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Thread: You may be strong but are you tough? page 5

  1. #41
    Knifegill's Avatar
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    I acknowledge that in some ways, we have been encouraged by media to develop toughness, so that we make better slaves. From that point, if you subtract the demands of labor and other ways we whore ourselves out for little green pieces of paper, a different kind of toughness is left behind - the ability to do absolutely nothing, to sit still and face death, totality and pure emptiness and purposeless; this is a strength that far too few people have. The busy-body who roams from task to task in fear of downtime, who says they are "bored" far too often, who is afraid to be alone - this person is weak and dangerous to be around. The frail black hole who always needs somebody to hang out with; these caustic, hypervalent and draining people are the neediest and weakest example of abject helplessness I can imagine.


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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knifegill View Post
    I acknowledge that in some ways, we have been encouraged by media to develop toughness, so that we make better slaves.
    With all due respect, I think I would have to argue your point. I think that the media, and society in the US in general, are encouraging people to become weaker and more comfort based.

    From food to driving to living, everything is about convenience and comfort.

    Just as an example, I was talking to someone yesterday about how people will gradually lose their ability to drive without all the modern "conveniences" that new cars have. From 360 degree sensors to automatic transmissions to cars that parallel park themselves, we are not too far away from having a majority of drivers that if you put them into a 60s model car with a standard transmission they would likely wreck or tear the car up, or both.

    The arts of cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients, is going the way of the Dodo bird. In rural areas these skills still exist but they are diminished from what they were a few decades ago.

    Weak and comfortable people are just as enslaved as slaves in shackles. The shackles are just invisible to the naked eye.
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  3. #43
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    I am not intentionally calling an early ceasefire between what Knife and Texas are saying, but they are both really part of the same force.

    One of the strongest forces that exists in the US media and culture is infantilization.

    What I mean is that the push is to reduce people into the desires that babies have: to want, immediately. To be cared for. To have a life without nuance, without undue hardship. A part of this is that we must be branded, ASSIGNED an identity...and Knife is correct: a big one that pushed on a lot of men is a very superficial, macho, easy form of "toughness". Along with it, people cannot stand to be alone, to have no distractions, to just be grateful to be here. What else requires these things? A toddler.

    I think that is what makes true toughness so valuable and impressive.....people that signed up to be miserable at times, to get something much bigger. Sometimes this is the job itself, other times its family related, or a sacrifice to improve your life for the long term.

    I have read about how in a lot of ways, an engineering department counselor at a college and a military recruiter face the same problem; because what they are asking for is opposed to the overwhelming societal ethos.....both openly acknowledge that the next few years will be very rough. You are signing up to be uncomfortable, sleep-deprived, and to see others attempting what you are also attempting fail. Both of these things require maturity, and that is the REAL enemy of the culture, with toughness as just an attribute of it.

    This is why some of the most common majors in the US are fashion merchandising or communications....things that really produce a good job on the other end are HARD....it is all connected. Our society discourages the truly mature.
    Last edited by TheyCallMeLazarus; 10-06-2013 at 07:18 AM.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas.grok View Post
    I think for me this pretty much nails it. Having worked in emergency medical services, firefighting and law enforcement, I have seen people, myself included, work under conditions that a lot of people just would not have been able to handle.

    ... Yes, we were all trauma junkies.

    Good times, good times.
    My friend is ex-law enforcement, recently retired. He nearly fell apart healthwise upon retirement. This is actually quite common for retired law enforcement. Turns out they live life in a state of hyper-readiness, the cortisol and adrenaline constantly flowing. This is not healthy and they die shortly after retirement when the hormones stop and the damage done is revealed. It's not a form of toughness that I would recommend as entirely positive. Still, I'm grateful for your service and admire your ability to withstand such pressures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knifegill View Post
    a different kind of toughness is left behind - the ability to do absolutely nothing, to sit still and face death, totality and pure emptiness and purposeless; this is a strength that far too few people have.
    There is a definite lack in ability of people to do nothing. I have a friend who invited me to go camping with him. He is the master of doing nothing. He elevates it to an extreme sport. I simply could not do it. I cannot do nothing. I think in some way that does make me somewhat weak that I cannot simply sit next to a beautiful stream and watch the flowing water, the changing light, the dipping birds, and be satisfied with that. I'm not sure what is missing, but I have to at least sleep or walk or be planning something.
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  5. #45
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    Its an interesting concept, but its all relative. I'd consider myself tougher than average, I'm a glutton for pain some times.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas.grok View Post
    With all due respect, I think I would have to argue your point. I think that the media, and society in the US in general, are encouraging people to become weaker and more comfort based.

    From food to driving to living, everything is about convenience and comfort.

    Just as an example, I was talking to someone yesterday about how people will gradually lose their ability to drive without all the modern "conveniences" that new cars have. From 360 degree sensors to automatic transmissions to cars that parallel park themselves, we are not too far away from having a majority of drivers that if you put them into a 60s model car with a standard transmission they would likely wreck or tear the car up, or both.

    The arts of cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients, is going the way of the Dodo bird. In rural areas these skills still exist but they are diminished from what they were a few decades ago.

    Weak and comfortable people are just as enslaved as slaves in shackles. The shackles are just invisible to the naked eye.
    what about shows like that ice-road trucker thing, or the alaskan fishermen, or anything in a kitchen?

    Network electronic hypnotic suggestion is used to make working class kids treat their jobs like they are serious and important, glorious contests of valor, so as to increase productivity and to justify increasingly onerous and third-world demands without further compensation.
    "Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."

    Jack london, "Before Adam"

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