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Posts Tagged ‘Teddy Roosevelt

“Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up”*…

A supposed “crisis in masculinity” is much in the public discourse these days. But as Jules Evans points out, we’ve been here before…

Last month Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson released a TV series called The End of Men, warning that American men were becoming effete, flabby and sterile. Civilization is descending into chaos, the series suggests, but that’s OK, because ‘hard times produce strong men’. It also featured a man tanning his testicles to the tune of Thus Spake Zarathustra (you can watch the trailer here).

With that Nietzschean image in mind, now seems like a good time to tell the story of President Theodore Roosevelt and his cult of manliness. Teddy Roosevelt preached a life-philosophy of vigour, and embodied this in his own romantic life. His words and deeds made him an icon to the online ‘manosphere’. Indeed, the popular website ‘Art of Manliness’ sells inspirational posters of him, and calls him ‘the patron saint of manliness’.

And yet there is a darker side to his life-philosophy. It included Social Darwinian attitudes that might makes right, only the strong deserve to survive, there are fitter and less fit races, and the white race has a right to conquer other races, while itself needing to be strengthened through eugenics. It’s a story that helps us explore some of the ways that wellness, men’s fitness, the human potential movement and ecological conservation can lead to ‘spiritual eugenics’

The history– and the dark downside– of the “cult of masculinity,” “Teddy Roosevelt and the End of Men,” from @JulesEvans11.

C.f. also: Benito Mussolini and Vladimir Putin.

* Ronald Wright

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As we parse power, we might recall that it was on this date in 1997 that software running on Deep Blue (an IBM supercomputer) became the first computer program to defeat a world champion in a match under tournament regulations.

The year before, Garry Kasparov had defeated Deep Blue (4-2). In the rematch, Kasparov won the first game but lost the second. The the next three games were draws. And the sixth game lasted only a little over an hour after just 19 moves.

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Hardcore History…

Your correspondent and his daughter were recently in Our Nation’s Capital, and visited that collection of museums arrayed around The Mall.  We were amazed to have the exhibits more or less to ourselves.

So it was a delight to discover the work of artist Jenny Burrows and copywriter Matt Kappler, who created a wonderful set of fake ads for that famous institution.  E.g.,

The originals of the ads above and below, and of the rest of the set, featured the name and logo of “America’s Treasure Chest”; but as our friends at Design Milk report, “unfortunately, that major museum was not a fan. Jenny had to change the text at the bottom to read “Museums” and change the logo. You can read all about that here.”

See the rest of the Jenny’s and Matt’s portfolio at “Historically Hardcore.”

As we wish that our tax dollars could stretch to cover a sense of humor, we might recall that it was on this date in 1940 that Booker T. Washington became the first African-American to be depicted on a U.S. postage stamp.  (The first U.S. coin to feature an African-American was the Booker T. Washington Memorial Half Dollar, minted from 1946 to 1951; he was also depicted on a [“regular”] U.S. Half Dollar from 1951–1954.)

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