Mockery, Social Control, And Christian Decency
Posted by Mundabor
Every now and then I get a comment from an invariably (culturally) Anglo-Saxon reader, pointing out that something I write is “unChristian”, and meaning by that “not conforming to the normally accepted standards of political correctness and sensitiviteeee for pretty much everything”. Generally, as on the last occasion, they start with “I read your blog everyday” or “I like your blog very much”, though the complaint clearly shows neither is, actually, true.
Let us, then, grab the occasion and spend some more words about social control in Catholic societies.
Most of you do not live, or have never lived, in a Catholic society, and therefore will have some difficulty in following me. But I did, and I think I should share with you both the experience and the benefits.
A salient trait of every traditional Catholic society is a very strong social control. A certain behaviour is expected – nay, it is demanded – and society at large comes down like a ton of brick on those who do not conform to the standard. All the talk of “oppressive”, “repressive”, or “suffocating” traditional societies (from the small village to the bigger city) is, in the end, merely that: enforcement of shared values.
Enforcement happened in two ways: one official and publicly exercised; and one unofficial, universally used, and not less effective. The first was public reproach. The second was ridicule and mockery.
In those societies – I am absolutely sure: in France and Spain, or in Portugal and Chile, no less than in Italy – mockery was (because it is, and it always will be) an extremely strong weapon to force conformity to desired standards of behaviour. To make just three common examples the slut, the glutton, and the “beautiful soul” were always a privileged target of this.
Woe, in those societies, to the woman destroying herself with food to the point of morbid obesity (which is not being only of the “fat” type, or rather “in carne“, as is and always was more frequent and was, particularly after a certain age, not mocked at all). She was targeted very pointedly, and very sharply. Or, in the case of astonishing obesity as reposted above, she would have been, because I have not seen any of those in my entire former everyday life in Italy. Not one.
The slut was also the object of ferocious mockery, particularly from women – actually, almost exclusively from women – which is why their number was very little compared to every Anglo-Saxon society you may care to mention. Conservative societies shame sluts, and they shame gluttons. The sins may be of different gravity, but the logic is the same.
Lastly of our category, the people who went out of a certain, generally accepted way of behaviour were also targeted with acute satire: you only needed to be a vegetarian to be driven to desperation; this, without considering that the businesses around you did not care a straw what strange ideas you had, making your problems much worse. “Jesus ate meat”, they would say. “Who the heck are you?” I am talking here merely of “vegetarians”. I remember the uncontrolled laughter of older people when we, those who started to go abroad to learn foreign languages, spoke to them about people like the “vegans”. Circus tools. That’s what they were. The same treatment was reserved to those with some secular madness: animal rights activists, pacifists, and other “ists”.
The politically correct societies of the XXI considers this behaviour “cruel”, or even (see above) “unChristian”. But you see, the very same societies out of which these criticisms come are full of sluts; of young and very young men and women strongly resembling Battleship Potemkin; and of people given to every kind of strange – and this, certainly, unChristian – behaviour: the vegetarians, the vegans, the fruitarians, the “-arians” of whatever sort; and the environ-mentalist, animal “rights” nutcases, and the like.
You can therefore see that it worked. It worked very well. It produced healthier people, both physically and mentally, who then went on to live a healthier life in an environment where certain values were universally shared. Besides being very Christian , these societies worked, because universally shared values and homogeneity of culture make a lot of things easier. Marriages have a much better chance to work if the spouses have been raised with the same set of values (the man is the law and the order; the woman is the sweetness, & Co), and the same then cascades to the society at large, and extends to a lot of small and less small things. The result was a society, like the Italian one, taken as a model case of healthy living, with extremely low levels of suicide, sexual perversion, psychosomatic diseases, and the like. A country of people living pretty much in harmony, because all thinking in the same way. Peppone, the Communist, makes a huge mess when Don Camillo thinks of refusing the baptism to his son, and sends all his sons to catechisms. This was the world. I have lived in it. I can tell even with the romantic and poetic streak of the great Giovannino Guareschi, it was largely a faithful reflection of reality; which is why the fiction was so successful in the first place.
The shaming of the deviation from the correct thinking and living is utterly dead in the modern, politically correct wrecks of a society. Full of boys and girls of morbid, obscene, disgusting obesity, they prefer to consider this a (as the comment that originated this post) “physical attribute” (like a big nose, or a deformed leg) rather than the fruit of prolonged, extremely wrong, and extremely senseless, self-harming behaviour.
Now, when someone writes a comment here I do not ask him “are you morbidly obese?”. But, crucially, I do not ask him anything else about himself, either. If he has a problem, he should work at that. If he has a serious problem, he should work at that seriously. We are all sinners. But this is no reason to just allow our societies to become full of all kind of mistakes. Which, in case you still did not get it, will unavoidably happen without shaming and mockery as forms of social control.
If you ask me, there’s nothing like children throwing stones at a girl to make her think seriously about what she has to change, and there’s nothing like social condemnation and mockery to prevent her putting herself in that position in the first place. This is not my personal opinion. In the world I grew in, girls started being given the name of American aircraft carriers (“Nimitz”, “Forrestal”), or of literature characters (“Moby Dick”) way before she even reached the level of disgusting, repulsive, utterly ridiculous obesity of the foul-mouthed feminist of the video I have kindly re-posted above. Which is why utterly deformed parodies of women strongly resembling USS Ronald Reagan were, in the Italy in which I grew in, basically non-existent.
Political correctness and the culture of sensitivity produces all the problems it claims to be oh so sensitive about: sluttishness, morbid obesity, manias of all kind. Conservative, “judgmental” societies protect themselves very efficiently against these very same problems or minimise their effect, and are therefore by far more efficient, more charitable, and even more Christian.
But the politically correct mind does not understand this; because the political correct mind is busied, first and foremost, with the celebration of its own sensitivity.
Enjoy the involuntary, tragicomic, disgusting ridicule of the obscenely fat woman.
You don’t even have to pay a circus ticket. She did everything herself.