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Author Topic: Manliness and honor  (Read 1416 times)

goatroper

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Manliness and honor
« on: February 14, 2012, 10:37:43 AM »
A very good article on what's happened to them.

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Never Trust Anyone Who Hasn’t Been Punched in the Face

by Scott Locklin

Conservatives like to talk about the causes of Western Civilization’s downfall: feminism, loose morality, drug abuse, Christianity’s decline, reality TV. Blaming civilization’s downfall on lardy hagfish such as Andrea Dworkin is like a doctor diagnosing senility by an old person’s wrinkles. The fact that anyone listened to such a numskull is a symptom, not the cause, of a culture in decline. The cause of civilizational decline is dirt-simple: lack of contact with objective reality. The great banker-journalist (and founder of the original National Review) Walter Bagehot said it well almost 150 years ago:

    History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it.

Every great civilization reaches a point of prosperity where it is possible to live your entire life as a pacifist without any serious consequences. Many civilizations have come to the state of devolution represented by modern Berkeley folkways, from wife-swapping to vegetarianism. These ideas don’t come from a hardscrabble existence in contact with nature’s elemental forces; they are the inevitable consequence of being an effete urban twit removed from meaningful contact with reality. The over-civilized will try to portray their decadence as something “highly evolved” and worthy of emulation because it can only exist in the hothouse of highly civilized urban centers, much like influenza epidemics. Somehow these twittering blockheads missed out on what the word “evolution” means. Evolution involves brutal and often violent natural selection, and these people have not been exposed to brutal evolutionary forces any more than a typical urban poodle.

Through human history, vigorous civilizations had various ways of dealing with the unfortunate human tendency toward being a weak ninny. The South Koreans (for my money, the hardest men in Asia today) have brutally tough military training as a rite of passage. I’ve been told that the Soviet system had students picking potatoes during national holidays. The ancient Greeks used competitive sports and constant warfare. The Anglo-American working classes, the last large virtuous group of people left in these countries, use bullying, violent sports, fisticuffs, and hard living.

I think there is a certain worldview that comes from violent experience. It’s something like…manhood. You don’t have to be the world’s greatest badass to be a man, but you have to be willing to throw down when the time is right.

A man who has been in a fight or played violent sports has experienced more of life and manhood than a man who hasn’t. Fisticuffs, wrestling matches, knife fights, violent sport, duels with baseball bats, facing down guns, or getting crushed in the football field—men who have had these experiences are different from men who have not. Men who have trained for or experienced such encounters know about bravery and mental fortitude from firsthand experience. Men who have been tested physically know that inequality is a physical fact. Men who know how to deal out violence know that radical feminism’s tenets—that women and men are equal—are a lie. We know that women are not the same as men: not physically, mentally, or in terms of moral character.

Men who have fought know how difficult it is to stand against the crowd and that civilization is fragile and important. A man who has experienced violence knows that, at its core, civilization is an agreement between men to behave well. That agreement can be broken at any moment; it’s part of manhood to be ready when it is. Men who have been in fights know about something that is rarely spoken of without snickering these days: honor. Men who have been in fights know that, on some level, words are just words: At some point, words must be backed up by deeds.

Above all, men who have been in fights know that there is nothing good or noble about being a victim. This is a concept the modern “conservative movement,” mostly run by wimps, has lost, probably irrevocably. They’re forever tugging at my heartstrings, from No Child Left Behind to Israel’s plight to MLK’s wonders to whining that the media doesn’t play fair to the overwrought emotional appeals they use to justify dropping bombs on Muslims. The Republicans are even taking seriously a pure victim-candidate: Michelle Bachman. As far as can be told, she’s a middle-American Barack Obama with boobs and a slightly loopier world view.

Modern “civilized” males don’t get in fistfights. They don’t play violent sports. They play video games and, at best, watch TV sports. Modern males are physical and emotional weaklings. The ideal male isn’t John Wayne or James Bond or Jimmy Stewart anymore. It’s some crying tit that goes to a therapist, a sort of agreeable lesbian with a dick who calls the police (whom he hates in theory) when there is trouble. The ideal modern male is the British shrimp who handed his pants over to the looter in south London.

How did we get here? Estrogens in the food supply? Cultural Marxism’s corrosive influence?  Small families? Some of the greatest badasses I’ve known had many brothers to fight with growing up. When good men who will fight are all extinct, there is no more civilization. No lantern-jawed viragos are going to save you from the barbarian hordes. No mincing nancy boys with Harvard diplomas will stand up for the common decencies: They’re a social construct, dontcha know. The conservative movement won’t save you: They’re chicken-hearted careerists petrified of offending a victim group.

