Insane Interview of the Day

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National Review interviews James Bowman, author of Honor: A History, and explains why knocked up British quadriplegics portend a culture in chaos:

Q: In your book, you mention an unusual recent addition to London's Trafalgar Square. The Square, designed in 1844 as a tribute to Admiral Horatio Nelson for his victory at Trafalgar against Napoleon, includes a number of statues commemorating British war heroes. But last September, the commission in charge arranged for a large marble sculpture of a naked, armless, pregnant woman to be placed in the square. It is entitled "Alison Lapper Pregnant." Alison Lapper is a British single mother who was born without arms and with underdeveloped legs. Ms. Lapper hailed the sculpture as a tribute to "femininity, disability and motherhood." The Mayor of London said that Lapper had to struggle to overcome "much greater difficulties" than the men celebrated in the square. What does this addition to Trafalgar Square tell us about the fate of the Western honor culture?

Nothing Bowman says can possibly live up to that question, but it's worth a read if only as a particularly bizarre example of how quickly social conservatives can twist any topic into an expression of anxiety about gender roles. For women, "honor" is apparently about sex; namely, not having much. For men, it's about guns; namely, pointing them at other people because "someone's got to pay a price for insulting Uncle Sam." And who are the biggest obstacles to a "revival of honor"? Suicide bombers? Third world dictators? Congressmen with $90K sitting in the freezer? Nope, explains Bowman: Feminists.

NEXT: Oh, Geno

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  1. Some of us think it is better to fight a small war now than a nuclear war later.

    Historical analogy. In 1936 the “peace” camp prevented a war against Germany over the Rhineland.

    ================

    Remember Neville Chamberlain was a man of peace. He had the papers to prove it.

  2. A statue of an armless, naked, pregnant woman? That’s got to be a new addition to the London fetish tourbook.

    I don’t think quadriplegic is the proper term here as it implies paralysis. Meromelia might be closer or quadrimeromelia (or parameromelia/paraphocomelia, depending on the condition of the legs).

  3. Some of us think it is better to fight a small war now than a nuclear war later.

    Say again, over.

  4. The recent deification of Jean Sara Rohe for her excoriation of Sen. John McCain is emblematic of Bowman’s point.To many she showed courage by mouthing off in front of a supportive friendly audience.She should have been made to feel ashamed for insulting a truly courageous man.

  5. The enshrinement of an image of Lapper in the same precincts is a deliberate statement of the contrary principle that it is victimhood alone which is worthy of honor. Lapper herself made the point when she compared herself favorably to Nelson by saying, ?At least I didn?t get here by slaying people.? No, indeed!

    …”Ah just spread mah nubs and thought of Big Ben.”

    fetishism is right. If that’s not sexually suggestive, I don’t know what is.

  6. Actually, this was my favorite quote:

    In fact, I don?t think it?s impossible to imagine honor coming out into the open and saying on national TV something like this. ?This war has not been undertaken primarily to protect ourselves from attack by chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons nor to establish democracy in the Middle East. These things may be desirable and may even be accomplishable, but the main reason we go to war is because someone?s got to pay a price for insulting Uncle Sam. And who better to pay it than a tyrant and a murderer like Saddam Hussein? For if Uncle Sam does not exact that price, he will be continually and ever more grievously insulted from here on out, and many more Americans are sure to die than will die in the demonstration of American strength and resolve.? The media and the academic Left would of course become instantly hysterical at this, or anything approaching it, but ordinary people might just understand it in sufficient numbers to demand that they bring back the word ?honor? to describe this strange but strangely compelling new idea.

    Bowman admits what many of us have long suspected but what conservatives will generally never admit publicly – that most conservatives never cared at all about WMD or Democracy, they all knew Bush was throwing shit on the wall until something stuck and he could attack. We invaded Iraq because we needed to punch someone in the face after 9/11, even it it wasn’t technically the right guy. Personally I prefer that kind of honesty to the sanctimonious lecturing from liberal hawks and neocons about how the war in Iraq is making the world safe for Democracy. Still, I wonder how well that kind of approach would really play with the American people? I suspect the call to honor is heard by a lot fewer than Bowman hopes.

  7. “honor” is apparently about sex; namely, not having much. For men, it’s about guns; namely, pointing them at other people because “someone’s got to pay a price for insulting Uncle Sam.”

