Rex Scott

Rex Scott

6 Responses

  1. Jacob Johnson says:

    There is a peculiar tangent to this concept: The process of things which begin as a signal of dishonor becoming established behaviors and then practiced by people who expect or desire to be honored to whatever degree. This usually begins as some form of what is called “youth culture.” Things such as having a tattoo on one’s neck, a piercing though the nose, or a hat worn at a silly angle. The originators of these things did them with a clear understanding that it was a signal of disrespect to the established cultures. “Yes, I know I look like a clown, and that just goes to show how much you matter to me.” Once the leaders in these habits have lived fast and died young, the aspirant but timid bystanders dip their toes into the tested waters to feel the thrill of transgression at low cost. This process filters down until the things are taken up by people who have not the slightest clue that what they are doing is, or at least once was, transgressive. It’s just wat all the pop stars are doing. These things tend to temper with age, but go to any Walmart and see men with grey hair still in their teenybopper attire of thirty years ago. There is a variation of the degree to which such people understand the impolite origins, but for the more oblivious variety, there are confused moments where they seem to be wondering if something doesn’t quite add up. I don’t think any of this would have been possible without the stigmatization of corporal punishment.

  2. Thomas Fleming says:

    Right on all counts. The trail-blazers are sometimes, even often interesting people, capable even of growing up. When I was about 20, a hip Bohemian friend would complain about high school Harrys smoking dope and playing cool. Some of the ordinary decent people I went to high school and college with, boys and girls who looked on me as edgy, irresponsible, beatnik, were doing dope and dropping acid at 20. At 30 they were still listening to Janice and Hendrix. They are probably still doing it in a nursing home. The one authentic beat I knew–a painter from the Bay Area–always wore a suit when he went out.

    Corporal punishment, in addition to inflicting a mild amount of pain, was a palpable manifestation of public disapproval of foolish behavior. To eliminate it and replace it with seat work or tedious lectures was a sign that educationists did not have a clue about rearing children.

  3. Harry Colin says:

    Years ago, when nearing the completion of a five year time working in higher education, a friend asked me what caused me to want to work at a university. I replied that I did so because I hadn’t been able to secure a post in an organization with a better code of honor – like the mafia.

  4. Roger McGrath says:

    Tom rightly mentions High Noon. The entire movie is a study in honor and could have been performed on a stage in Ancient Greece.

  5. Sam Dickson says:

    The comment is made that one does not hear the word “honor” much any more.

    It is worthy of note what phrases come into fasion and go out of fashion. There is much to learn by observing such changes in language.

    When I was a child, there was a commonly heard statement:

    “It’s a free country, isn’t it?”

    I haven’t heard anyone say this in many years.

    Is this in part because on some subconscious level people have come to understand that it isn’t a free country?

  6. Robert Reavis says:

    This was very good. I enjoy these type of difficult subjects where the object of conversation is circled around and around like a bird of prey stalking it’s quarry. Rex asking the right questions with Tom remaining determined, it all brings back the delightful memories of reading Plato’s dialogues for the first time. Thank you all very much and for the comments as well.
    Sam brings up a good question about the loss of meaning, the change in meaning, then finally, the loss of the word altogether. When you lose the word or the symbol describing the reality, the reality no doubt remains but our awareness of that reality is often lost. Freedom and duty had different meanings for Washington and Lee than for Trump and Biden. That’s why the old statues can now be destroyed and buried because the words and meanings have been lost to the destroyers and leaders alike.