Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Grand Unified Theory of the Decline of the West

I'm always on the lookout for theories with broad application. And in that sense I suppose I'm a little bit like the conspiracy theorists I occasionally mock. I want there to be one elegant explanation for everything. When of course, in reality, the world is a pretty chaotic place. In any case lately I've been looking for a grand theory for the decline of the West. Now of course that presupposes that the West is in decline which could obviously be debated, but for the moment we'll assume that it is...

On Saturday some of the thoughts I'd been having coalesced into grand statement:

It used to be that we were trying to create heroes, now we're trying to avoid victims.

(This was before the Virginia Tech Massacre, and I'm not even going to try and fit it to that story, it's too early and the details are still a little bit sketchy. I don't want to make some lofty pronouncement, only to find out that the details were different than initially reported, but suffice it to say I'm horrified by what happened.)

To give you an example of exactly what I'm talking about I refer you to this story in the Denver Post. A statue honoring a fallen Navy Seal is going to erected adjacent to some schools and close to Columbine, so some parents are objecting. In particular they think the statue is too focused around the gun. I'm not even sure where to start with that, it's mis-guided on so many levels.

There's a lot more I could say on this subject, too much in fact for the time I have. But if you've got a second tell me what you think.

Rather than being told to be brave we're told to be afraid


Blogger BHY said...

The news report I read (from a source in Littleton) indicated that it was only 7-10 families that raised the concern. The rest of the people in the community are overwhelmingly for the memorial and think that those opposing are way out of line.

It doesn't change the fact that the opposition exists, it just puts the magnitude of said opposition in proper perspective.

9:09 PM  
Blogger aozora said...

I'd have to go with the thought that things are much too complex and chaotic to apply simple theories broadly.

5:10 AM  

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