Note: Republished from February 10, 2018
"In the youth of a state arms do flourish; in the middle age of a state, learning; and then both of them for a time; in the declining age of a state, mechanical arts and merchandise." – Francis Bacon (Baron Verulam, Viscount St. Albans, 1561-1626)
"Alas, the academy today is obsessed with the trivial and the trashy, relentlessly focused on sexual politics, and gripped by a deep antagonism to tradition that has degenerated into a new absolutism." – Jim Nelson Black, "Freefall of the American University"
THE LIFE CYCLES OF NATIONS according to Sir John Bagot Glubb (British general and historian; 1897-1978)
- The age of outburst [pioneering]
- The age of conquests
- The age of commerce
- The age of affluence
- The age of intellect
- The age of decadence
- Age of decline and collapse.
The first four points are pretty self-explanatory (an age of heroes), but the descending three points are not widely understood – and therefore "controversial." Revisionists have rewritten history and muddied the pas. They have "taken out" our national and spiritual heroes and substituted, essentially, anti-heroes. Too often, intellectualism (sophistry) leads to an age of decadence and decline.
"During the age of intellect, schools may produce skeptical intellectuals who oppose the values and religious beliefs of their . . early leaders [read 'Founding Fathers'] . . " – Glubb, in "The Fate of Empires and the Search for Survival"; 1978 (quoted in www.GNmagazine.org – by Eric Snow, July/Aug. 2011)
In Glubb's version we are in the Age of intellect's decline and the ascendency of the Age of decadence, at (as they say) "this point in time" (IF this all proves irreversible).
I'm sitting down to try to write a critical column I've been threatening to write for a long time: "Hipsters, Hoopsters, and Hooksters" – essentially regarding the practice of casual "hookups" on college campuses. College freshmen are still teenagers after all, and often socially confused, impressionable, and vulnerable yet. The professors see "opportunity." They use sex and peer pressure as tools to further their political agendas.
"Guided by Alinsky principles, post-Communist radicals are not idealists but Machiavellians. Their focus is on means rather than ends, and . . they are flexible and opportunistic and will say anything (and pretend to be anything)to get what they want, which is resources and POWER." – David Horowitz
GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS -
Gandhi said that "pleasure without conscience" is one of seven deadly things that can destroy a society. God put it even more bluntly, but any way you look at it, casual "hooking up" is good for neither the society nor the individual.The good news is that our cultural "race to the bottom" (note this fall's new prime time TV shows) may be "bottoming" out – or at the very least – slowing down. Several publications, including the U. of Wisconsin Badger Herald have addressed the issue in recent years.
Writing for Scientific American Mind, Sandra Czaja said that "many studies have demonstrated that exposure to sex, drugs, and violence on screen can make all three seem more acceptable in real life" [quoted by GNmag, Sept-Oct 2011].Even the magazine Seventeen published "the truth about sex on tv" (I ran across an old copy in the laundromat the other day). Some headlines:
- "Steamy hookup scenes give you high expectations – and bad advice! Here's a reality check" (by Kim Tranell).
- "Sleeping around is a big deal [as on 'Gossip Girl'].
- "Public quickies aren't hot" [as on 'Gray's Anatomy'].
- "Drunken hookups aren't sexy" [as on '90210'].
WOMEN'S HEALTH magazine's "Guy next door," Matt Bean, was asked a question: "A friend has the hots for me, but I'm on the fence. Should I road test the romance with a hookup?" And Bean said:
"Best-case scenario: You'll hook up a few times before the bottom falls out of the friendship, and then you'll endure countless awkward run-ins before avoiding each other completely. I don't call that getting lucky. I call that wasting a friend."
As for that Badger Herald article, I've been sitting on it since December of 2004. I apologize for that because – out of 400+ columns – this could be the most important one I've written. Here are some excerpts by Abby Peterson regarding "hookups":
"Random physical encounters becoming norm in college; replacing long-term dating . . becoming the college-age dating norm . . Studies show the practice is extremely widespread on campus . .
"But some experts say the high trend of hooking up on college campuses does not bode well for young people's ability to eventually settle down and maintain a more intimate dating relationship after college . . According to UW sociology professor John Delamater, seriously dating someone allows students to develope needed social skills that are crucial in being able to eventually hold down a long-term relationship – namely marriage . . . [and] 'if young people get too accustomed to casual sex without commitment, they may never be able to successfully settle down.'
"Many experts contend the hookup culture favors men over women, both because males don't face the same social labels for being 'easy' and because they are able to more readily disassociate sex from emotions . . . [a coed says] 'many college men are so accustomed to hooking up, they don't want to deal with the pain of wooing a girl and paying for a date. I think a lot of guys are lazy. They need to man up and take a girl out on a date'. . . .
"[Another coed said that] 'worse than demeaning names society can associate with women who have hookups is the disappointment many girls feel after having a casual physical encounter with someone and then having it not lead to anything more.'
"The idea that 'you should not have sex with someone when you are drunk should be pushed as much as not getting into a car with someone who is drunk,' said Scott Spear of University Health Services."
BY THE WAY, hard science has proven that chemicals such as dopamine – which dominate the attraction- and impulsive- kinds of "love" are not the same chemicals that make for a lasting relationship – oxytocin, for instance.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (February 2006) article on "Love: the Chemical Reaction" -
"Oxytocin is a hormone that promotes a feeling of connection, bonding. It is released when we hug our long-term spouses, or our children. It is released when a mother nurses her infant. Prairie voles, animals with high levels of oxytocin, mate for life . . .
"Novelty triggers dopamine in the brain, which stimulates feelings of attraction." [FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE]
P.S. The proponents of "Free Love" (a term coined at least as early as 1910 by the Encyclopaedia Britannica) don't care about the science of it, or the psychological ramifications. They oversimplify. They err on the side of error ("You have to kick a few tires before you buy a used car, don't you?"). The operative word there is "used." USED is a 4-letter word.
Young Christians are often asked, "What's the matter with you? Are you gay?" That's a dastardly thing to say, an offense to the "gay community" as much as the conservative Christian one. One young man was often asked, "Don't you want to know if your mate will be good in bed?" He replied:
"I won't need anyone to compare her to if I marry someone just because I love her." Touche'. Checkmate. "Any other questions?"
PPS: My previous column was a case against lawyers and the need for tort reform to lower medical costs. Three days after that was posted, I landed in the local hospital for emergency hernia surgery. This is my 9th day in the hospital and I've learned a few things. Did you know that after colon reattachment you can get a standing ovation for passing gas? And it only hurts when you laugh. Or sneeze, or hiccup. Speaking of hiccups, I may have to retire early from my tree climbing career EARLY – at age 75. I don't want to though: my personal family physician is 85 and still working.© Curtis Dahlgren
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