Sunday, April 24, 2016

Animal Farm

Two observations, unrelated to each other except for the barnyard metaphors.

1) I have officially decided to quit making fun of the chi-meisters. You know, the guys who send their students spinning with a look or stun them with a gesture. The ones demonstrating and teaching no-touch knockouts. As some of you know, I've offered my support to a few of the big names if they'd just come with me on public transportation, let me pick out a couple of subjects who had no idea who they were or what was supposed to happen and then knock them out. Should be easy, right? Every other way of knocking people out is easier by stealth, without the big show... so far, no answers.

Anyway, I've decided to exercise gratitude and see the chi-misters for what they are and appreciate what they contribute. The rest of us are trying to make people stronger and tougher. They are the ones with the foresight to create a new generation of victims. Think about it-- it's not about the instructors, it's about the students. Always has been. And these guys are breeding the human equivalent of fainting goats.

2) When we take a young creature and lock it up, remove it from challenge, deny it any exercise or even the mild challenge and irritation of sun and wind, we call that veal. It gets fed a rich diet, treated like a baby long after it should be. It's straight up animal abuse. Tasty, tasty animal abuse, but there's something fundamentally not right about it. We know that babies-- animal or human-- need to move and play to be what they are. And we all know that growth in anything comes from challenge.

People demanding places where only one opinion can be heard, where they will be shielded from any thoughts or ideas that might actually make them work, people demanding a right to a perpetual comfort zone-- they are insisting on a right to be veal. Mental veal. What they can so clearly see as animal abuse in the outside world, they are demanding. Or begging for. Begging for the resources and demanding the right to be soft, helpless and probably tasty.

One of the poignant/funny scenes in the Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy was the beef who was bred to want to be eaten. Well, the american educational system has gone one better. We have trained our children not just to be the mental equivalent of veal, but to demand their own helplessness as a right.

There is no desire for weakness in our nature. That has to be taught. So maybe there is more of a connection between the fainting goat breeders and the veal producers-- it is learned behavior, and the product of systems that ingrain weakness as both a behavior and a virtue.

Think about this-- who hates and fears you enough that they must brainwash you to believe that weakness is a virtue?


Maija said...

Weakness is learned, however society has encouraged it for millennia. I am not talking about government control or cults, or large group dynamics, but at the very roots of group survival - Interpersonal relationships between men and women. It started off as basic maths - protect the children and women, but has continued on into this day as a workable paradigm.

If one side of a relationship sees itself as 'protector', by definition, it needs something to protect. Women have accepted this 'contract of weakness' that was offered, for many reasons - safety, fear, ease, and to fit in, for generations. And it will continue until women can choose what role they play in their lives, in society and as individuals.

I'd also say that if this protector/protected paradigm is a cultural 'norm' and a whole section of society faces ostracization if it does not conform, it WILL submit to this learned behavior if it can imagine nothing else. It's hard to live as an outsider.

I guess my point is that the acceptance of weakness by some can make a society strong and is thus a tried and true strategy for the continuance of that society ... even, maybe particularly, at the one on one level.

Above all this I would also point out that the physical power to delete another human being trumps all other 'powers'. True individualism and freedom may be the direction we all want to move in, but this means you are also more vulnerable as you are on your own, and the physically weaker part of any relationship is always at a disadvantage .. unless it make allies, and then again you are in relationship and identity territory.

Agent Cbeppa said...

Good insights, although I don't agree with all of them. Funny coincidence, I'm re-listening to Hitchhiker's Guide just now, and I still love it! Have you ever read V for Vendetta? It seems like it would be your sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

To extend the metaphor a bit, I note that the aurochs, the veal calf's free-living cousin, is completely extinct.

Josh K. said...

The Farmer.

Xa Lynn said...

I'm stealing your veal analogy for tomorrow's homeschool lesson. Thanks!

The European Historical Combat Guild said...

Given the way things aRe going and have gone... most things will be extinct unless they have primary or secondary use to humans.. food or pets... to eat or to look at... unless they can live in the cracks where we aren't. .. the aurochs is extinct because there were no cracks for them... though people are trying to breed back to them and reintroduce them in eastern Europe... a man made crack...

Nick said...

I once had a Japanese gentleman attend my class, who had been taught by his aikido teacher to be defeated by a single touch. Everytime I made contact with him, he flew away as if struck by lightning.It made me very angry at whichever idiot had trained him to be like this. It took the best part of an hour to get him to put up any resistance to anything.

Anonymous said...

Great post Mr. Miller. God forbid our college students leave their safe spaces once in a while and get their ideas challenged.