Teddy Roosevelt, my ideal President, kept a lion and a bear as pets in the White House and took his daily exercise doing jiu-jitsu and boxing. He even lost vision in an eye in a friendly boxing match while he was president. Our last three glorious leaders are men who kept fluffy dogs and went jogging. I don’t trust squirrelly girly-men in any context. When confronted with difficult decisions, they don’t do what’s right or tell the truth—they’ll do what’s easy or politically expedient. Unlike the last three, Teddy Roosevelt never sent men to die in pointless wars, though he was more than happy to go himself or risk his neck wrestling with bears.

I’m no great shakes: I’m a shrimpy egghead in a suit who thinks about math all day. I don’t train for fighting anymore, and my experiences with violence are fairly limited. Nonetheless, I judge people on these sorts of things. When I first meet a man, I don’t care what kind of sheepskins or awards he has on his walls. I don’t care if he is liberal or conservative. I want to know if they have my back in a fight. That’s really the only thing that matters.

http://takimag.com/article/never_trust_anyone_who_hasnt_been_punched_in_the_face/print

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Found this article here: http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2012/02/there-is-certain-worldview-that-comes.html

For some strange reason, I'm thinkin' some of the folks on this forum might be able to supply the kind of comment Peter is asking for.
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JackCrow

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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 11:12:01 AM »
I read this from the link at Bayou Renaissance Man http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/

A pretty good article.
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FMJ

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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 12:24:43 PM »
It was an enjoyable read.  I like it.


ETA:  TR is cool and all, but he's still a statist.

Also, I don't believe in senseless violence.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 02:04:20 PM by FMJ »
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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 01:15:49 PM »
Been punched in the face.  Returned a few punches.  Broke a nose in the third grade.

Avoided unneccessary roughness since.
After a shooting spree, they want to take the guns away from everyone who didn't do it.

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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 02:36:23 PM »
I play paintball with goggles and a balaclava, can it be considered a contact sport?
And once upon a time a guy tackled me when he ran out of ammo.

Otherwise only soccer and highschool karate for me.

Good read, it somewhat reminded me of Unkle Musket, or at least his online persona.

coyotesfan97

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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 03:47:56 PM »
I work in a sub culture that demands the ability to apply directed violence to gain compliance from people who aren't interested in submitting. The current people we hire (exempting vets) generally have never been in a fight and the concept that someone will kill or seriously injure them just for wearing the badge is still a foreign concept. 

The ability of the Rookie to handle himself with words and/or fists on rough streets is something that must be proven to the veteran Officers.  He isn't fully trusted until he proves that ability. You have to be able to trust that he will have your back in a fight.

I want to know how someone handles themselves in a high stress event. I am at times completely dependent on my cover Officer while I work my dog. Given the choice I always go with the experienced guy I know can handle himself and has sand.  SWAT guys are my personal preference.

Good article.  Thanks for sharing that.  :clap
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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 04:48:09 PM »
I haven't been in a fight since high school, when I threw the upperclassman wrestler who'd been hassling me into a wall.  :coffee

Yes, he telegraphed the move by a mile, but he never screwed with me again.

Been threatened  few times since then. Usually, that's met with a small, quiet smile.


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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 08:31:29 PM »
I'm not sure how violence builds honor? By the authors reasoning every gang banger out there should be the most honorable men in our society.

Don't get me wrong I get what he is saying, and agree with him most of the way. I think team sports involving contact do more then random fistfights personally. However having taken a punch goes along way towards being able to take one again, and siblings are good for that.

I think it is sad that society has gone so far in the neutering of the American male. Unfortunately laws only affect those that have something to lose, and most men have more to lose then the trouble is worth.

Someone posted in another thread about a teenager taking a crap on the hood of your car with a "What would you do?". Unfortunately I would be forced to take his picture with my phone, yell at him, and call the cops with the hope that they might do something. Mind you this isn't what I'd like to do, I just like sleeping with my wife at night more then next to Bubba. There have been several times in my adult life I have been forced to back down because the consequences of my actions, no matter how justified, were too much to pay. If it isn't life or death I'm walking away regardless of what you call my momma or wife.

The days of being able to get tore up on Friday night and finish it off with a good bar fight are long gone. I am always cautioning my teenaged son to back down; most of the dirt-bag troublemakers don't have anything to lose, he does. Anymore once you are in the system it is impossible to get out, and charges are as bad as convictions.

