Monday, June 23, 2008

role model

From the Archive: June 2, 2007

[a yankee fan asked:]

Is there anyway to defend Manny's public questioning of the third base coach's decision not to send Youklis (maybe Ortiz) last night? it seems relatively classless and certainly not the actions of a person anyone wants as there kids' role model.

[my response:]

Are we living in Victorian England? Who cares about class?

I don't care if Manny farts every time he hits a homerun or uses the wrong fork for the salad. 'Class' and other notions that are derivative from a scheme of noble virtue ethics are irrelevant.

like any public figure, a third base coach's decisions are open to public scrutiny, but hurting the third base coach's feelings is a private matter, and is not my concern, and only matters to me to the extent that play on the field is affected.

Kids don't need role models, they need to learn how to think about things. It's imitation and conformity for its own sake that is problematic; imitating a good person is barely better than imitating a bad person. reliance on public figures for models of ideal behavior is a just step away from a cult of personality. children should be taught to respect the notion of a democracy in which citizens are free to decide things for themselves through rational deliberation, and not instructed which people to ape.

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