Uncontrolled ranting against the macho 101st Fighting Keyboardists

Five days ago I had an accident in the kitchen, and ended up cutting my index finger on the top of a soup can. It was hardly a major injury, but seeing blood flow out of my finger sort of freaked me out. I knew it needed attention, and I wanted to go to an urgent care center, but I didn't know where one was near me.

Not exactly thinking straight, I called 911 hoping that they could help me locate a center near me. Less than 2 minutes later, an overzealous dispatcher had sent over an overzealous life squad ambulance, who were more than happy to shuttle me into an ambulance to have me treated there, whether I wanted the ride or not.

I went through this entire rigmarole to have a 1/4 inch cut patched up with two stitches (for the record, that's one more than the kid in Adventures in Babysitting received, but he got taken to the ER by Elisabeth Shue). That sounds like massive overkill, doesn't it?

Well I wasn't exactly in my right mind, because...well...I'd never been in a situation like that, I didn't know what to do, and I went into panic mode. And you don't follow what would be considered rational behavior in crisis times.

Why am I telling you this story? For female sympathy? Thanks, but my finger is not ready for asexy-time. No, rather I want to lend a story of what someone might do in a crisis situation. Because it seems like some conservative writers seem to have their own ideas of how people deal with adverse circumstances.

According to several on the right, the students at Virginia Tech did not display "manly" characteristics when they were confronted with an insane gunman. John Derbyshire of NRO, obviously tired of ripping the British soldiers that were taken hostage by Iran a couple weeks back, was first in the fray, asking "why didn't anyone rush the guy".

He talks of the manly behavior of counting the number of shots and then jumping him while he's changing cartridges (as if everyone knows off the top of their head how many bullets were in that type of cartridge, never mind whether they'd have the presence of mind to think of that). But then he throws in this gem:
...I shoot [my handgun] all the time at the range, and I still can't hit squat. I doubt this guy was any better than I am...
What a fucking pussy! This guy can't even shoot a gun straight but he talks of manly qualities? Jack Bauer can hit 10 people with 6 bullets! Grow some fucking balls and learn how to shoot your wittle BB gun!

Nathanael Blake at Human Events Online piles on top of that, saying that "something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage. And not a one of the healthy young fellows in the classrooms seems to have done that". Kathy Shaidle adds to that with this gem: "[w]hen we say “we don’t know what we’d do under the same circumstances”, we make cowardice the default position" (which is taken by both Derbyshire and Blake).

Derbyshire also references Flight 93 as an example of what they should have done. Well that's all fine and dandy, except that the passengers of that flight had a half-hour to gather and create their plan, whereas these students had maybe seconds to respond, not to mention they were probably spread throughout the classroom.

But it's all about machismo with these guys. You have to show your manliness through manly actions. If you dive under a desk when some guy starts shooting, you're effeminate. You don't display your manhood by following the natural human reaction of self-preservation.

The truth is, you don't know. Everyone would love to believe that they'd be the hero in a crisis, but until someone starts firing bullets in your general direction that's nothing more than a mystery to you. When someone accuses you of being a coward for saying that, you know that person hasn't been in a conflict any more strenuous than a spirited argument during a bridge game. As I stated above, both Derbyshire and Blake take this "cowardly" position; but they'd both be ashamed of themselves if they didn't behave in a manly manner.

If these people are so concerned with being manly, then I suggest they go into the armed services, because nothing is more manly than defending your country. But I'm willing to say that none of these three (nor Mark Steyn, Michelle Malkin, or Michael Graham among others) have never considered that, because it's much easier to espouse these values from behind a keyboard. To them all of this stuff is just a big game, or a cool Jerry Bruckheimer film. It's not real to them, or they'd know that what they were saying is nothing more than a big barrel of bullshit.

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