Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Comic Books and the Loss of Chivalry

There is a local coffee house I frequent. The last time I was there the woman who took our order – who appeared to be about 25 – also made our drinks. I didn’t see anyone else behind the counter.

“Are you the only one working here?” I asked. In response she put her hands akimbo on her hips and turned her head sideways. I started laughing.

“What are you, Superman?” I asked.

“Supergirl,” she answered.

I crossed my wrists at my chest and said, “You look more like you’ve got the Wonder Woman thing going.”

“Well,” she answered. “She did have the uniform and bracelets.”

Then something struck me. “You read comic books,” I said.

“I certainly do,” she answered. That’s why she knew about Superman putting his hands on his hips and turning his head sideways. And that Wonder Woman had bracelets. She didn't mention anything about her golden lasso, though.

That encounter got me thinking. I was never that much of a Superman fan – I much preferred Commando Cody flying around with that jetpack on his back and blasting evildoers with his .45 – but he and Superman and all the rest of the comic book heroes were chivalrous. That’s why they were superheroes – at core knights with superpowers.

But not so much anymore. Superman has now given up his U.S. citizenship and is supposedly a citizen of the world – a demented, indeed perverted, fantasy if there ever was one. Whatever happened to Truth, Justice and the American Way?

Chivalry is a Western invention. Or should I say discovery? It came from Christianity and is based on the better warrior virtues (which means it’s not based on murdering innocents and calling them “collateral damage”). It’s about protecting the weak and helpless, and about righting wrongs and punishing evildoers.

All comic book heroes were originally chivalrous, be they Superman or Batman or the Phantom or the Green Hornet or the Rocketeer (who is the modern-day version of Commando Cody). Before them it was King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

I originally learned about chivalry from Edgar Rice Burroughs, specifically his novel, A Fighting Man of Mars, which I encountered when I was 12. (You can argue that ERB wrote novels, not comic books, but I’d respond that his novels, as wonderful as they are, are actually comic books that happen to not have drawings, although some of the cover artists, such as the late Frank Frazetta, did comics.)

Some of the superheroes were more of knights errant than not. Batman, for one, who was a bit of a psychological mess. But he still tried to be a chivalrous knight.

We’ve lost the chivalrous ideal. Organizations where young boys can learn the basics, such as the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, are now considered by the “elites” to be embarrassing. That’s one of the reasons, among many, why our “elites” are anti-American traitors.

The military no longer teaches chivalry, not when soldiers are just cannon fodder to be used up by our treacherous and cowardly elites to advance the destined-to-collapse American empire. The last time the military was half-way chivalrous was during the War between the States. The syphilitic brain-damaged homosexual Lincoln and the insane alcoholic Sherman put a permanent end to that.

It’s too bad the South didn’t win. I’d take Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson over any Northern general every time. (I find it interesting the South evolved from Celtic warrior culture, while the North was dominated by greasy merchants who put money-making above everything – just as we have today with what I call Cosmodemonic Transnational Corporations.)

People are imitative animals, as Thomas Jefferson noticed. It’s how we learn, as he also noticed. When boys and girls have poor models, mentors and mirrors, they’re going imitate degraded values and grow up confused. It’s not hard to see that today, what with chivalry and Christianity both on life support.

Feminism, which has founded by man-hating females and then taken over by envious man-hating, hairy-legged lesbians, certainly hasn’t helped. Leftists think human nature doesn’t exist and people aren’t much more than Lockean blank slates. That is why feminists, even today, are trying to turn little boys into little girls, usually with Ritalin.

If I had my way I’d close down the public schools. These days it’d be impossible to teach Edgar Rice Burroughs in them (he wasn’t taught when I was in school). And the Greek myths. And the Brothers Grimm. And Rudyard Kipling and H. Rider Haggard. As for comic books? God forbid. The deluded and self-righteous would wax wroth and froth at the mouth.

When it comes to boys, I’d teach them how to read with the stories in comic books. I’d teach them Edgar Rice Burroughs starting when they were six. I’d guarantee you they’d Hoover those stories right up. They’d learn what chivalry really is – and they’d be better for it (I never heard the word “chivalry” mentioned in school or even college).

Teaching boys means more male teachers. Some women have enough sense to let boys be boys. Most women teachers don’t, though. I’ve met enough of them to know that many of them shouldn’t be teachers. Education degrees, no matter how advanced, are worthless.

Men have lost their way. They’re finding it again, fortunately. It’s a healthy reaction to the evils of feminism, which, being leftist, has damaged and destroyed everything it touched. Including the characters of many men.

I had mentioned three words – mentor, model, mirror. A mentor is obvious. Boys and girl need mentors. These days, even a fair number of parents are not mentors, since they leave it up to the schools to do their jobs. And what a job many schools do!

A model is someone you model yourself after. A mirror is someone who reflects back to you. A bad mirror will humiliate and abuse a child. Children will see that and then they become what they behold. A good mirror builds children up.

Boys today lack mentors. They lack models – decent models, at least. I see a noticeable number of boys who are “aspiring rap artists,” which is worse than merely embarrassing - it's downright retarded. It can be dangerous. And guess what kind of lowlifes these boys took for their role models? And since people are educated by imitation…

The mirrors for boys in schools today are mostly terrible ones. We all know what is reflected back to boys, and what attitudes are directed at them.

Incidentally, I’ve seen children, especially boys, dress up as Harry Potter. He’s a model for kids to imitate. When my nephew was little he was such a huge fan of BraveStarr he had his mother make him a costume of him that he wore for Halloween.

Unfortunately, if private schools imitate public schools, they aren’t going to be any better than the public ones. But, in the long run, competition improves everything. Including the schools.

And someday, maybe, just maybe, boys might come out of school knowing who John Carter is. And Woola the loyal Martian hound dog. And Barsoom. And Tarzan (who was created by Burroughs). And all the whole pantheon of chivalrous comic book heroes.

Hi! I'm Woola the Martian Hound Dog and I'm the best part of the movie!

It even works for girls, as in the case of my nerdette friend who was such a fan of Supergirl and Wonder Woman. It might even help stop young girls from falling for the destructive and dangerous delusion of feminism.

Fortunately, in the long run, people and society will straighten themselves out. The pendulum always swings back.

6 comments:

RJ said...

Read all 11 of Burroughs' Martian novels when I found them in the school library, of all places. What Disney did in "John Carter" was an abomination...

Anonymous said...

I was and am a comic book geek. I find it amazing that the culture harvests this material 60 years on... just shows how little there is left that anyone finds in the least nourishing.

Also liked your observation about mirroring and providing models. Public figures used to consider that as part of their gift and responsibility. Now such model behaviour is an outlier.

Bad times a comin' Uncle Bob!

Quartermain said...

The comic books, IMHO, started going down hill towards the end of the silver age comics era.

In the mid-80's, the medium got darker and the de-heroziation of hero began.

Anymore, I buy IDW mostly. Peanuts, Popeye are what I buy nowadays.

Bob Wallace said...

Of all things, I actually liked Judge Dredd, because it was so prescient.

Quartermain said...

Though you're a Marvelite, I thought you might find this post interesting:

http://captaincomics.ning.com/forum/topics/does-anyone-at-dc-know-what-they-re-doing

Bob Wallace said...

I always preferred Marvel over DC.