Old Man Syndrome

Clint Eastwood has officially become an old coot. Maybe it happened before, but this takes away any lingering doubt. Lamenting for the good old days, he says the following during some interview as reported on imdb.com:

Clint Eastwood sorely misses his tough youth, insisting America has gone soft since. The 78-year-old actor claims life was simpler and easier in his upbringing during the depression – when problems were solved using fists rather than a therapist’s couch. Eastwood tells the January edition of Esquire magazine, “Everyone’s become used to saying, ‘Well, how do we handle it psychologically?’ In those days you punched the bully back and duked it out. People were tougher then. I was a shy kid. But a lot of my childhood was spent punching the bullies out.”

So, apparently things were better when people physically assaulted each other over insignificant disagreements and didn’t seek treatment for mental health issues. Ah, the good old days indeed. I think tonight, to rekindle some old-timey goodness, I’ll punch a friend in the back of the head because I didn’t like the way they looked at me and then we’ll settle our differences with a 40 of whiskey.

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6 responses to “Old Man Syndrome

  1. Well, punching the bully in the face – hard – seems a lot better to me than the even-handed-schoolteacher approach of having the two kids “work things out” as if the bullying is partly the victim’s fault.

  2. You’re assuming that the only option to physical assault is flowery “work things out” bullshit. No offense to teachers because these days they get sued for everything, but having the kids “work things out” absolves them of being at all responsible for the situation and solves nothing. There is a middle ground. Bullies should not get away with what they do, but IMO hitting another person to teach the lesson “don’t his me” is not acceptable.

    In any case, “things were better when I was a kid” is just a stupid thing to say especially when it’s used as a preface to make people who see a psychologist feel wimpy. This is the stigma of mental health and IMO that’s also not acceptable.

  3. Yeah, you’re right, there are more than two options. But I can recall a situation in my school days when punching out someone who made half my classes hard to endure (because of teasing) – hell, I skipped some classes rather than put up with him – was easily a much better solution than complaining to a teacher, which I’m sure would only have encouraged my nemesis and his buddies. Some people mistake kindness and a willingness to talk things out as weakness, a signal to ramp up the abuse.

    I think Mr. Eastwood has always been a “things were better when I was a kid” guy. And, yes, that attitude is stupid. And I agree it’s awful to suggest that people shouldn’t seek help from mental-health professionals.

    But the guy does make awesome movies, consistently. That makes up for his shortcomings.

  4. Yeah, you’re right, there are more than two options. But I can recall a situation in my school days when punching out someone who made half my classes hard to endure (because of teasing) – hell, I skipped some classes rather than put up with him – was easily a much better solution than complaining to a teacher, which I’m sure would only have encouraged my nemesis and his buddies. Some people mistake kindness and a willingness to talk things out as weakness, a signal to ramp up the abuse.

    I think Mr. Eastwood has always been a “things were better when I was a kid” guy. And, yes, that attitude is stupid. And I agree it’s awful to suggest that people shouldn’t seek help from mental-health professionals.

    But the guy does make awesome movies, consistently. That makes up for his shortcomings.

  5. I have the Man with No Name trilogy on DVD and it is empirically awesome.

    But he’s still an old coot.

  6. I have the Man with No Name trilogy on DVD and it is empirically awesome.

    But he’s still an old coot.