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man overboard

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Apr 24, 2007

Excellent interview on Zenit today with Anthony Esolen. An excerpt:

Zenit: In your recent articles you have discussed masculinity and manhood. How do you see your own understanding of these differ from the way others use these terms?

Esolen: When a virtue falls by the wayside, when it is no longer a lived reality recognized by a community in its manifold forms, we recall only a scrap of it here or there, or we can only imagine a gaudy caricature of it. That, I think, is the case now for both manhood and womanhood.

Many millions of boys in America, for instance, are growing up in homes without fathers, so they find "fathers" of their own on the streets or in the diseased and silly fantasies of mass entertainment, musclemen who can take down a city, or charismatic gang leaders who move caches of drugs and make exciting things happen.

They miss the more subtle fortitude of moral vision and farsighted self-sacrifice. Male heroes in popular literature for boys, 80 or 90 years ago, might be all right with a gun or a sword, but they might also be bespectacled dons like Mr. Chips whose discipline was a form of love.

The man exercises charity by training himself to be self-reliant in ordinary things, not out of pride, but out of a sincere desire to free others up for their own duties, and to free himself for things that are not ordinary.

The entire interview is worth a read.

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 24, 2007 8:22 AM ET USA

    It's a fine essay on the state of manhood, of what it means or should mean to be male. And I remember a time when most males were men--that is they were a solid presence in society that held certain virtues of both strength and courtesy in esteem. Unlike the adolescent sports fans; sexually confused, tormented and tormenting homosexual activists; and those lost within occupations that lack true vocation that predominate today. I can remember when we called our priests, "Father" and meant it.

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