Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 12 (13 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   8 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Reflections About Jared Lee Loughner and John Hinckley, Jr.

By       Message Thomas Farrell     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 3   Well Said 3   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 1/11/11

Author 38575
Become a Fan
  (20 fans)

Duluth, MN (OpEdNews) January 10, 2011: For understandable reasons, we have already heard an enormous amount of commentary about Jared Lee Loughner's deadly shooting spree in Tucson. He evidently aimed to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He did seriously wound her, and she is still in critical condition in the hospital. He also wounded a dozen other people and killed six.

John Hinckley's attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan was far less deadly. Hinckley did wound Reagan and others. But Reagan's trained body guards wrestled Hinckley to the ground and disarmed him. Nevertheless, I think the two would-be assassins could be instructively compared with one another.

The most instructive analysis of Hinckley that I have read is James M. Curtis's article "Coming of Age in the Global Village" in the journal ORAL TRADITION, volume 2 (1987): pages 357-80.

To analyze Hinckley, Curtis draws on Walter J. Ong's thought about the psychodynamism of male contesting behavior in his book FIGHTING FOR LIFE: CONTEST, SEXUALITY, AND CONSCIOUSNESS (Cornell University Press, 1981), the published version of Ong's 1979 Messenger Lectures at Cornell University.

Ong is content to describe various manifestations of male contesting behavior, which he also terms agonistic behavior (Greek, "agon" means contest or struggle). The part of the human psyche that Plato and Aristotle refer to as "thumos" (rendered in English as the spirited part, as in our expression about "fighting spirit") is the psychodynamism behind contesting behavior.

The Warriors Sculpture By anguila40 / Alejandro Groenewold


In their book THE WARRIOR WITHIN: ACCESSING THE KNIGHT [ARCHETYPE] IN THE MALE PSYCHE (William Morrow, 1992), Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette refer to the psychodynamism behind contesting behavior as the warrior archetype at the archetypal level of the human psyche. (They center their attention on the male psyche in this book, but they claim that there is a feminine counterpart to the warrior archetype in the archetypal level of the female psyche.)

As the title of Curtis's article reminds us, many cultures around the world, evidently independently of one another, established coming-of-age rituals for teenage boys so that they would learn how to control and direct their contesting behavior in socially acceptable ways. Those rituals are known as male puberty rites. The French anthropologist Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957) wrote the classic anthropological study of such rites, THE RITES OF PASSAGE (1909; English translation, 1960).

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 3   Well Said 3   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

www.d.umn.edu/~tfarrell
Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Was the Indian Jesuit Anthony de Mello Murdered in the U.S. 25 Years Ago? (BOOK REVIEW)

Who Was Walter Ong, and Why Is His Thought Important Today?

More Americans Should Live Heroic Lives of Virtue (Review Essay)

Martha Nussbaum on Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Book Review)

Hillary Clinton Urges Us to Stand Up to Extremists in the U.S.

Matthew Fox's Critique of the Roman Catholic Church