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St George in Retirement

Entry 2004, on 2019-10-04 at 12:43:17 (Rating 4, Politics)

Many people today have pretty pathetic and meaningless lives. They have good jobs and most of their problems are handled by various mechanisms set up by our modern state. But these people still feel the need to be heroes in some sense, to fight against and overcome great adversaries, and to ultimately enjoy the accolades of their fellow crusaders for the good cause.

In the past, there have been genuine issues for these "heroes" to tackle: sexism, racism, unbalanced political power, economic disparities, and other trendy issues which were real to varying extents. But that's not quite the same today, because the genuine cases of unfairness in these forms are now almost non-existent. But if all of these "important issues" have been resolved, what is the modern crusader going to do? Apparently, they either need to find a new cause or pretend their existing one still exists.

This phenomenon is sometimes described as the "St George the Dragon Slayer in Retirement Syndrome" or just "St George in Retirement". Remember that St George was a real Roman soldier who was martyred for his refusal to recant his Christian faith. But his story was enhanced somewhat hundreds of years after his death through the addition of his exploits in ridding the world of a dragon which demanded human sacrifices.

This real story is itself a good metaphor. St George had genuine beliefs which he wanted to stand up for. Of course, Christianity itself is in may ways a quite immoral and irrational belief system, but let's give him credit for a certain degree of steadfastness, at least. But that wasn't enough, so a mythological element, based on no actual facts at all, had to be added, just to increase the level of heroism.

You can imagine after that heroic event (which wasn't actually real) that poor old St George would be wondering what to do next. I mean, after a while people would have forgotten about his great deeds, and he might start wondering where the next dragon is. He might imagine other dragons exist, just to maintain his status, or he might start seeing dragons where there is only something far more innocuous. You might imagine him killing someone's cow because, in the half light, it looked like a dragon. What a hero!

If the metaphor here isn't already obvious enough, let me list a few situations where this phenomenon is inflicting us with retired St George lookalikes today. Actually, it's fairly easy. Just look for any situation where social justice warriors are campaigning for justice. There's your retired St Georges!

The metoo movement say that men accused of sexual misconduct should always be assumed to be guilty and punished for their real or imagined transgressions without too much consideration of actual facts. Sure, there were one or two people who might have been genuine dragons - although even that has an element of doubt - but now that they have been dealt with by our virtuous heroes who is next? Surely more dragons of that type exist? Or if they don't, why not just imagine that those less harmful species are also dragons?

Feminists have got what they wanted: equal pay, equal rights in law, equal access to all sorts of institutions, but are they happy? Of course not. These champions of epic battles can't retire now. They want more. Women have had equal pay for years, but sometimes still get paid less because they work shorter hours. That's not good enough. Now we must reward their lower productivity, because that's the next dragon. Yeah, not a very fierce dragon, is it?

And indigenous people should have the same rights in society that everyone else has. Who would argue with that? Well, almost no one actually, and they have had these rights for years. But that dragon being banished has left the SJWs with no source for gaining even greater adulation from their peers. So let's all imagine the dragons still exist and keep up the good fight!

Of course, the phenomenon of the deluded hero is well established already, from Don Quixote "tilting at windmills" to modern conspiracies where the conspirator is the only one who can save us from the threat that no one else can see.

But these people are't heroes. They're sad, pathetic, broken down relics of the past. They might live in a group where other past heroes praise their efforts at attacking imaginary dragons, but the rest of us just look at them and laugh.

It's time to move on. Most of the dragons have already been defeated. Find a new dragon to tackle, or admit that what we imagine are dragons are just cute little bunnies which are only breathing fire in the imagination of the fake knights. St George really should give up and find a better hobby!

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Comment 1 (5087) by OJB on 2019-10-04 at 12:48:18:

BTW, for those of you asking for me to tone down the length of my blog posts... you're welcome!

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