I can't take that risk, and don't want him to be screwed before he gets a chance to start.
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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 09:07:00 PM »
I loved that article. Thank you. It's a keeper.

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Chief45

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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 03:57:29 PM »
I'm not sure how violence builds honor? By the authors reasoning every gang banger out there should be the most honorable men in our society.

**SNIP**

It's not that he is glorifying violence for the sake of violence.   If that were the case, he would be giving favorable reviews to Joe Stalin and Saddam.

He is talking about being willing to engage in violence for other reasons.   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  (John 15:13).   Being willing to stand up for what he believes in, knowing that it's not just a sophomoric exercise in semantics.  Someone that knows what he is willing to pay and what it could cost.  Only a warrior can understand the personal, individual cost of war.  The desk bound politician at the rear only knows the balance total on his spread sheet.  The warrior knows the personal price. so, to ask the cost of war, which answer do you want.

To ask someone to have your back,  do you want the guy that has only played Call of Duty or Hamster-Nom ?   or do you want the guy that has had some scrapes and bruises and bled a few times ?   The guy that has never been asked to pay a price,  or the guy that knows exactly what the price is ?





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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 05:47:31 PM »
I see the punch in the face metaphor is far less a glorification of violence than an indicator of a person who is willing to accept some pain or sacrifice in the course of his life to live the life that he wants. Any victim can get punched in the face, a man is someone who gets up from that punch and soldiers on. The victim gets punched and vows that it will never happen, even if its necessary to change everything about themselves to avoid that punch ever falling again. They will change their views, shift their morality, give their support to any fast talker. Anything to avoid that pain and suffering again. After awhile of living behind others who protect them they sublimate that fear and develop the idea that their way is the morally superior way, and anyone who doesn't agree is defective and abnormal and must be fixed. This is why the people they choose to lead them change the laws and procedures of government to reflect that worldview,it keeps them in power.

The man who gets punched in the face and stands back up and fights back, or doesn't let it slow him down is not a victim. He will not stop or be detered. He will not change his morality to suit the times or the weaker will of other men. He is the man that will stand a combat post, run into a fire, work a coal mine, or chase a mugger. The weaker man soon learns that to sell himself will get him what he wants, this is where rock bands like Mötley Crüe and Poison come from. A true man's band? Metalica.

It is unfortunate that in our times there are less and less outlets for young men to prove their worth to themselves, thus the use of violent sports  and the gang mentality. There are few adventures left for the young, no western frontiers to find their fortune. The ranks of our military and law enforcement swell for this among other reasons. The weaker men need the stronger to protect them but all the while despise them because they represent all they are not, and conspire to change the rules of the world to control them.   
New York"If you’re not shootin’, you should be loadin’. If you’re not loadin’, you should be movin’. If you’re not movin’, someone’s gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick."--Clint Smith

super_b AK

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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 05:51:41 PM »
It's not that he is glorifying violence for the sake of violence.   If that were the case, he would be giving favorable reviews to Joe Stalin and Saddam.

He is talking about being willing to engage in violence for other reasons.   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  (John 15:13).   Being willing to stand up for what he believes in, knowing that it's not just a sophomoric exercise in semantics.  Someone that knows what he is willing to pay and what it could cost.  Only a warrior can understand the personal, individual cost of war.  The desk bound politician at the rear only knows the balance total on his spread sheet.  The warrior knows the personal price. so, to ask the cost of war, which answer do you want.

To ask someone to have your back,  do you want the guy that has only played Call of Duty or Hamster-Nom ?   or do you want the guy that has had some scrapes and bruises and bled a few times ?   The guy that has never been asked to pay a price,  or the guy that knows exactly what the price is ?

I got what he was trying to say. He just wasn't getting it across very well in my opinion. You just enunciated what I think he was trying to say 10 times better then he did; in way less space.

High 5 for the Hamster-Nom shout out  :D

Sarge also posted while I was writing this and I agree with everything he said too.

Except for Metallica being a man's band  :facepalm
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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2012, 06:42:34 PM »
I don't get into fights.  The roughest sport I've played in the last few years is full-contact frisbee.

Mr. Locklin can go screw himself.

You know who gets into a lot of fights?  Gangbangers.  Criminals.  Drunks.  Tweakers. 

Winners, model citizens all.

I understand the point he was trying to make.  But once you've actually had somebody try to kill you it changes your perception of violence.  Getting into fights is stupid.  It's all fun and games until you end up in court, trying to explain to a judge why you had to assault the other guy.