    WTF? I wasn’t aware supporting the right to keep and bear arms was no longer allowed on the libertarian plantation.

  8. Well actually the purpose of this war is to make it safe for the democracies, I think.

    Also, national review can be as honest as they want about their reasons for supporting the war. That doesn’t make them the same reasons as Bush’s.

  9. I tend to agree with Bowman re the statue. Alison Lapper didn’t get knocked up for her country, or to benefit anyone else but herself and her own reproductive whims. She didn’t do anything that any other animal in the kingdom couldn’t do better than she.

    It’s also extremely likely that her choice to breed required considerable public funding and support, and that she was hardly capable of supporting the child, let alone herself. Where’s the honor in making a lifestyle choice that others get to pay for without benefit? (I do not believe, as many libertarians do, that having children benefits society at all. There’s no guarantee that Lapper’s kid will turn out to be a productive worker bee and not a thuggish yob, and yet, Brits get to pick up his tab anyway.)

    The notion of honor in the West is inextricably tied to the old Judeo-Christian concept of doing for others; of considering the comforts and needs of others, and putting them before one’s own. In that sense, Lapper’s little reproductive project has f*ck-all to do with honor. How does being a preggoid flippered freak do a damn thing for her fellow Britishers?

    I’ll be plenty happy to hock one up onto that fetid monument to smug victimhood and entitlement the next time I’m in Trafalgar Square.

    However, I disagree with Bowman on the war issue. Attempting to kick the ass of a nation totally unrelated to the source of our attackers, and making up various fat lies about why, never comes close to honor.

  10. She should have been made to feel ashamed for insulting a truly courageous man.

    McCain is certainly a courageous man, but he’s not a courageous politician.

  11. I tend to agree with Bowman re the statue. Alison Lapper didn’t get knocked up for her country, or to benefit anyone else but herself and her own reproductive whims. She didn’t do anything that any other animal in the kingdom couldn’t do better than she.

    It’s also extremely likely that her choice to breed required considerable public funding and support, and that she was hardly capable of supporting the child, let alone herself. Where’s the honor in making a lifestyle choice that others get to pay for without benefit? (I do not believe, as many libertarians do, that having children benefits society at all. There’s no guarantee that Lapper’s kid will turn out to be a productive worker bee and not a thuggish yob, and yet, Brits get to pick up his tab anyway.)

    The notion of honor in the West is inextricably tied to the old Judeo-Christian concept of doing for others; of considering the comforts and needs of others, and putting them before one’s own. In that sense, Lapper’s little reproductive project has f*ck-all to do with honor. How does being a preggoid flippered freak do a damn thing for her fellow Britishers?

    I’ll be plenty happy to hock one up onto that fetid monument to smug victimhood and entitlement the next time I’m in Trafalgar Square.

    However, I disagree with Bowman on the war issue. Attempting to kick the ass of a nation totally unrelated to the source of our attackers, and making up various fat lies about why, never comes close to honor. If so, then any schoolyard bully is honorable.

  12. Black and White proof that the modern conservative movement has lost its collective mind and soul.

    Honor entails standing up for one’s perceived group when that group is threatened? Sounds like identity-politics to me. It is amazing how, given enough time, any group begins to sound just like their stated enemies.

    In my book, a enlightened approach to this statue might be to view it as a tribute to human strength in the face of adversity. Bowman cries the statue glorifies victimhood, yet his basic premise is that “honor” equals a strong reaction to threats when those threats portend victimhood on their recipients.

    The human ability to adapt and thrive while maintaining dignity is just as well exemplified by sacrifices on the battlefield as those suffered in the daily grind to survive.

    Note: I do think the statue is a little strange though.

  13. If your definition of honor is based on archaic gender roles, as it obviously is for these goobers, then yes, feminists are the greatest threat to a revival of honor.

  14. I hope zeroentitlement realizes that if his mom and pop harbored the same resentment towards children, he may have never had the opportunity to breath fresh air or get laid or have a cold beer, or any other of life’s wonderful joys.

    To make the argument that the girl’s (yes, legs or not, she is a human woman), actions have harmed the British state misses the point. She is struggling to express her humanity in the purest way possible, to create a life to nurture.

