Raising men, not soyboys.

Behold my vice, Reader-land!  I watch too much YouTube!  Instead of devoting my free time to prayer, I watch YouTube.  But the Spirit works in many ways.  This time by a recommended video that reminds me of my youth with Dad.

Unfortunately, Mel finds it boring.  And my kids probably wouldn’t enjoy it either, but when I was young my dad would watch and I was fascinated, so much so that when I read the books, this actor and none other was the man in the book.

I’m speaking, of course, of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. IMG_4023

Oh, my curiosity had been piqued by a well-drawn book my brother Glenn had, The Hound of the Baskervilles.  I didn’t have the ability to read it well, but the artist who drew and colored it did such a good job that I was scared looking at the pictures!  And I had nightmares!  I think mom still has the book, I hope so because that deserves to be read by all the boys in the family.  Anyway, the show was a very accurate period piece, without needing to elaborate or change things up, like modern versions.  And it blows Downtown Abby into a soap opera.download

The greatest Sherlock ever is Jeremy Brett, not Basil Rathbone, and this version popped into the recommended videos and all the happy memories came back.  We’d be in the downstairs den, maybe dad would have a cigar or pipe, and then the very distinctive violin theme would play and I was lost in a world of mystery, adventure, and deduction.

It’s brilliant, and they there is nothing out now that can compare.  The modern shows are trying to shock you and take you down rabbit holes.  And they have a ton of sex and gore.

Oh, there are murders and such with Holmes, but it is written and shown in a way that implies, not assaults. (Except for season two episode six which has the gratuitous backsides of an artist’s nude model, so watch out for that.)

But of course I am old fashioned, and kids these days want action, sex, and gore!  WRONG!!! On so many levels.  Kids are being programmed to watch that stuff.  It hits the brain and causes the pleasure chemicals to come out, and they are addicting, so they seek more.

No, what children really want and need, even if they hate it, is a moral story of good defeating evil.  Danger, where the action is not necessarily a shootout but an outwitting.  As the Atomic Robo comic had it, Dirk Daring, the dirking daring doer of derring-do!!  Titles like Captain Blood, Scaramouche, the Sea Hawk!  Adventures where the hero is wronged, redeems himself, gets the girl, beats the bad guys, and has wit doing it!

Then I thought, self, no wonder kids these days are different!  And then, self, that is why we have two generations of men without chests! download

Yup, I can’t speak for girls, but men are pigs.  We have more in common as modern men with a press-ganged sailor, usually illiterate, given to fits of debauchery, and with a mouth like… Well, a sailor!  I include myself!  And that is what society wants men to be.  That, or a weakling who can be easily swayed.

You think I’m wrong?  Show me the TV shows, movies, music, and books of the era, and I will show you what the corporations and publishers want you to consume.  Fifty shades of grey?  Are you kidding?  Hunger Games?  Heck even superhero movies, although TT did tell me about one good thing in Endgame.  Every book devolves into sexual tension if not more, every movie has the same gratuity and violence.  And the real world is very violent.  That is why we must show our kids that it should not be normal.

proxy.duckduckgoI wrote about Fr Francis and his school.  One of the themes I was aware of was that we were made for more and that basing ourselves in the crass was not properly striving for it.  A Spanish school, you should not be surprised that they took inspiration from a Spanish legend, Don Quixote.  They especially liked the musical with Peter O’Toole, because it captured in song the ideals they wanted us to follow.  I’ll quote the lyrics.

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star! 

It gives me goosebumps, reading that.  Happy memories, grateful that at a young age I was given an opportunity to experience the quest, as all men should be.  Of course, we were talking about heaven and keeping the faith, but it applies to our daily lives too.

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Sherlock Holmes isn’t just a character, he’s a challenge to boys and men of ages to go, fight evil, win!  Be a man!  My dad exposed me to wholesome adventures when I was young, and that is what boys NEED!   Otherwise, the culture will get to them and turn them into men without chests, or soyboys.

Actually, I recommend Outlaws of Ravenhurst, and Tim Heislers Calapanta, if you want to read adventure with morals, but I also highly recommend reading Sherlock Holmes.  It’s, elementary, my good fellow.

1 thought on “Raising men, not soyboys.”

  1. Joe,
    I really miss having serious conversation and debates with you. I definitely agree with you and I’m going to read those books with my boys
    People don’t have their own imagination or original thought and it’s important that children are allowed to have creativity and explore life as a child instead of having nonsense shoved down their throats from various outlets, way too often.
    I am pretty blessed with boys that are boys, but they are respectful & they have original thoughts. I really hope that they choose traditional men’s clothing vice tights as adult men!


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