This goes doubly for you if you carry a firearm.  You need to have self-control.  You need to have the willpower to walk away if someone is talking s___ but isn't actually threatening you.
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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2012, 09:20:15 PM »
NC, I'm not entirely sure you're getting what his problem is.

What you are saying, you are correct about. What the article's author is talking about is WHY that is correct. He wants to know what happened to the world to get to where we are. Two hundred years ago, insulting another man's wife would quite possibly end up with you dead on the grass from a duel. Now, we're forced to swallow the insult and "be the better man". One can make a very solid argument that being the better man, in this context, is actually being less of a man.

I'm not saying everyone should go out and start shooting people who mouth off about your mom or wife, and I'm not even saying that that was a superior method of handling it. But look at it from the perspective of the SEAL who punched Jesse Ventura. He said something crass and nasty, and he got popped in the nose for it. I don't think anyone here really has a problem with that. Why then do we have a problem with doing the same thing to some jerk who's mocking your family or your beliefs specifically to get a rise out of someone? Pop that guy in the nose, and maybe (I'll admit it's unlikely in this day and age) he's going to figure out that sometimes, poking the bear is hazardous to your health.

Once upon a time not so very long ago, this was almost expected as a response to insults and mockery. Heck, when I was in 8th grade in the late 80's I punched a guy in the nose for insulting my mother. I got a day's suspension. So did he. Later on, he apologized and we actually got along really well together. My dad, in response, made me pizza for dinner as a treat.

The same thing happening now would probably end in me with a 10-day suspension and the kid who instigated it getting off scot free. So too in the adult world, where words are supposed to be ignored and aren't considered provocation enough to justify smacking someone down. Doing so verbally instead of physically will still lead to reprimands or other repercussions.

It's not about fights for fighting's sake. It's about being able to defend your family and honor without worrying about lawsuits.

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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2012, 09:37:03 PM »
Well stated.
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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2012, 11:23:12 PM »
I didn't do any of the things that the author was talking about.  I didn't play sports.  I didn't get into fights.  I was quiet and shy and got picked on, as a kid.  Hardly the definition of manliness.

Flash forward a couple decades.  Never once played a "violent sport", haven't gotten into anything resembling a fistfight since I was a kid.  I play all kinds of video games.  By the author's definition, not manly at all.

Oh wait.  How many IED calls has Mr. Locklin been on?

So yes.  He can take his silly, adolescent stereotypes and go screw.

Now, are there people that NEED to be slugged?  Yes.  There are people that need beatings, it's undeniable.  You're free to do so as long as you're willing to accept the consequences.

I know people that have been victims of actual violence.  Not "boys will be boys" little fistfights.  I mean getting brutally beat because some intoxicated thug thought the victim slighted his honor somehow.  Getting your skull fractured doesn't make a better man.  Being a little adolescent knucklehead that gets in fights all the time doesn't make you a better man as an adult.

Teach your kids to stand up for themselves.  Teach them to defend themselves.  Teach them to protect those who can't help themselves.  Don't teach them that it's okay to assault people they don't like.  That leads to bullying, and if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a bully.

I know I'm being contrarian here.  But folks who wish that they'd bring back dueling need to be careful what they wish for.  Don't assume you're a better shot than the other guy.  ;)

As was said, posters on this board have made the author's point better than the author himself.  He comes across, to me at least, as a knuclkeheaded jock dumbass.
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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2012, 09:30:35 AM »
@Nightcrawler: Proof that there's more than one kind of strength.

As a kid, I was picked on a lot. In the gifted classes, I was picked on by the gifted students for being... odd (yeah, I know, you're shocked *grin*).

As I got older, I got into more fights, and got more... secluded.

While I was in a private school for 7th and 8th grade, I realized I needed to change that.

I ignored taunts, and physical attacks, and developed patience and a self-deprecating sense of humor - only relying on violence when the situation really needed it.

That wrestler I mentioned upthread?  Most of my freshman year, he'd spent dropping elbow shots on my shoulders while I was sitting talking with friends during lunch. I ignored him.  The first day of my sophomore year, I arrived at school, and headed towards my homeroom. On my way there, I saw him coming towards me.  As he wound up to drop another elbow on my left shoulder, I dropped my bookbag, grabbed his elbow in my left hand (pushed), his shoulder with my right (pulled), stepped towards the middle of the hall, and shoved him into the wall (as I said, he telegraphed it by a mile).

He never tried it again.  And the rest of my high school time was blissfully violence free.