    If nothing else, the child will grow up with a heightened sense of his/her own mortality and an appreciation for the struggles of those around them. Perhaps that is more than can be said for zerotolerance.

  15. “Lapper herself made the point when she compared herself favorably to Nelson by saying, ?At least I didn?t get here by slaying people.?”

    How do we know that someone didn’t use her as a club?

    Or she could’ve, on her own, rolled over a baby or something.

    Besides that, yeah, Lapper is mostly harmless.

  16. Historical analogy. In 1936 the “peace” camp prevented a war against Germany over the Rhineland.

    Goddard’s law applies from the first post. That bodes well for this thread.

  17. Note: I do think the statue is a little strange though.

    A little strange? Understatement of the year. The statue is bizarre and, I would argue, inappropriate on many levels. First of all, how many statues of women are there in Britain (aside from perhaps statues of British female royalty)? So, considering that number (which I guess is probably one or zero), doesn’t this statue kind of insinuate that a woman’s highest aim in life should be to have babies? Correct me if I’m wrong, but can’t all mammals do that?

    Second of all, this is highly erotic for what is supposed to allegedly be a tribute of honor. I am sure I am not the only person who knows of pregnant fetishes or para-/quadraplegic fetishes. Moreover, if you’re going to claim I am reading into this too much, at the very least admit that the statue looks somewhat like a pregnant child, which is absolutely perverse and sick, in my humble opinion.

    Soldiers and Sailors Monument, it ain’t.

  18. Goddard’s law applies from the first post.

    Not quite, AML. If he’d said “these people are just like a bunch of Nazis…” that’d be closer to being true. I believe Godwin does not become invoked until someone in an argument compares someone else directly with the Nazis…………………..so quit tryin’ to close the thread, you friggin’ fascist!

  19. Also,

    I don’t really get how feminists are a threat to a revival of honor.

    Nor do I get Joe’s idea that they are only if honor is based on archaic sex roles.

  20. I just received the latest print issue, and Cathy Young made a funny point about this recent phenomenon of conservative intellectuals eulogizing some lost quality of manliness. Read Victor David Hanson for a strong, rank whiff of this. These guys really are becoming caricatures. Manly, honorable men don’t wail and whine about declining manliness and honor.

  21. I just received the latest print issue, and Cathy Young made a funny point about this recent phenomenon of conservative intellectuals eulogizing some lost quality of manliness. Read Victor David Hanson for a strong, rank whiff of this. These guys really are becoming caricatures. Manly, honorable men don’t wail and whine about declining manliness and honor.

  22. I’ll be plenty happy to hock one up onto that fetid monument to smug victimhood and entitlement the next time I’m in Trafalgar Square.

    Could be worse. Minneapolis has a statue of WJM’s Mary Richards in the center of town.

  23. Goddard’s law applies from the first post.

    Goddard’s law is a useless whore.

  24. smacky, I agree that there are people out there who get off on images of pregnant women or amputees, but it seems like there are more who get off on power, pain and degradation, all necessary components of warfare. Do the statutes of guns and warriors thus also rank on your list of sexual overtones in British public displays?

    Why does creating and nurturing life seem so vile to so many women?

  25. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Alison_Lapper_Pregnant.jpg

    That is the lousiest knock-off of the Venus de Milo I have ever seen!

  26. Holy cow, she’s like an otter or something!

  27. “Why does creating and nurturing life seem so vile to so many women?

    Comment by: cecil at May 31, 2006 04:16 PM”

    ??? Smacky didn’t imply that. Talk to her, not whatever female is in yer head (ZOMBIE! ZOMBIE! ZOM-BE-BE-BE!)

    also, she was talking about “getting off” in a sexual way – not in an ego way.

    don’t worry – you could get traded to Baltimore and have a better year this year. Just follow Mr. Patterson.

  28. I think that the coming Islamification of Europe just presented a silver lining: I can’t believe the mullahs would leave that hideous insult standing.

    Stripped of its abusive expletives, zeroentitlement’s post above nails this issue. Her getting pregnant has nothing to do with honor.

    Honor is principled sacrifice in the service of others. What, exactly, is the principle that she is sacrificing for? What is she sacrificing? How is her sacrifice for the benefit of anyone else?

