Yes, chivalry is dead. Sure, women and men are equally entitled to be treated with respect, but some people ask, what’s so wrong with a gallant fellow holding a door open for a member of the weaker sex? And what’s so wrong with opening a car door to let the fragile and feeble female in first? And what’s so wrong with triggering the motion detector on an automatic door for some chick? Controversial though it may be, I think these people make an important point. There is a strong case in favour of reviving chivalry. Chivalry was about honour, courtesy, and respect, values that are sorely lacking in so many men today. On top of this, chivalrous men recognized well that humans who lack a Y chromosome have a harder time with doors and their tricky mechanical workings. But most of all, the code of chivalry required its followers to show no mercy to the Infidel and not hesitate to make war with them. This latter point is probably the aspect of chivalry most relevant to the modern age. A chivalry revival would not only significantly ease women’s passage through doorways, it would also lead to a major reduction in the population of infidels. On top of that, it would give the sagging economy a much-needed boost by increasing market demand for chain mail, jousting-related medical care, and dragon as a second language classes.
Right about now, dozens of people just like you all around the world are making their New Year’s resolutions, setting out to learn new skills, to be more generous and kind, to be more assertive, to take better care of themselves: in short, they are resolving to make better use of this precious gift we call life. Sadly, not only are these people dorks, they are also doomed to fail. Depending on the analytical methodology used, studies have shown that between 100 and 107 percent of those who make resolutions for the new year fail to keep them. Part of the problem is that often, there’s a wide gulf between well-meaning intention and reality — people simply set themselves unrealistic goals. But it’s also about psychology. By “resolving” to do something, what could be a process where we discover the inspiration and strength within ourselves to flourish more fully is instead transformed into an onerous obligation weighing heavily upon us, where any faltering along the path becomes a new source of guilt and shame, a new sign of our personal weaknesses and moral failings, and a new reason to once again collapse in defeat and abandon our naive dreams. So this year, instead of making resolutions, perhaps we should go a little easier on ourselves and make New Year’s suggestions.
How are you ever going to improve if you don’t want to hear how you can get better? How can you ever attain your full potential for greatness? Well, you can always get by based on being born into a life of privilege, having a conventionally good-looking face, and being strategically promiscuous, as is the case with most successful people, but you should also keep an ear open to receive the comments and critiques that you could harness to propel you to the next echelon of excellence. And yet, some people don’t see this. They criticize criticism. These fragile-ego divas even have a disparaging name for it: ‘nitpicking’. Nitpicking, they whimper tearfully, wastes everyone’s time by enumerating a litany of trivial flaws. But you don’t catch chimpanzees complaining about nitpicking. They seem to really appreciate it, in fact. I have to say, I side with the chimpanzees on this one. If my skin is loaded with nits, then I say, please, pick away, get those nits before they hatch and my skin is crawling and festering with lice. And while you’re in there, remove any ticks or other ectoparasites you find and you will have earned my enduring respect and gratitude that may manifest in the form of reciprocal social bonds that support food sharing, protection against predators, and increased mating opportunities.
Somebody brought up this issue the other day, and it really got me thinking: which came first, the chicken or the egg? When you think about it long enough, you start to realize that proponents of creationism or “intelligent design” have a stronger case than they’ve been credited for. Though this story has been suppressed by the scientific establishment, if you dig deep enough, you’ll find that evolutionary biologists haven’t yet given a satisfactory answer as to whether the egg preceded the chicken or vice versa. So I was contemplating this question with no more insight than countless sages before me, but then, it suddenly dawned on me that probably, the chicken came first. In fact, I fail to see how an egg can have an orgasm at all. I’m also flummoxed as to what the logistics of an erotic encounter between the two would be, though I have to admit with a blush that I’m rather curious. But most fundamentally, I think it would be best if we just drop the question out of respect for their privacy.
It won’t come as news to many that our culture is obsessed with youth and beauty. This consuming vacuity is slowly rotting our society from within and perverting our very psyches, but can you blame us? Ugly people are unpleasant … Continue reading →