, partly through the discussion here, that (1) if there are problems in our culture regarding this sort of thing, they are not necessarily best addressed through satirical cultural commentary, (2) no matter how carefully I could try and craft some of these ideas onto paper, the risk of giving offense was still just going to remain very high, the cost of which is not always worth it, and (3) there are far more interesting and redemptive things to write about.
Over the last couple years, I read a long list of books, articles and essays on the subject of gender stereotypes, values and the cultural impact of different ideas on gender roles. At the end of it all, I came away convinced that there are aspects of modern culture that are overly feminine, that there are aspects of modern culture that are overly masculine, and that there are aspects of modern culture that have much deeper weaknesses (and occasionally strengths too) that really don't have much of anything at all to do with gender differences. It was this discussion here, and a series of discussions with some very intelligent younger and older women I know, that persuaded me that there are other questions more worth exploring than this one.
I'm still writing for fun and cultural commentary is something I'm still very interested in. But I think I've got at least a few years more of practice (and humility to learn) before I decide to try and aim a series of essays at addressing any one major theme - and before I'm confident enough to presume that I could try to get anything published. Basically I just wanted to thank everyone here who commented - graciously, thoughtfully, harshly, pointedly, questioningly - it was all constructive. I valued all of it, and still count myself lucky to be part of the A&F online community.
Edited by J.A.A. Purves, 06 September 2012 - 03:30 PM.