“The nation hungers for just such behavior”

The behavior of adults who succumb not to the tyranny of hip:

You-are-not-coolThose unwilling to wait that long can turn directly to [Charles] Murray, who tends to go blithely about getting things right even as the left excoriates him. Murray understands that the debilitating shifts of poorer people away from marriage and religion are culturally induced and that the prescriptions to reverse them must be cultural as well. Among those fixes, as he said in a recent article in the paper of record (the Wall Street Journal):

The best thing that the new upper class can do… is to drop its condescending “non-judgmentalism.” Married, educated people who work hard and conscientiously raise their kids shouldn’t hesitate to voice their disapproval of those who defy these norms. When it comes to marriage and the work ethic, the new upper class must start preaching what it practices.

This is so clearly true that the only real question is: why don’t they? If marriage and religion give smart people joy and improve their living standards, why don’t they spread the word?

I believe one reason is the Tyranny of Hip: the unwillingness of grownups to be thought of as uncool. We seem to have a horror of shedding the mantles of the heroes of romance in order to take on the roles of the crusty but wise chaperones. Even when Red State’s Erick Erickson and cultural blogger Dr. Melissa Clouthieramong others courageously grasped the nettle recently and took the girls and boys of CPAC to task for dressing like hookers and acting like johns, they were at pains to explain that they were talking about time and place appropriateness not morals — which still didn’t protect them from the usual hail of superior-sounding irony that followed.

No one wants to be the butt of the cool kids’ jokes like that. No critic who values his relevance wants to point out that Bridesmaids soiling themselves while in wedding regalia is not really funny; or that Katy Perry’s hummable hit tunes peddling alcohol abuse and cheap sex to 12-year-olds are reprehensible; or that Sacha Baron Cohen mocking ordinary people for their non-ironic faith, manners or dedication can be at once hilarious and morally wrong — like laughing at a slapstick accident that leaves someone dead. No one wants to turn into the old man waving his cane from the porch rocking chair shouting at the young folks to stop all their goldarned canoodling and quit parading around with their hoo-has and what-nots hanging out, for the love of Mike.

And yet the nation hungers for just such behavior. Witness the recent YouTube video of a father punishing his spoiled daughter for a snarky Facebook post by plugging her laptop with a .45. The thing went viral to the tune of tens of millions of viewers. Why? Because it was wonderful to see someone finally step up and be Daddy.

Mr. Klavan’s piece, which should be read in its entirety, comes our way via The Anchoress, who adds with wisdom:

The government, the media and academia are all in the clutches of perpetual 14 year-olds forever chasing times and trends to maintain the aura of hipness that keeps them sitting at the lunch table with the “cool” kids. The spoiled cool kids who think they’re just entitled to everything. Which is generally what 14 year-olds do think.

A nation of perpetual 14 year olds.

Apt.  Sadly.

Rush Limbaugh: Santorum Will Have To Answer On Satan
Fired ESPN Editor Claims no Racial Slam Meant with 'Chink in Armor' Headline
  • Pingback: Brutally Honest()

  • Brian_R_Allen

    Charles Murray goes blithely about being Right even as the loser Left excoriates him ….

    Got that Right!

  • herddog505

    It’s not just the desire to be “cool”: I suggest that we’ve also made hypocrisy into the ultimate sin.  Hence, one doesn’t dare “presume to lecture” younger people about saving it for marriage, staying away from booze or drugs, etc. because the odds are that one has done it himself.  In the past, this was the voice of experience; now, it’s the voice of hypocrisy.

    People are supposed to, like, you know, man, be, like, FREE to live their lives, like, TOTALLY the way they want, man.

    • Commander_Chico

      Not me, this was my anthem:

      We’re through being cool
      We’re through being cool
      Eliminate the ninnies and the twits
      Going to bang some heads
      Going to beat some butts
      Time to show those evil spuds what’s what
      If you live in a small town
      You might meet a dozen or two
      Young alien types who step out
      And dare to declare
      We’re through being cool
      We’re through being cool

      • The second most important thing my dad taught me, was to be myself and not follow the crowd.

        And that’s pretty much how I lived as a teenager … to the point of dispensing with the fluff at my high-school valedictory speech, and instead spoke about the need to be ourselves.

        And I value that wisdom, even more today.

    • And to prove you’re free, you have to meet all the litmus tests of the “cool kids” … and the “experts” they worship …

      Now I’m led by experts who’d guarantee
      My “right” to get by irresponsibly …
      Get drunk, get stoned, get high on crack
      And jump with anyone into the sack …
      And then go see the doc for “free”
      Cure that hangover and STD …
      Pick up a check and go back to bed
      All they ask is my right …

      … to get ahead.

  • I’ve talked with the little guy (5’8″ and growing fast) about the mistakes I’ve made.  I’ve talked about what led up to them and what the results were.  Personal mistakes, financial screwups, professional foul-ups – and what you do to remediate the effects thereof.   Road trips are good for that – hours in the car talking about this and that…

    I’m trying not to lecture – I’m trying to get him to understand that I don’t want him repeating the stupid things I did.  That’s not hypocrisy, that’s being a responsible parent.

    And a lot of his friends don’t have the same sort of parenting.  They’re basically fed, clothed, and housed – beyond that there’s not a whole lot of interaction.  What are those kids learning from their parents – and how will they parent in turn?  (Easy answers – not much, and badly.)

    How is a child supposed to learn how to be an adult if he doesn’t have any personal examples to emulate?  They’ll end up learning how to be a man or woman off what you see on TV – and that’s not what I’d call a source of good role models.

    It’s a lot harder to raise your kid so they understand politeness, courtesy, and self-discipline than it is to be their friend and let them do whatever they want so they’ll like you.  But it’s MUCH more rewarding.

  • ackwired

    I’m not sure that those on top influence those on the bottom that much, regardless of what they are saying.  The role models for many of those growing up at the bottom are those who are most successful in their own neighborhoods, and many of the most successful are not married and are not earning their money legally.

  • GarandFan

    I’m reminded of a comment that Mark Twain once made, something to the affect:
    ‘At 15, I thought my father an idiot; at 26 I was amazed at how much he’d learned in the intervening years.’

  • Pingback: You Get What You Pay For | Daily Pundit()

  • i believe there’s no idiot im earth 

    maybe xD