A Man’s a Man

by Timothy Lane5/7/16

The excesses and idiocies of modern Kulture will have many consequences. Reading Curt Schilling’s comments that got him fired by ESPN a short while ago, it occurred to me that one negative consequence of the peculiar liberal notion that “sexual preference” is innate and immutable whereas “gender/sexual identity” can change at a moment’s notice will eventually be a poem we read in high school.

Robert Burns was a Scottish nationalist with a strong affinity for ordinary people — very much a Romantic of his era. In one of his poems he stands up for ordinary people, but includes words that will soon be unacceptable to the modern Kulture:

What tho/ on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hodden-gray an’ a’ that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man’s a man for a’ that.

It has nothing to do with modern “gender” disputes, of course. But how long can those words be taught in school? Of course, poetry seems to scanted in many schools today anyway, so this may be irrelevant. I’d love to see someone recite the poem on a news show, saying that he wants to do so while it’s still legal. Who knows, it might actually do some good.


Timothy Lane writes from Louisville, Kentucky and publishes the FOSFAX fanzine.
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7 Responses to A Man’s a Man

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    It’s been a while since I wore hodden-gray. It’s a manly color, one would think.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I have no idea what hodden gray is, but it wouldn’t surprise me that it would be a manly color. As it happens, in our high school text “A Man’s a Man for A’ That” is right after “Scots Whae Hae”, the beginning of which I once used as the poetic message in FOSFAX/I>.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Wiki says Hodden is:

        a coarse kind of cloth made of undyed wool, formerly much worn by the peasantry of Scotland. It was usually made on small hand-looms by the peasants themselves. Grey hodden was made by mixing black and white fleeces together in the proportion of one to twelve when weaving. The origin of the word is unknown.

        This image on the web supposedly shows a hodden gray uniform with lincoln green trim. That must be a very dark green because it look black in the photo. If this is accurate, hodden was a very warm sort of gray.

        Whatever the case may be, I believe the “manly” aspect of it has nothing to do with the color. (Might as well be pink.) If you can wear this kind of peasant wool against your skin, you are indeed a man.

  2. Steve Lancaster says:

    There is an inherent grace to poets like Burns, Shelly and of course Kipling. Sadly they are not a part of the course work for college freshmen, and never to mentioned in high schools. The 50 years since I left high school have not been good for western culture. As a warrior I am tied to it in ways that keep revealing themselves. I do wish our leaders would just once read and understand Kipling’s Tommy.
    http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_tommy.htm

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, we had plenty of Romantic poetry in high school, and in fact I did my senior English thesis on Shelley’s “The Mask of Anarchy”. (I also once did a parody — making heavy use of the original poetry — titled “The Mask of Obama”.) Back when Brad allowed us to post such poetry to the Poetry/Prose blog, there were a number of poems by various Romantics (including Byron’s “The Destruction of Sennacherib”, dealing with an important even in Biblical history), and also some Kipling. You might want to go back and check some of it.

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        Tim,
        True enough but you don’t find much on college campus today. College freshman are minds full of mush and the political agendas of their professors is the only item actively pursued and the fewer mentions of western culture the better.

        I have had graduate students in history whose knowledge of history only goes back to the date of their birth.

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