  29. The Mayor of London said that Lapper had to struggle to overcome “much greater difficulties” than the men celebrated in the square.

    What horseshit. Getting pregnant does not typically entail “great difficulty”.

    To compare Allison Lapper lying back and thinking of England with Nelson’s charge into the teeth of the French fleet at Trafalgar, culminating in his death, is, well, contemptible doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  30. Smacky said: Correct me if I’m wrong, but can’t all mammals do that?

    VM- this seems like a fairly un-friendly view of maternity to me.

    Read my post carefully, I was talking about getting off sexually as well, you know S&M, CBT, piercings…

  31. WTF? I wasn’t aware supporting the right to keep and bear arms was no longer allowed on the libertarian plantation.

    Dude, mistaking the Reasonistas for libertarians is like mistaking the Shadows of Knight for the Rolling Stones. Not. Even. Close.

  32. RC, I just looked at dictionary.com and don’t see anything about sacrifice in the definition of honor. The first definition is “High respect, as that shown for special merit.” In Britain’s PC-obsessed culture, I can understand honoring Lapper. Though I’m not sure how much the British people are obsessed with PC. The government sure loves to make a show of it though.

    Personally, I think the statue is a bit creepy and I’m not sure I appreciate it being plunked down in Trafalgar Square.

  33. cecil – I’d venture that if the statue of Admiral Nelson was a nude we’d be reading some odd sexual subtexts into it as well.

  34. Quoth smacky: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but can’t all mammals do that?”

    Quoth cecil:
    this seems like a fairly un-friendly view of maternity to me.

    How is that an unfriendly view of maternity? It’s just a fact, nothing more. How are human females more outstanding in that fact than any other female mammal? Please explain.

    If you’re suggesting that a woman who has a baby is giving something to my greater good as part of the community, I call bullshit. I couldn’t care less if any given woman stopped reproducing, and frankly, I might actually prefer that in many cases.

    I don’t see why getting knocked up is an issue of honor, just as R C Dean and zeroentitlement were saying. If it were, then shouldn’t there be thousands of monuments honoring women who have delivered babies, much in the way we honor people who die to protect their country?

  35. Goddard’s Law? How did we get on to rockets? I get it another male symbol.

    Oh, you mean Godwin’s law. I’d have picked another historical analogy but none are so well known.

    In any case I saw pictures of the sculpture when it was first placed many months ago. (the news travels slow around here) The woman is rather fetching in a Venus deMilo sort of way.

    Nelson saved a nation and a continent from the depradations of Napoleon. Heroic she may be but has she saved a nation?

    I suppose war like pregnancy will always be with us. En garde.

  36. “Read my post carefully

    Comment by: cecil at May 31, 2006 04:50 PM”

    ohno. i tried but my lips got too tired. then i saw something shiny. and oh, look. isn’t that nice. time to do some pushups. anyhow, um. doodle doodle deeeee. laaaaa laaaaa. ๐Ÿ™‚

    again, i don’t see anything relevant in linking your thoughts of “Why does creating and nurturing life seem so vile to so many women?” with anything Smacky said – she seems to be saying that it’s neither/nor.

  37. cecil – I’d venture that if the statue of Admiral Nelson was a nude we’d be reading some odd sexual subtexts into it as well.

    Matt XIV,

    Odd sexual subtexts? Because of nudity? Please. This statue is perverse (read: unusual) to the point of caricature. This isn’t winged Victory.

    If they wanted to make a tribute to mothers, why didn’t they make a normal-looking mother? I understand that the point of this is political correctness, but I fail to see how the fact that this woman being a quadriplegic somehow makes her more special for being a mother. It’s insulting on many different levels, and not to say somewhat patronizing to disabled people.

  38. The issue of whether or not children contribute to the greater good is best explained by the economic concept of a “positive network externality”: simply put, the more inputs that are contributing to any network, the more creative and efficient that network becomes. (Just so there is no mistake, the network is humanity, VM)

    I am not such a ZOMBIE that I cannot understand your point, obviously, there are a lot of pieces of human shit out there that would do us all some good by ending their bloodlines right now…but that isn’t mine or your call on which bloodlines those are, is it?

  39. Say what about us libertarian hawks?

    Don’t we get no credit?

