Monday, June 11, 2012

America's Commencement Speech

Want to fix a few things in our country? Then let this video be the template for every commencement speech in the country for a while.

Also, as a bonus, read what Ace has to say about anger.

Here's a sample...
What exactly is New Anger? Let’s find out by first having a look at Old Anger. Before we lionized all those angry anti-heroes — from Jack Nicholson in the movies, to John McEnroe on the tennis court — Americans admired the strong silent type: slow to boil, reluctant to fight unless sorely provoked, and disinclined to show anger even then. Gary Cooper in Sargent York comes to mind. Old Anger was held in check by ideals of self-mastery and reserve. As Wood puts it, “Dignity, manliness, and wisdom called for self-control and coolness of temper.” The angry man, Wood reminds us, was once thought a weak-minded zealot, bereft of good judgment and prey to false clarity. Above all, Americans (especially women) kept anger at bay “lest it overwhelm the relations on which family life depends.”

On behalf of this ideal of reserve, anger was not merely checked, but was even partially defeated (today we’d say “repressed”). There was a time when Americans strove to train themselves away from actually being angry — a time when even the private, inner experience of rage felt shameful and was shunned. Yet in compensation for the inner sacrifice and discipline demanded by the art of self-mastery, Americans experienced a mature pride in “character” achieved. In what Wood calls that “now largely invisible culture” of Old Anger, refusal to be provoked was its own reward.

That was then. America’s New Anger exchanges the modest heroism of Gary Cooper’s Sargent York for something much closer to the Incredible Hulk. New Anger is everything that Old Anger was not: flamboyant, self-righteous, and proud.

Actually, that's not Ace, but the lead-in to his point. Pretty good stuff, as Insty would say (were he here), read the whole thing.

Have a good Monday.

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