9 months ago

The Iconoclast FEB 2018


TOUCHÉ-A SOCIETY OF SNOWFLAKES TOBY WOOD contemplates the oversensitive nature of today’s society. There has been a switch in modern society. The days of the stiff upper lip and the rugged determination of any good British citizen have long passed, but has this switch been a good one? Historically, our society has been one of stubbornness and optimism in the face of adversity. In the last century we’ve had the Somme generation, the Passchendaele, Jutland, and Ypres generation who faced insurmountable odds, and yet kept getting on. This generation was followed by the second war’s youth- the men of Dunkirk, Dieppe, El Alamein and Sicily. Again, a huge swathe of young men were drawn into the throes of war in defence of liberty, democracy, and Britain. Those who served, and those at home, adopted an attitude of fortitude which played a large part in getting us through all the difficulties in, mostly, one piece. From the outbreak of war in 1914 on towards perhaps the 1980s, these men were regarded as heroes- valiant soldiers who could take a beating and carry on regardless. However, in more recent years this spirit of resilience in our nation’s population has dwindled. The war winners are now seen as victims of mechanised slaughter, not the patriotic and gutsy defenders of the free world that they were previously perceived as. This change reflects a broader shift in the societal norm, not just in the memories of our fighting forces. Increasingly, people are being encouraged to cry rather than maintain that stiff upper lip we have managed to preserve for centuries. So is this change a positive one, or have we become too sensitive; too prone to simply accept defeat and give up? It cannot be disputed that bottling your emotions up is a poor decision. One of the best ways to deal with an issue is to have a nice heart-to-heart with someone, maybe over a cup of tea and some shortbread. However, when the slightest hiccough in one’s daily routine brings you out in tears, is it worth reevaluating the new tendency? The era of thick skinned persistence is, undoubtedly, over. Replaced instead by this ‘new-age drippiness’ we have become so fond of. Stating an opinion on the internet for instance often leads to a heated discussion, where someone who disagrees with you will engage in a less than civil argument about some pointless and meaningless topic. Indeed, it is difficult to give examples of such a controversy without offending someone reading this. JACOB REES MOGG IS KNOWN FOR QUOTES LIKE ‘NEW AGE DRIPPINESS’ A disagreement now can stem from something so miniscule, so insignificant on a broader scale that you’d be better off just ignoring it and moving on. But no, we feel compelled to put our views out there, making sure everybody is aware that we disagree, and we are offended, and we are victims.

agree, and we are offended, and we are victims. This attitude of sensitivity and political correctness gone overboard has stretched far and wide, reaching all ages in every corner of the world, except perhaps Somerset. They’re quite traditional. The internet’s vast reach allows pretty much everybody a medium through which they can express their disapproval. ‘There is something marvellous in being able to take adversity on the chin, yet power through and carry on without feeling the need to write a strongly worded Tumblr segment’ This attitude is the one I would like to see return. The attitude of ‘if you’re going through hell, keep going’. There is something marvellous in being able to take adversity on the chin, yet power through and carry on without feeling the need to write a strongly worded Tumblr segment. So yes, I would say that our generation is over sensitive, but that is not irreparable. There remains a glimmer of hope for a return to the tenacity we once mastered in this country, but this seems unlikely, as we move ever further away from the days of putting up with things, and ever closer towards the emotional quagmire of the future. Has this change been a positive one? Well, frankly, no. If we refuse to accept that people will disagree, we are doomed to fall into a bottomless pit of nonsensical arguments that will hinder any progression. The traditional British attitude of maintaining a stiff upper lip is, in many cases, better than feeling the need to quarrel. For example, society has decided that there are hundreds of new genders. This is right, we are all entitled to feel how we want to feel, but you have to understand that most people aren’t aware of the difference between a female, and an Androgine Female-Attracted Hermaphrofemale. When the difference isn’t picked up on, should we accept their genuine mistake with good grace? Or should we challenge their mistakes and show anger? The latter appears more likely in the current climate. ^CAMPAIGNS LIKE HEFORSHE AIM TO REMOVE THE STIGMA OF MEN SHOWING EMOTION Conversely, there are still occasions when a good bit of the old British spunk makes an honourable return; after the various atrocities committed against us, in Manchester or London, there was an overwhelming sense of community that rarely makes an appearance today. We all gathered together in collective support and understanding in the face of horrific circumstances. Tea, free taxi rides, and a place to stay were offered to the victims, and the initial reaction to the crises was one of strength and determination; emotion was spared for later whilst the primary responses were carried out practically and efficiently.