    As to the Jacksonian motives for the war I think Steve Den Beste covered that. Bush plays his cards too close to the vest to come out and say everything. I like the pour l’encourager les autres motive. It got Libya to crack without a war. You remember Libya, where Saddam had outsourced his nuclear program. All you have to do to figure that one out is to read the papers.

  40. simply put, the more inputs that are contributing to any network, the more creative and efficient that network becomes.

    That assumes that a lot of those inputs are actually working and aren’t nurtured in a politically-cowwect, “evvwybody’s extwa speciawww”, Che-guevera-tee-shirt-wearing environment.

  41. ‘greater good is best explained by the economic concept of a “positive network externality”‘

    i see. i’m not hep to fancy economics terms, so i’ll have to look that up.

  42. smacky, are you saying that your criteria for extinction is whose picture people have on their T-shirt? ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. smacky, are you saying that your criteria for extinction is whose picture people have on their T-shirt? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Not the sole criterion, but a significant one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. VM, read: Law and Market Economy: Reinterpreting the Values of Law and Economics (Cambridge University Press, 2000), by Robin Paul Malloy.

  45. As it is, I have no problem with the statue as a work of art. There is nothing wrong with making a personal tribute to someone that people admire. I would say that putting it on a public square as representitive of what a whole state finds remarkably honorable to be a rather big stretch (no pun intended..SRSLY..tee hee).

  46. thanks ๐Ÿ˜‰

  47. ohno. i tried but my lips got too tired. then i saw something shiny. and oh, look. isn’t that nice. time to do some pushups. anyhow, um. doodle doodle deeeee. laaaaa laaaaa. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I find that to be a problem myself, sometimes.

    tee hee

    wait– I think I hear a bell ringing somewhere…

  48. My question is why is it the state’s responsibility to define or promote “honor,” whether it’s handicapped mothers or long dead Admirals? Let ME decide if Nelson or Lapper acted “honorably,” not the politicians or pundits.

    However, I do agree with Kerry: Reactionaries like Bowman do define “honor” for women it means acting as if they had their labia spot-welded shut. For the men-folk “honor” means stomping about in a uniform, mindlessly following orders, and killing people in the name of the State.

    And I thought “honor” was something silly like keeping your word or something…

  49. EDIT: Reactionaries like Bowman do define “honor” for women as acting as if their labia were spot-welded shut.

  50. I don’t even care about the sexual or pregnancy or good-taste aspects of this so much as I am annoyed by this putridly sentimental idea that words like “honor” and “hero” should be defined as “doing something that millions of people do all the time, only for you it’s a bit harder.”

    If you are disabled but manage to live a relatively normal life despite that, that is not “honorable” or “heroic”; that is “doing what needs to be done for yourself“.

    If this woman lost her limbs because she did something like run into a burning building to save people’s lives, that would make her honorable and heroic. (But even then I’d say put some fucking clothes on her statue.) Being born with a disability merely makes her unfortunate.

    Being unlucky is not heroism.

    Hey! Why not put up a statue of me? I had to pay for college all by myself. That means I had to overcome “much greater difficulties” than my fellow classmates. That makes me a fucking national hero, doesn’t it? Doing something to benefit myself, only finding it more difficult than others did?

    The problem is the decision of what inspirational quote to put on my hero statue. “I regret I have but one life to give to my country” or “we are not interested in the possibility of surrender” won’t cut it; how about “College is kinda expensive but I figure if I go I’ll have more career opportunities”?

  51. This is nothing but a sharp slap in the face of those that respect traditional british virtues. (I mean virtues in the old school way “vir” meaning man) To get into Trafalgar square, one used to need to have essentially have saved Britan in a time when Britan stood alone with America for liberty in the world. Essentially, the radical left wants to say that saving civilization is a terribly out-of-date idea, almost laughable really. Many aren’t too keen on western civ anyway.
    I don’t want to knock disability or motherhood; they’re both tough rows to hoe, but Nelson and the war heroes were protectors of liberty (generally). An armless pregnant woman is practically as vulnerable as can be; not particularly suited for protecting anything. I guess she should be able to protect her dignity, but her nudity removes that as one of the artist’s goals. She’s an artist, for pete’s sake. Boudica probably belongs..

