I wrote this back in May of 2012, but never bothered to publish it. I realized in the middle of writing a post for today that I’d already written about HM1 Crabtree, but I didn’t finish it up back then…
Have we become a beta-male culture, as Bill Whittle argues in his latest Firewall video? Are we just a little too in touch with our feelings to take the necessary risks to expand our horizons, grow our economy, and defend our nation?
Many good observations there.
we’ve had this problem for a long time; it’s not just recent. Most of the kinds of movies Bill references have similar themes — the one man willing to stand against evil when all others quail at the thought. That’s because it reflects life as it is, perhaps especially so since industrialization and urbanization reduced the need for virtues of independence and self-sufficiency. The difference is that we have spent the last few decades celebrating the beta-male impulse rather than those virtues in our popular culture.
The submariner corps looks for calm, collected types, not hotdogs but also not people inclined to fret over tough conditions.
That last line is somewhat noteworthy. There’s the argument that we’ve become incredibly risk-averse, something that the contrarians at Spiked often point out (Britain suffers from this even moreso). There’s also the near-cliched argument that the modern liberal seeks to feminize or neuter the male, and “empower” the female (though they do this by calling women sluts). But that last line is quite noteworthy due to events in the last couple years:
NORFOLK, Va (NNS) — The Department of the Navy has announced a policy change that will allow women to serve on submarines. The change was considered by Congress after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates formally presented a letter to congressional leaders Feb. 19, 2010 notifying them of the Department of Navy’s desire to reverse current policy of prohibiting submarine service to women.
“There are extremely capable women in the Navy who have the talent and desire to succeed in the submarine force,” said the Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy. “Enabling them to serve in the submarine community is best for the submarine force and our Navy. We literally could not run the Navy without women today.”
SecNav Mabus is the imbecile who wants to name Navy ships after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is only distinguishable from the rest of congress for having been shot in the head by a madman.
Putting women on submarines is a bad idea for numerous reasons (one old salt sailor mentioned that due to how subs’ heads work, women’s hygiene products present an actual threat to sub life support, which was funny until he explained it), and naming a littoral combat ship after someone whose claim to fame is being a victim is just stacking stupid on top of predictable failure.
The Beta Nation modern liberal culture celebrates the victim, not the hero. The victim is the survivor of things outside their control, of someone who simply weathers the storm and suffers; and in some pseudo-Buddhist sense of suffering that they endure, they become something to emulate. The thing is, the victim who becomes a survivor didn’t put themselves in a bad situation in the first place in order to do right. Whittle mentions Alan Alda’s MASH character, who didn’t join the Army to help the injured – he was drafted and spent much of his time working against the Army – apparently not understanding that nobody wants a war over faster than the guys on the actual front line. He “suffered” against his will while complaining about others suffering. Real heroes volunteer, and are there to try and end conflicts ASAP so everybody can go home.
Glorifying victimhood, powerlessness, and ultimately weakness isn’t a good thing. Supporting and offering aid to those in need certainly is, but again, glorifying victimhood is not.
The Navy used to name ships after heroes – after men like George, Frank, Joe, Matt, and Al.
They named a big ship after Chester. How about giving Dorie one as well?
There’s been a progressive march by the … progressives… to try and force their worldview through institutions. Name your ships after labor leaders like Cesar Chavez, lying blue falcon scumbags like John Murtha, and victim congressmen who have nothing to do with the Navy or its traditions, and you end up generating a culture that celebrates those things. That’s the leftist progressive way – undermining institutions that exist for a reason.
A ship named after a good commander like Nimitz, or a ship named after a hometown, or a ship named after sailors who did their best, like the Sullivans, inspires reverence for those names – names of heroes. Their characteristics, honor, determination, courage, become something to emulate.
A very telling note is that Mabus could’ve named the ship after Corpsman Holly Crabtree, who received an almost identical wound as Giffords did, but she was shot in-country, while serving, by an enemy sniper.
And her sister to the left is an Army drill sergeant. Also more deserving of a ship.
It’s not just the beta male that’s celebrated as the new ideal, the beta female victim is as well.