This just in from National Review Online: The United States of Anxiety. Excerpt:
If 2014 had a grand theme, it was testicular absence.
In science fiction, corporations are deathless juggernauts imposing their will on governments and galaxies, but in the real world Sony, one of the most powerful business entities in the world, got cowed into submission by the release of some embarrassing e-mails and threats from hackers acting on behalf of the Evil Kingdom of the Hermit Midgets. Hollywood is forever congratulating itself on its courage for banging on, e.g., the American suburban bourgeoisie, because bourgeois American suburbanites don’t generally resolve disagreements by sawing off heads. But let Kim Jung-un take offense at your dopey Seth Rogen movie and Sony is suddenly a wounded kitten.
You think the Weyland-Yutani Corporation would put up with that nonsense?
James Franco and Seth Rogen and the Sony brass might be man-shaped objects carved out of cotton candy, but they are iron men compared with the American college student. Students at the University of California at Irvine felt the need to avail themselves of the services of grief therapists after the grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for a shooting in Ferguson, Mo., some 1,800 miles away. It’s not like the UCI Anteaters don’t have legitimate reasons for grief – starting with the fact that they are called “Anteaters” — but a no-bill from a grand jury five states away isn’t one of them. Meanwhile at Occidental, students who were receiving class credit to work on Democratic political campaigns were reduced to shambolic mounds of blubbering distress by Republican victories.
Oh, the humanities.
This is a nation that has produced Presidents such as Andrew Jackson – the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, who responded to an assassination attempt by beating the would-be assassin nearly to death with a walking stick. Also Theodore Roosevelt, whose considered reply to a pistol bullet in the chest was to go on and continue with his speech. And those are just two of our ballsier Presidents – this is a nation that produced generation after generation of pioneers, men and women who found ways through unknown mountain ranges, across vast dry prairies and deserts, who founded towns, cities, industries. We are – at least, we were – a nation of doers, of people who refused to take ‘no’ for an answer.
Are we still?
Are neurotic nitwits like the college students blubbering to therapists because of a grand jury decision half a continent away becoming the American norm?
In Marvel’s fabulous movie The Avengers, the villain Loki forces a crowd of Germans (!) to kneel before him by an ostentatious display of power. One elderly man, a look of determination on his face, gets back to his feet. “No,” he says. “Not for a man like you.”
“There are no men like me,” Loki, supposedly a Norse god, informs him, sneeringly.
“There are always men like you,” the old man replies. A line from a movie, maybe, but a cogent point nonetheless.
Are we, as a nation, the kind of a people that would stand up to an actual, real, live, oppressor? A Hitler, a Stalin, a Pol Pot?
The nitwitted students at UC Irvine are not. These cottony, squishy children have not the slightest inkling what real hardship is, what real oppression is, or what a cold, brutal place most of the world is. They would have no idea and no ability to face such reality if it were forced upon them; they would almost certain react by dropping to their knees.
One can only address them in the words of one of our founders, Samuel Adams:
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”