We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A brief break from my vacation in Dark Harbor on Islesboro on Penobscot Bay (there is no cable out here, and happily no TV either. Primitive dial-up internet, but once a week is plenty for that hassle) to highlight this piece by Jonah Goldberg at NRO called "Isn't that Special?"
I am always pleased to see folks knock the concept of "self esteem." What we humans need to aspire to is Self Respect. Self respect is hard-earned, or never fully-earned, but a worthy goal. A quote from the Goldberg piece:
These investments in self-esteem paid off royally, according to a report, “Egos Inflating Over Time.” Jean Twenge of San Diego State University and a team of psychologists combed through the answers of 16,475 college students nationwide who took the Narcissistic Personality Inventory survey between 1982 and 2006. Their conclusion: Today’s American youth are the most self-absorbed since we’ve studied the subject. “We need to stop endlessly repeating, ‘You’re special,’ and having children repeat that back,” Twenge told the Associated Press. “Kids are self-centered enough already.”
Read the whole thing - link above.
Meanwhile, we will assemble the routine lobster, corn, potato and steamer clam dinner, but with a giant pot of hand-plucked Maine mussels also, cooked Italian-style in the kitchen, with garlic bread on the side.
We'll do the lobsters, cod, potato and clams on the beach, in a sand hole on hot rocks and coals under a pile of seaweed and sand - a true clambake. We wrap the hunks of cod (salt and pepper first) in rockweed (our main seaweed up here), and it tastes much better than lobster, in my opinion.
Family-picked Blueberry cobbler for dessert. Yes, we did bring a mini wine cellar with us, and plenty of fine champagne too.
The drinks provide that instant and unearned self-esteem; the harvesting of the fine wild foods provides the self respect, Maine-style. Yes, we fished at 4 am this morning, and fetched some fine cod with clam as bait. Saw a whale, too.
Images: Upper photo is of Islesboro. Lower borrowed from our friend neoneo, because I do not do cameras on vacation.
Huh. Our friends the Siekman's have been on the Island for years. I was up there once a few years ago.
Assistant Village Idiot
Youth,Self Esteem, and Reality.
So besides ceasing to tell the young'n how great they are there are some more elementary things that need prioritized.
Parents find all of these very difficult due to their deisre for material goods necessitating a two income household. They simultaneously ( due to sublimated psychological guilt) allow their children great lattitude because they want their kids "love" in return. Of course this is a formula for disaster.
The parents, too tired to enforce disciple demand the schoolds handle the sociological pathologies they have nurtured in their children prior to school age. By then psychologists tell us the die is cast and it's very difficult to reconstruct a child's basic character. If they're brats by the time their school years begin the teacher is in for a bad time, and consequently downstream society.
Parents, refusing to acknowledge they have failed in their parenting skills con brio, give the schools hell for not helping their totally muffed up kid...and it's not just one or two in the classroom...it's usually the entire classroom.
So the kids get "things" and lattitude with no guidance, and the parents get the false glow of "golly aren't we good parents"
And society wonders why things are totally fucked up.
T.R. Roosevelt in adddressing the Hamilton Club in Chicago, April 10, 1899 in a talk entitled "The Stenuous Life", said this inpart:
In the last analysis a healthy state can exist only when the men and women who make it up lead clean, vigorous, healthy lives; when the children are so trained that they shall endeavor, not to shirk difficulties, but to overcome them; not to seek ease, but to know how to wrest triumph from toil and risk. The man must be glad to do a man's work, to dare and endure and to labor; to keep himself, and to keep those dependent upon him. The woman must be the housewife, the helpmate of the homemaker, the wise and fearless mother of many healthy children. In one of Daudet's powerful and melancholy books he speaks of "the fear of maternity, the haunting terror of the young wife of the present day." When such words can be truthfully written of a nation, that nation is rotten to the heart's core. When men fear work or fear righteous war, when women fear motherhood, they tremble on the brink of doom; and well it is that they should vanish from the earth, where they are fit subjects for the scorn of all men and women who are themselves strong and brave and high-minded