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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Priggish













No it is not supposed to be piggish, the word is priggish. The word priggish is a noun meaning a person who displays or demands of others pointlessly precise conformity in a self righteous irritating manner.




In the movie Emily Of New Moon, that was Aunt Elizabeth. In the first few episodes Aunt Elizabeth drew the lot that gave her guardianship of Emily after her father passed on. When she discovered that Emily had her cat with her hidden in the wagon, she threw the cat overboard. The cat somehow found his way to New Moon, Emily found him, and hid him in the attic. Once he was discovered by Aunt Elizabeth she ordered Cousin Jimmy to put him in a sack and throw him in the ocean. Cousin Jimmy didn't tie the sack shut and the cat escaped and all ended well and the cat lived the remainder of its life in the barn. Aunt Elizabeth was a farmer, and to her animals served only a one purpose, and that was to provide food and an income to the family. A pet was considered lavish, and a liability. Aunt Elizabeth controlled all facets of life in her home, even forbidding Emily from writing in a journal, and reading fiction, or poetry.




The timeline of this story written by L.M. Montgomery was the late 1800s, just at the end of the Victorian period. Victorians were very pious and prudish in character, even though they were very lavish in the ornamentation of their homes. This period in philiosphical history came after the Age Of Enlightenment, and then the Napoleonic Age.








During the Age Of Enlightenment there was freedom of thought, and human reasoning, with innovations in political, religious, and educational doctrines. The Napoleonic Age was an age of militarism, prior to that the beginning the Industrial Revolution broke out in Great Britain.




Can you see a pattern here which has been repeated in our own lifetime. I have lived through a time when our country lead the world in industrial production. I have lived through the sixties and the "Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius" peace, love, and freedom without boundaries. I have lived through a time when we had the strongest military presence in the world.



Which brings me back to the title of this blog, Priggish. I seriously fear that we are heading toward a new era where freedom of thought, and open mindedness will soon be frowned upon. I believe this will happen because of extremism. Extremism is a tendency or disposition to go to extremes, and this word originated in the Victorian era.




Those who lean too far toward open minded concepts instill fear in those who lean too far toward closed minded concepts. Boundaries are necessary, in both the Enlightened mind, and the Victorian mind. Many strides were made in the Age Of Enlightenment, and the largest was the idea of Democracy. I for one would love to see a new era develop, The Unity Age. An Age of concord, harmony, and the ability to live as one while agreeing to disagree with acceptance. It's about time, isn't it?

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