Saturday, November 29, 2008

Are men becoming less handy?

This is from the Wall St. Journal, submitted by John Grossbohlin. It is a question you can ask yourself are men and women becoming less handy? Does it matter? One person said this:
When everything stops and your precious technology is a thing of the past what do you actually know how to do? I love the guy who can draft a will, that will help when you eat what you can grow or gather… Go for it, hand in your manhood (personhood really, women can be very competent builders) when it gets down to survival you’ll fall early and leave space for the rest of us."
Others pointed out the pleasure they feel being competent to fix things and make things. Others told of their disappointment that their parents had not passed along the kinds of experience that would have given confidence. Still others complained that our schools no longer imparted skill and competence in physical reality.

And of course there are two sides. Some were concerned that if they tried to do something as simple as painting their living rooms, they would mess up and lose value in their home appraisals. It is funny what an incompetent society of investment bankers can do to property values and investment values in the course of a few short months without picking up a brush. Is there a relationship between the two? These are more questions you might ask yourself. If people had greater competence in real things, would we be facing such dismal economic prospects? Can it be that some common sense might have arisen in a society more competent to fix and make?

As one comment observed, men and women with advanced degrees often believe they should be rewarded for their success by being freed of the more mundane tasks associated with daily life. Can you imagine attaining such a high degree of idiocy... one that deprives one of the joys available to those more deeply engaged in everyday reality?

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