Today's Politicos vs The Words and Deeds of The Founders
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The Scared Old Man Meme And Other Myths

meme: a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation)) “memes are the cultural counterpart of genes”

According to the brilliant youth of the left, anyone who holds an opposing view is frequently categorized and castigated as a “scared old man.” Sometimes the word “paranoid” is thrown in for good measure. Evidently this sounds more sophisticated and cerebral to the accuser’s ears. (Racist loses impact when overused … er … doesn’t it?)

Anyway, I had the misfortune of stumbling across some “conversations” taking place on the social media “news” sharing site: the other night.  I clicked on one of the news stories being discussed under the politics section.  Viewing the actual “discussion” that is taking place under each of these topics is something that should not be undertaken by anyone with a weak stomach.  The meaning of the term “echo chamber” becomes quickly apparent.

I was reminded of something that Thomas Paine said in Common Sense.

… a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.

One of the more obvious themes running through many of the “discussions” was the rancor expressed at “the old”, basically defined as anyone over 30.  What is the special knowledge and experience imbibed by the “youth” that is forgotten upon entering your thirties?  It’s not clear.

Ironically, Erich was online at the same time experiencing the same phenomenon at Digg.  He was immediately labeled as an “angry, scared old man”. He wondered where that came from, It’s not like he posted “Methuselah” as his screen name.  Maybe its reflex. Values I don’t understand = Angry, Scared Old Man.

Where does this youth bias come from?  It’s being promulgated by the left.  Al Gore, in a recent speech to high school students told them “you know things your parents, don’t know.”   Like what?  How to use twitter?

Jonah Goldberg details this aggrandizement of the youth in Liberal Fascism.    The irony of fascist misnomer is not lost on Goldberg.

“We can be happy in the knowledge that this future belongs to us completely.  While the older generation could still waver, the younger generation has pledged itself to us and is ours, body and soul!” Adolph Hitler

What Gore meant and what Hitler alluded to was that the younger generation is easily persuaded  to go to war against  the established norms of the culture they inherited. They are vulnerable, partly due to inexperience and the natural tendency toward rebelliousness of  youth. The other part is that they have been imbued with  unearned self-esteem and mesmerized by promises of human perfection once the old values have been banished. They are “dwarfs mounted on the shoulders of giants” to paraphrase Fulbert of Chartres, ignorant of their heritage and dismissive of the truths that mankind has learned over time.

It is no wonder they disparage those whom they view as guardians of outmoded  values that stand in the way of utopia. If you are black, and you disagree with the liberal orthodoxy, you are an Uncle Tom. If you are white  and persist in disagreement, you are an angry old man who lives in the past. It’s much easier to denigrate people and motives than to contend for ideas they are unprepared to defend. One cannot have a debate with an echo chamber.

On the rare occasions that I attempt to engage the enlightened youth by pointing out that their logic is absent, or that their facts are in error, I usually get a conglomeration of obscenities.   “F***tard” is my personal favorite.  I guess that means that I am mentally handicapped, but I propagate?

I am trying to maintain a sense of humor, but I confess, its difficult. Makes us angry old men want to take a nap.


1 Quinn Woodworth { 03.27.10 at 6:47 am }

I remember a movie a ways back that “glorified” putting to death everyone over thirty. I don’t remember the name of the movie. Michael York was the actor.
On pajamas TV there was a video of two black teenagers cheering for Obama because “he is going to put gas in my car and pay my mortgage” One had a baby on her hip.
It seems that for a long time now, the left in particular substitutes screaming and name calling for argument, reason.
But then there is a lot of interruption and talking over one another on news programs also. Civility, in some places, is out of fashion.


erich Reply:

From my recollection, the movie was “Logan’s Run” and featured Michael York and Jenny Agutter (who later had a nice role in “American Werewolf in London”) But there was another movie called “Wild in the Streets” with the premise that everyone over 30 was rounded up and put in concentration camps. I have no recollection of who was in that little gem.

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2 martin { 03.27.10 at 7:20 am }

I think the movie you are referring to is “Logan’s Run”.

In Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism (I did a review on this blog a few week’s back) you’ll see how common it is for the radical left to use young people.

One of the fascinating things about the American Revolution was that so many of the founders were not youths! In 1776 Washington was 44, John Adams was also in his 40’s, Samuel Adams was in his 50’s and Ben Franklin was 70! Alexander Hamilton was an outlier at 21.


3 Michael Quebec { 11.02.10 at 8:31 pm }

“Wild In The Streets” starred Shelly Winters, Richard Pryor, Ed Begley Sr., Diane Varsi, Millie Perkins, Hal Holbrook, and Christopher Jones, as a rock n’ roll singer who becomes president and rounds up everyone over 30 puts them in camps where they are forced to undergo lsd “treatment.” It’s a wonderful political satire from the late 1960’s and ironically (since it’s an AIP “b” movie) was nominated for an Academy Award. Songs were by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and it even features an early pre- Brady Bunch appearance by Barry Williams!


4 Charles Gonzalez { 06.24.18 at 2:18 pm }

Man o man, know these comments are so old they seem like scared old men….really, are we trying to re-litigate the 60’s here.? I was, wel we all were 22 once, me that was 43 year ago and I did not want to be drafted into the war. I liked smoking weed, reading history in college and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. While I didn’t think all adults were clueless, I also did not think they had all the answers. We were all just surviving MAD weren’t we? The “greatest generation “ thought us privileged and weak compared to them, and perhaps they were right….but they did sacrifice to send us to school for something.
Youth’s role is to be stupid and angry, question authority, rebel against stupidity and stupefaction and seek new answers to old questions and new questions to new problems. If you don’t have youth a society dies a not so slow death. So here’s to stupid, vapid, rebellilious youth…without whom we have no future.


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