How did our society become so degraded? In this day and age, ignorance and brutality are considered the hallmarks of "manliness" by a very large proportion of Americans. If a man is educated, gentle, and refined, he is presumed to be unmanly, specifically because he IS educated, gentle, and refined. Today, "manly" means brutal and ignorant. It's the beer-swilling, misogynist idiot who indulges in dangerous feats to impress his equally idiotic comrades.
When and how did it become unmanly in America to seek out the old philosophers, to study history and rhetoric, to cultivate tastes in music beyond a heavy metal scream or a country twang?
When and how did it become unmanly to respect others and refrain from displays of temper and aggression?
When and how did it become unmanly in America to exercise any virtue except physical courage?
Conversely, when and how did it become uncultured to pursue boxing or other martial arts? At one time, it was presumed an educated and urbane gentleman knew how to fight. Today, such a gentleman who knows how to fight is an eccentric. When and how did this division arise?
Simple denial of this does not answer my question and is actually dishonest. We all know what American attitudes toward what is and is not "manly "really consist of. We just have to look at our advertisement and popular entertainment.
I think one of the gags from Fraiser and Cheers is that the pretentious pairs of characters (Niles and Fraiser, Fraiser and Diane) are annoyed by the pretentiousness of the other while being ignorant to the fact that they are just as bad.
"Part of it is that conspicuously "refined" taste..." Pretentious is the word I would use. These type of people are outed as soon as they open their mouths.
I find that the younger generation, and even some of the older generation, are ruder, cruder, and more "ME" than any prior generations. I offer the example of driving on a two lane highway that narrows to one lane at a construction site. How many people do you see driving up to the last foot of the lane that is closed prior to getting over? How many people do you see in the open lane tailgating the car in front of them to keep others out? This causes the traffic jams we see every day. They, each of them, are thinking about themselves only and the result is a longer delay than if they thought about others.
Yeah, I read that part but missed it. He was accurate in his use of pretentious. My mistake.
How many people do you see in the open lane tailgating the car in front of them to keep others out? This causes the traffic jams we see every day
I'm thinking narrowing the road by 50% without reducing the number of vehicles might be more of a cause than whether folks merge sooner.
But that's just me.
True the number of cars on the road is a factor in the traffic. But if everyone on that road left enough room for someone to merge prior to the construction and those in the construction lane actually merged you could do the merge at a much higher speed than having cars go all the way up to the construction and having to accellerate from a dead stop to merge, which causes the cars on the non obstructed lane to have to slow down considerably or come to a complete stop to avoid hitting the merging car.
Conspicuous refinement? What about conspicuous primitivity?
As much as some people try to impress with their sophistication and knowledge, there are those that try to show-off their indifference and ignorance. To philistines, surely this is a badge of honor, and another sad dimension of the male monomania of dick-swinging.
"Conspicuous primitivity"? Sounds made-up ... perhaps by someone that likes to talk about "the male monomania of dick-swinging".
People rarely show off by pretending to be of lower class than they actually are. There are exceptions. I've heard of "slumming it" -- dating lower than your social class. Not sure that's exactly the same thing. I guess politicians do it to appear to be "men of the people".
I'd bet the proportion of people pretending to have money and/or refined tastes far exceeds those faking low income or simple tastes -- the market for fake Rolex watches and Coach purses depends on it. No matter how much money they have ... people who live like they have simple tastes typically actually do.
Who would show off "ignorance"?
Who would show off "ignorance"?
That is, in fact, the definition of a philistine... and anti-intellectual sentiment runs deep in some parts, so it's not a fiction.
Don't confuse anti-intellectual with pro-ignorance. I have a quite a bit of anti-intellectual in me, and would not consider myself ignorant (or pro-ignorance).
"Intellectuals" are people, not knowledge incarnate. They're often know-it-alls, often deign to tell people how to live, and are often too arrogant to recognize that they could be wrong. I don't dislike knowledge. I dislike sanctimony, pretentiousness, and those that would impose themselves on the lives of others ... so I often dislike people who would call themselves "intellectuals".
Good on you, but all you've done is just re-define anti-intellectual to mean that you hate pretentious people. And everyone would probably agree with that statement.
Yet, there are still many people out there who see no value in reading great works of literature and knowledge, or people who want to limit access to such literature for others.
More to the point, I think that crudity is as much an affectation, a stance, a put-upon costume of being, as pretentious intellectuals. The people who do it are just trying to appeal to different crowds. To take an extreme example, why is Larry the Cable Guy so popular? Because of this kind of philistine-ism that appreciates the low-brow; this audience wouldn't watch Frasier, even if they were laughing at the character Frasier. Is the actor who plays Larry really like that? No, it's a character--he had to work hard to sound and look and act like that. But it sells, and I don't think that the irony or the difference between character and actor is something his audience always understands.
There are many people out there for whom there actually is little value in great works of literature. They're not wrong. Their life is full and fulfilling without a college degree, great works of literature, or anything of the sort. They earn a living with their hands, they know what they need to, and life goes on. Same as it ever was.
And, they're not lesser than a professor of literature that probably has to hire a guy like that because he can't fix his own car. Like I said, it isn't the knowledge, its the sanctimony. You couldn't have demonstrated my point better if you tried.
Larry the Cable Guy is popular because he's funny, and because the vast majority people have a bit of redneck in them somewhere. Also a good opportunity for people who think they don't to look down their noses and feel superior to the "philistines".
Okay JB--now you have changed from hating pretentious intellectuals to philistine-ism: hatred of or pride in ignorance of works of art.
There is a definite difference in one who is uninterested in art and one who hates or is proud of his ignorance of art. The former would not begrudge another's interest in art even if he himself does not indulge in art, read novels, go to exhibits of the fine or performing arts, etc.
The latter finds himself superior to the ivory tower because of the very fact of his ignorance, which I think is a pretty shameful attitude. It's a kind of reverse pretentiousness: low-brow culture is evidence of its own superiority.