Chapter 15

* * * * * * * * * *

If you're old enough to have lived through a few generations, you know that we are in a Golden Age of Personal Malevolence at this moment. The mood took hold in the 1990s. If you are young, of course, you don't recognize this. Within the span of your life, it's always been this way, it's normal to you.

Are malevolence and hostility good things? My position is that they are not.

So how did the shift to hostility happen? Nothing is ever 100% caused by anything. I could name one factor and you'll dismiss it as trivial. I'll name another one and you'll dismiss it as trivial. I'll name another one and you'll dismiss it as trivial. By the time I've named a hundred or two factors, we pretty much have a map for a malevolent society.

Here's a pretty major factor: 100 years ago, every man knew that if he acted in a disrespectful or contemptuous manner, some day he'll be buying himself a knuckle sandwich. Unfortunately, you can't serve a clout in the mouth any more, owing to social pressure from the disrespectful-and-contemptuous lobby (and the passivizing of society, the feminization of men, the legal opportunists, and innumerable other subtle things).

Women were pretty good at this too. If a man made an unwanted and disrespectful approach, she wouldn't wait a millisecond before belting him in the face. Now women just sit and stew until some lawyer comes along and sweet-talks them into making a royal mess out of everything.

The world was a better place when knuckle sandwiches were on the menu. People behaved better -- they had to -- and good behavior is what makes a good society.


PS I just read a nice little story about Irish McCalla belting a guy across the mouth who, it turns out, was an organized crime brute of some repute. The witnesses thought that they'd never see her again but the guy actually apologized, kind of.