So, yeah.  There's a time and place for violence, but it shouldn't be your first resort, nor your default response.

War is what happens when diplomacy fails.

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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2012, 09:32:16 AM »
I don't necessarily like the author's explanation of his point, but I do understand his point.  There are notable exceptions, but to some degree we have gotten soft as a nation.

I've been teaching martial arts for a pretty long time.  One thing is for sure, it's easier to teach technique than to teach mindset.  You can tell a lot about a man from the first time he really gets hit hard, or suffers a broken bone.  Learning to deal with those things and go on can be a milestone event.

In my view, teaching our young men that all violence is bad is immoral.  We should be teaching them that violence may be necessary, and equip them to deal with it.  At the same time, we should teach them to have proper manners and respect the rights of others.  That way, they will understand the "rights" and "wrongs" of violence and its use.
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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2012, 01:52:52 PM »
@Nightcrawler...  You train for violence, no?  I didn't get the impression that he differentiated between street fights and martial art training in a dojo.

I can't imagine you not having been stung a time or two in your military training...
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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2012, 03:33:03 PM »
You think the military does hand to hand combat training?  The Marines do.  Some Army units do.  The Air Force doesn't.  And it's completely irrelevant anyway.  We did some hands-on crap at TSAC last year.  Are we going to imply that I wasn't "a man" before that happened?

You know where character comes from?  Having to work for what you want, understanding that there's no such thing as a free lunch.  You can live your entire life never getting into a fight, never playing any stupid "violent sports", as the author described them, and still be a good person and a good citizen. 

Conversely, you can grow up getting into fights and playing football (which is what I'm assuming the author did when he was young) and still be a s___head in adulthood.

The author's premise that getting into fights and playing sports makes you more manly and, therefore, a better person is, frankly, ridiculous.  Especially considering that I've worked with women who've seen more combat than the author of this article likely ever will.

As I said, the author comes across as a washed-up ex-jock who, while pining for his Al Bundy-esque high school football glory days, is decrying all the nerds and wussies that play video games and is associating them with everything he doesn't like about this country.  That's probably not a fair summation of the author, but that's how he comes across.

We have gotten soft as a nation.  It's because life isn't as hard as it was.  That's not an accident.  Our ancestors worked and struggled for generations to ensure their descendents would have a better life than they did.  My father was very poor when he was a kid.  He couldn't wear shoes every day in the summer, because if they wore out there wouldn't be money enough for a new pair for winter.

We didn't have a lot when I was a kid, but I always had shoes. 

The entire country is the same way.  Most of America, a century ago, was little more than a third world country.  Now we have the highest standard of living in the world. Life is pretty easy here.

You know who has it rough?  You know who grows up surrounded by violence?  The Afghans.  The author should go spend some time there if he thinks he's a tough guy.

(We played video games in Afghanistan, by the way.)
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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2012, 04:48:25 PM »
I'm going with Nightcrawler on this one.

Doing what's right isn't determined by playing football. 

Case in point - Michael Vick.

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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2012, 10:56:03 PM »
NC, I'm not entirely sure you're getting what his problem is.

Pop that guy in the nose, and maybe he's going to figure out that sometimes, poking the bear is hazardous to your health.

It's not about fights for fighting's sake. It's about being able to defend your family and honor without worrying about lawsuits.

+1. As slm said, well put.

Being a nancy boy is the expected societal norm today and most of the of the men and boys I know are either that or Tap Out wearing, hip hop punks. Only say 5% are worth a darn, the kind who would have your back. Some even seem to wear their "nancyness" on their sleeves as sort of a sick, sad badge of honor.

I don't advocate a return to neanderthal, might-is-right values and I deeply believe in turning the other cheek to 99% of verbal crap; "Let it go," "Talk is cheap," and "Live and let live" are bedrock beliefs of mine. However, if someone lays hands on a man, or threatens to, he should be on the receiving end of an abrupt and vigorous ass whippin'. No warning, no pleading, no crap talking chest-to-chest in each other's faces (my particular pet peeve) or any other similar weak nonsense.



North CarolinaBe without fear in the face of thine enemies.
Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
Speak the truth always even if it leads to thy death.
Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.
That is thine oath.

strangelittleman

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Re: Manliness and honor
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2012, 10:20:17 AM »
Yep like Dad once said:
 " A quick side-step, followed by a vicious uppercut has stopped more bullies and gunfights than words ever will and son, remember, laws and warnings are just words which are only as strong as the force that stands to back them up and the willingness to use that force." 
Semper Gumby.....Always Flexible.


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