    (Before you laugh about England and liberty, read this: http://olimu.com/webjournalism/Texts/Commentary/OnLiberty.htm for a depiction of libertarian England, and for you “colonialism” cranks: Mark Steyn’s excellent work describing how English colonies have avoided catastrophe much better than those of other nations)

  52. Jennifer and supermike – right on! Preach it brotha and sista.

    I’m being totally serious. Those two posts completely rocked.

  53. According to Wikipedia, the Lapper schedule is only a temporary exhibit and will be removed in April 2007. It is part of series of artworks that will temporarily occupy the site, and seems to be the only one that depicts a real person. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafalgar_Square Thus, the implication by Sommers and Bowman that Lapper is being placed on the same level as the military heroes already honored in the square is somewhat misleading.

  54. I don’t know why I typed “schedule” when I meant “sculpture.”

  55. “I don’t know why I typed ‘schedule’ when I meant ‘sculpture.'”

    I do. It’s that you were referring to a timeline of artwork coming and going. It’s a perfectly understandable mistake…

    …FOR ME TO POOP ON!

  56. 1. The statue is ugly. That’s about all one needs to say about it.

    2. I have serious problems with Mr. Bowman’s definition of ‘honor’ for a woman, which says that she can be a dishonest lazy coward but still “honorable” if she doesn’t have sex, or at least confines it to missionary-position grimness with her husband. In order for a man to be honorable, he has to show courage and honesty, develop good manners, learn something, and generally be a benefit to society. I don’t see why we can’t apply the same standard to women. I’m sure it’s a function of growing up in the Bible Belt, but I’ve known plenty of utterly worthless women who did manage to avoid sex, and plenty of less than chaste sorts who were vastly more useful to the world and, at least in my opinion, generally better people.

    I’m really getting tired of this fad among the annoying right wing of books arguing that Men Are Completely Different, as though we aren’t even part of the same species. First Harvey Mansfield and now this. Why do these boys find women’s abilities so very threatening? Afraid we’re on to your, er, shortcomings?

    I strongly recommend Dorothy L. Sayers’ “Are Women Human?” as a counter to this sort of thing.

  57. I think there’s a good case to be made for the theory that the neo-con whine over the loss of traditional virtues, especially an old-school type of manliness and chivalry, was the ideological impetuse behind the Iraq war (as well as most wars?). Read David Brooks’s “The Organization Kid” for an example of this. Arm chair generals like Brooks, began arguing months before 9/11 that American men had lost their manliness (never mind that Brooks never served….probably didn’t even play La crosse at one of his hoity toity private schools) and that what America was in dire need of was a return to mass incarceration…er, ‘compulsory mililtary service’ in order to return her to Greatness.

    The ‘Greatest Generation’ nostalgia also went hand in hand with this as neo-cons spent so much time hand wringing over our lack of ‘sacrifice’, compared to how the GG sacrificed. So, what we most needed was to once again throw our young American men on a funeral pyre for some stupid cause just so neocons can vicariously thrust their chests out and write tributes as to how the war gave America a true national identity again, bringing people of all races and creeds together in a great national cause. Next time, let’s just send in the troubadors. Oh, I forgot, they want someone else to be sacrificed.

  58. Despite my comments above, I agree that the new statue is inappropriate for Trafalgar Square. And I agree that it’s a huge stretch to claim that her disability and pregnancy are honorable in themselves, especially in comparison to those who really did sacrifice themselves for a greater cause. Having said that, making fun of the woman’s disability plays into the hands of all those who unfairly characterize libertarians as just a bunch of uncaring, insensitive wretches.

  59. I strongly recommend Dorothy L. Sayers’ “Are Women Human?” as a counter to this sort of thing…

    I don’t have time to read it. What was the answer?

    Mark Steyn’s excellent work describing how English colonies have avoided catastrophe much better than those of other nations

    Erm… a few exceptions – Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Sudan

  60. Why this Statue?

    It’s the only statue that they can put up in our politically correct society.
    Every historical figure has baggage: whey helped create an empire that repressed the cultures of millions of peoples, they owned slaves, didn’t include their wives in family decisions, strangled puppies, etc.
    Everyone can feel good about an alternately able mother. No one in our society could object to that. Right?

