Young men: "lurchy, impressionable… and politically inept"


The Toronto Star takes a frightening look at young men, the subclass of "hormonally deranged" who make a "prime fodder" for Al Qaeda and related enterprises. This according to Rutgers Professor Lionel Tiger, an expert on "male bonding" (he came up with the term in 1969). The last time we heard from Tiger, he had just published a high profile piece on from which we pull the nasty and noticable quotable that young men are "the most lurchy, impressionable, energetic, socially exigent and politically inept" of all people. (Hat tip goes to Arts & Letters Daily.)

But not to worry! William Pollick has some advice for those of us with only one X chromosome. He offers four simple heuristics for overcoming our genetic hurdle: "Be stoic. Be independent. Chin up. Be, to use a tired term, macho."

Just in case you're not scared by the prospect of 14.2 million "lurchy" 18-24 year olds walking around looking for such "national civic narcotics" as (gasp!) professional hockey, the article offers the reader a final fright: "There's plentiful anecdotal evidence that girls are moving closer to boys on the terrorism continuum." Now isn't that special?

NEXT: The Jihad That Failed

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. From the article:

    “The terrorism of Bin Laden,” Tiger wrote in Slate, “harnesses the chaos of young men, uniting the energies of political ardour and sex in a turbulent fuel.”

    Can we somehow tie this thread into the one a few days ago about porn distracting terrorists?

  2. Lionel Tiger once teamed up with Robin Fox to write a book called Imperial Animal. OT, I know, but it’s good for a chuckle.

  3. Gahh!!

    Whatever they’re paying you to put that tight deah shot of Coulter up on the sidebar, I’ll double it for you to take it down.

  4. Could someone please explain to me what happened to this thread? It appeared on Friday, got 2 comments and then was gone into the ether. Now it’s resurrected? What gives?

  5. I’m with B. I’ll throw in some money to have that picture of Coulter taken down as well.

  6. What gets lost, continues Peterson, is individual integrity. “The way to become resistant to totalitarian ideology is to understand that you have individual responsibility for your life.”

    Unfortunately the “It’s for the children” crowd seem dead set on regulating away any chance for young people to make any decisions, and therefore learn to exercise individual responsibility.

    When I was in the third grade, for instance, I routinely carried a Cub Scout pocketknife to school just like all the other kids in the Pack. We were expected to handle them responsibly, therefore we did. Today’s high school honor student seniors face zero-tolerance expulsion for helping a friend move and forgetting a butter knife in their car.

  7. “Be stoic. Be independent. Chin up. Be, to use a tired term, macho.”

    This is difficult to do when you’re fiddling with the bomb between your legs at a porn theater.

    There. Happy, BG?

  8. Linguist: I’m just figuring this stuff out here.

  9. re: Coulter pic (two more cents’ worth)

    If that’s a SMILE…

  10. Ah, so you are a Reason-approved blogger, then. I didn’t recognize your name, so when the thread was pulled I thought perhaps you were an intruder. Welcome!

  11. Thanks for the warm welcome! I’m the 2006 Burton C. Gray memorial intern, and happy to be here.

    If you’d like to check out some more of my stuff, you can always check out my blog, or moe preferably, buy my book.

  12. Of course, we could get really disgusting, and tie this post together with the one about the would-be bomber in the porn palace AND the Coulter ad.

    But I think I just lost my lunch…

  13. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup is tonight. When that’s over, I guess we are in for a long, lurchy summer.


  14. upenn undergrad, eh? we have a reasonite in the city of brotherly love, or did they require your temporary exile elsewhere?

  15. It’s good to know that Islam and its 1300+ year old doctrine of jihad isn’t a factor in any of this terrorism.

    After all, ideas just do not matter.

  16. mudfoot,

    If you go back over the last 1300+ years, how has jihad been viewed as a doctrine? What was the meaning in the Prophet’s time? What did it mean to Rumi?
    The word means “striving” or “struggle.” It refers to the struggle to better one’s self as a form of worship. It was used occasionally to refer to the struggle to protect the faithful from physical attack, but this was a minor meaning of the word. Why don’t you try talking to a Muslim about his faith? Judging from your comment, my guess is that you have much to learn.

  17. highnumber — you’re joking, right?

    jihad today means what it meant in Mohammed’s time–kill the unbelievers until they stop fighting, and then oppress them for all time.

    I’ve talked to enough muslims and ex-muslims to know enough for my purposes.

  18. BTW, the New England/Hartford Whalers that were, aka the Carolina Hurricanes, have won the 2006 Stanley Cup, defeating the Edmonton Oilers in 7 games. `Canes rookie goalie Cam Ward won the Conn Smythe award as MVP. Tonight’s score was 3-1.

    Start boarding up your windows.


  19. you know, as a 15 to 20-year-old young woman I might have agreed with that whole “most lurchy, impressionable, energetic, socially exigent and politically inept” assessment of young men (though perhaps “socially inept and politically exigent” would be a better characterization). But this didn’t make the young men I knew terrorist bombers; it just meant I didn’t want to have sex with them. maybe that turned them into terrorists somewhere down the line, but…

  20. SIGH, what has the world come to, but then again, all these young people learn from the old, the irony of society falling apart from within, hmmmm, how much more can mother Earth take?

  21. SIGH, what has the world come to, but then again, all these young people learn from the old, the irony of society falling apart from within, hmmmm, how much more can mother Earth take?

  22. “My brothers, the holy wars that the children of Adam are waging today are not true holy wars. Taking other lives is not true jihad. . . . That jihad is fought for the sake of men, for the sake of earth and wealth, for the sake of one’s children, one’s wife and one’s possessions. Selfish intentions are intermingled within it.
    We must not kill each other. Instead, we must wage war against the evil qualities within ourselves.”

    -Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

    “Even before Muhammad conducted Jihad by sword against the unbelievers, there is no doubt the Prophet invited these unbelievers peacefully, lodged protests against their beliefs and strove to remove their misgivings about Islam. When they refused any other solution, but rather declared a war against him and his message and initiated the fight, there was no alternative except to fight back”

    -Ramadan Buti

    Don’t believe the propaganda and sensationalism.

    I’ve talked to enough muslims and ex-muslims to know enough for my purposes.

    What are your purposes? To spread fear and ignorance?

  23. highnumber — why are you wasting your time telling a bunch of non-muslims that you think that islam promotes peace?

    Your energy would be better spent convincing your fellow believers who are killing people for the name of your god. Please go inform the violent muslims engaged in bloody jihad across the globe that they don’t understand their religion.

  24. mudfoot,

    I am not a Muslim. I am, however, smart enough to understand that willful ignorance and blind hatred lead to more violence.
    Since I live in the US, isn’t my energy best spent trying to combat these ugly qualities here at home?

  25. What ignorance? I’m simply acknowledging the fact that an inordinate amount of muslims disagree with your belief that islam promotes peace.

    You’re just a liar.

  26. [Paraphrase] “Muslims are killing people in a jihad, but I don’t think we should call it a jihad.” -Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

    “Muhammad conducted Jihad by sword against the unbelievers” -Ramadan Buti (started the Ramadan Inn motel chain).

    ‘Twas generous of highnumber to demonstrate mudfoot’s point.

  27. m,

    You’re just a liar.

    There goes rational discussion. Say “bye” now!

    Tossing aside snarkiness, what statement did I make that was untrue?

    Mr. F. Le Mur,

    [Paraphrase] “I don’t want to take the time to understand someone different from me, so I will remain bigoted and paint every member of a certain group with the same broad brush based on the actions of an abhorrent few.”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.