Somewhere, we forgot what we were


“This ain’t the Garden of Eden.

There ain’t no Heaven above …

And things ain’t what they used to be …”

— Blue Öyster Cult, “This Ain’t the Summer of Love”

I was never more excited about growing up that being able to shave.

Being naturally hirsute, it was a necessary thing, but it was, as it was for most boys, a rite of passage, a signal that we were becoming men (I’ve kept a beard for most of my life, though, because daily shaving is a drag).

Learning those life lessons were expected, and anticipated. Good and bad, even.

Somehow, though, a company that has a little over half of the market cornered in the shaving arena — Gillette — is telling me that those lesson we learn as boys are now considered wrong, and that we as a society can do better.

I’m not sure what that means.

I’m not naïve enough to think that there’s not room for improvement in everybody’s behavior, but to outright condemn how boys were raised based on today’s overly sensitive idealism is extremely over-generalized.

See, boys will be boys. What else should they be? Nothing wrong with that.

I will grant that there is something wrong with a boy learning contempt, racism, unchecked aggression or bullying, either by overt reaction or apathetic inaction. But any parent worth their salt will stop a child from making a career of being a jerk. That’s how all children are raised, by teaching lessons.

I’ll pose what will probably be an unpopular theory here, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be backed up by science: even for all its accomplishments and rationing ability, mankind still is an animal, and there are centuries of instinct wrapped up in our genetic makeup.

To overcome such impulses will take centuries. They can’t be scraped away by shaving commercials, or wished away by the so-called “woke” elitists. They can, however, be channeled into constructive abilities through teaching and example.

The societal tendency to paint with broad brushes in the event of some largely invented calamity is more damaging, to my mind. Telling all men they’re terrible is only the latest example.

We’ve been told that being white is a huge problem because of so-called privilege; we’ve been told that police officers are bad because they kill minorities, all priests must be pedophiles, etc., etc., all in a general sense, leaving the gullible or the believer (most of the time the same thing) with the impression that all of that particular group is guilty.

That is never the case, and to pretend it is wrong.

Better to promote education, and positive imagery, that to condemn a group out of whole cloth. Criticism without compassion is brutality, and condemnation through ignorance is frankly evil.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.