    What of Honor?
    Honor is about personal responsibility. Standing up for what you believe in. Refusing to take part in something you don’t. It?s about you and your actions. Honor is something solid, stable, and uncompromising.
    Our society has no room for this either: everything is someone else’s fault whether it?s your parents, the state, lack of funding, or an early exposure to strangled puppies. We are about compromise to the nth degree and (was going to put God forbid here but caught myself in time) we will not put ourselves in a position where we could even remotely possibly (maybe just that one guy who speaks that dead language from Cornwall) offend or exclude someone.

  61. Who says men can’t be honorable in the old school way, and still get laid? I don’t see how those are mutually exclusive, and from what I have read of the “honorable” Victorian era, the women were only feigning chastity, and everybody knew it was a facade. So, there was no requirement for “spot welded labia”, only the fleeting appearance of chastity.

    It all seems very erotic to me on a whole bunch of levels. Certainly more so than today’s “hook up” society. I am for honor.

    As for the statue of the diabled woman in Trafalgar square… I think political correctness will be the death of the west.

  62. Here’s something, Nelson kicked the shit out of a dictator’s forces and saved Britain from tyranny.
    If that doesnt’ deserve a statue, I don’t know what does. Even the minarchists here can say, well it’s only a little bit of government cheese that celebrates how we told Napolean to sod off…

    Lapper’s statue, in comparison, is just pedestrian, and more fitting at some neighborhood park, next to the swingset and slides…but then again, we’d have to deal with some bunch of young punks that would probably put some condoms on “her” head or spay paint a penis on the side of her face…
    On second thought, just put it in an art museum, next to it’s companion, Britney Spear’s Giving Birth
    http://www.send2press.com/newswire/2006-03-0322-003.shtml

  63. Good Lord, Spear’s statue even has her “crowning”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Edwards

    Huzzah!

  64. But national greatness and autonomy, which are invariably the products of slaying people, are correspondingly devalued and denigrated.

    You heard it here: national greatness is invariably the product of slaying people. Interesting value set: implicit in the statement is that slaying people is what produces the greatness, not any of the other qualities of a nation (industriousness, cultural achievements, knowledge, etc.) that the occasional slaying of people (for example, in defense of country) is supposed to protect.

  65. I go past the statue everyday on the way to work. I actually quite like it; it’s really classical in style (the limbs are just cut straight off like a greek statue) and if you didn’t know the back story I really don’t think you’d see it as a necessarily disabled person.

    What of Honor?
    Honor is about personal responsibility. Standing up for what you believe in.

    Hhhmm – I’m not so sure; standing up for what you believe in is more ‘integrity’ in my book.

    I think honor = integrity + sacrifice (of some sort).

    PS 8 days to the world cup.

  66. I am annoyed by this putridly sentimental idea that words like “honor” and “hero” should be defined as “doing something that millions of people do all the time, only for you it’s a bit harder.”

    Jennifer,

    Yes, I think that is what really bothers me about the statue, but I couldn’t quite find the right words. Thanks.

    Having said that, making fun of the woman’s disability plays into the hands of all those who unfairly characterize libertarians as just a bunch of uncaring, insensitive wretches.

    midbrowcrisis,

    Please point out where people (in serious discussion) on this thread are making fun of this woman’s disability.

    In order for a man to be honorable, he has to show courage and honesty, develop good manners, learn something, and generally be a benefit to society. I don’t see why we can’t apply the same standard to women…I’m really getting tired of this fad among the annoying right wing of books arguing that Men Are Completely Different, as though we aren’t even part of the same species.

    Right on, Karen! The thing that completely disgusts me about this kind of PC pandering is that it always suggests that women need to be commended for something else other than their intellect and achievements, two of the rare things that people generally consider to be qualities that one can legitimately be commended for. (FYI, giving birth is a personal achievement, not one that society inherently gains something from.)

    Thus, the implication by Sommers and Bowman that Lapper is being placed on the same level as the military heroes already honored in the square is somewhat misleading.

    What? The conservatives crying cultural wolf? Never!

    …I’m not one bit surprised at that. Which is why I previously added that I like the sculpture…as an artwork, not a public tribute.

  67. “point out where people (in serious discussion) are making fun…”

    I feel like I’m being told to go into a round room and dance in the corner.

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