July 16, 2015

Today in History: "Catcher in the Rye" published (1951)

John RobsonResident Historian

Catcher in the Rye turns 64 today. I haven’t read it, and won’t. It’s just too trite.

First published on July 16, 1951, the teen angst classic was an instant classic, a best-seller and favourite of English high school teachers.

Which makes you wonder just how nonconformist it was even then.

Today, with the 1960s behind us and social change the reigning passion of the Establishment, and dying your hair a strange colour a conformist rite of passage, the notion that a kid finding adults stuffy and hypocritical is doing anything resembling original thinking is just plain laughable.

Heck, even the adults do it now.

If you really want to rebel, do something normal and see what strange looks you get.

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commented 2015-07-20 17:54:58 -0400
I read the book quite a few years ago but as an adult. My interpretation may be off but I saw the book as much as a critique of teenage angst and rebellion as a celebration of it. Towards the end of the book I remember that the central character reaches out to a teacher late one night before leaving school. The teacher and the central character,Holden Caulfield, have a conversation where the teacher comments that it is the immature individual that wants to die for some noble cause but it is the mature person who wants to live humbly for one. I always liked that part of the book. Living humbly for a. cause really differentiates the mature from the immature, the mindless revolutionary from the determined rebel, from the reactionary impulse from one who stands from a distance and the person who is prepared to really invest and see a change made. To me this admonishment from the teacher to Holden Caulfield would be one that I think John Robson would find refreshing. I usually, am in agreement with John and appreciate his commentaries but in this case I would have to encourage John to read the book.
commented 2015-07-17 23:03:32 -0400
Jimmy, my question was somewhat tongue in cheek. I’m not sure Bush can win against Clinton, but against Trump, I think it could be a completely different ball game, especially given he is still pretty new to the game while Clinton has been around for much longer and is now falling in the polls: http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-poll-favorability-2015-7

I think it would be fun were Trump to win the nomination and go up against Hillary. And I’m not convinced that in such a race, Hillary would win. To what end, I’m not sure. Trump is a wild card and sometimes wild cards win big and other times they lose disastrously. Still quite a ways out to election and time will tell.

Our election is much closer, of course, and Tom seems to be maintaining his lead. Justin may gain some of the left back by October, but will it be enough to usher in another Conservative government? Time again will tell.
commented 2015-07-16 22:58:07 -0400

Hillary is destroying Trump in the polls currently – but that’s irrelevant, because Trump will never get the nomination. He is not going the distance. It will most likely be Bush vs. Clinton again.
commented 2015-07-16 22:56:42 -0400

There is nothing wrong with not wanting to pay for things you don’t support, but that isn’t the reality of taxes. If everyone could just pick and choose what they want to pay for and what they don’t want to pay for – society would be fucked. Why are the things you don’t want to pay for – more important than the things I don’t want to pay for?
commented 2015-07-16 21:41:29 -0400
Listen, folks, I think most of you got Robson wrong on this one. He is encouraging young people to rebel. But to rebel against what is established, not what isn’t.

His thesis is that what is established in Canada, in the west, is left-wing ideology. I agree, to an extent.

The Harper administration has done a good job of steering Canadian values back to centre. He hasn’t steered law so far to the right that Canada is no longer a socialist country but he has limited the pogroms against Conservative intellectualism.

For example, he has introduced incremental change to favour victims over offenders. We don’t yet have any castle law but after that case in Toronto, anyone who defends property or business (or castle) can do so without being convicted.

We have a long way to go before rebelling against Conservative ideas like that business is good for the economy becomes a real act of rebellion. That is Robson’s point. He argues, convincingly, that cutting one’s hair, donning a suit and going to church constitutes more rebellion than protesting against the right.

In my view, though, real rebellion consists of challenging corruption in our society, of challenging established government bureaucratic, business, and professional corruption, of challenging the hypocrisy of claiming we, as a society, care about freedom, truth, human rights, and democracy while at the same time conspiring to undermine these cherished values.

I will stand behind and support any young person with the spine to protest that.
commented 2015-07-16 21:30:55 -0400
Kelvin, would you please refer us all to any link at all that purports the NDP is teaching youngsters to “take one up the ass”?

Jimmy – Hillary versus the Donald? I wouldn’t count on Hillary winning that one.
commented 2015-07-16 16:07:19 -0400
Kelvin, Jimmy is not all that intelligent. He is just spouting the standard leftist ideas without thinking about what he is saying.
commented 2015-07-16 15:39:22 -0400
Didn’t say I was a homophobe, I said I don’t care!!!!! And tell me , what in the hell is wrong with not wanting to pay for stupid shit. Only a retard would agree to shelling out money for idiotic ideas like injection sites, abortions, and all the rest of the dip shit ideas the progressive left comes up with. Why don’t you just give nanny wynne your paycheque every month so you can suckle at her government tit
commented 2015-07-16 15:17:22 -0400

Thanks for confirming that you homophobic. By the way, when was the last time you got a bill for anything sex related? We ALL pay into a pool for tons of shit that we may or may not approve of – in what world do you live in where you think you can pick and choose where your taxes go line by line?

My taxes go to shit I don’t support, but I don’t whine like a baby about it. I accept the fact that this is how taxes work. It’s not like going to the Mandarin restaurant and being able to pick what you want from the buffet.
commented 2015-07-16 15:03:43 -0400
Well then according to you then you think that all Canadians are in your camp. Then I guess conservatives are the ones bucking the trend. Really I don’t care what you and your ilk do as long as I don’t have to pay for it . Example: when your gay pals stretch you a new one and you need medical attention, I don’t want to pay for it. Or when you are trying to get your new designer baby but it entails several abortions, I don’t care I just don’t want to pay for it. And when you demonstrate for the environment to put us back into a "progressive " Stone Age I don’t care that’s when your ilk and mine part company
commented 2015-07-16 14:43:28 -0400

Sorry, but no one is more hyperbolic than conservatives. These are people that think if gay marriage becomes legal – being able to marry animals will be next. Conservatives love the slippery slope.
commented 2015-07-16 14:40:45 -0400

Would you prefer that people become soulless corporate sheep. That it’s better to sell out instead of fighting for what you believe in. What you may think about their cause is irrelevant. We need people in this world that go against the grain and challenge what you seemingly want to protect.
commented 2015-07-16 14:34:51 -0400

Sorry – but we are talking about facts here in these news stories. Do you think Dylann Roof wasn’t actually racist and that it was liberal agenda? Same with Michael Slager? There have been numerous examples like this where it was revealed factually that the person was racist.

Hillary will be the next President. I look forward to saying I told you so.
commented 2015-07-16 14:26:24 -0400
Chad Kameda……was he EVER worth debating?
commented 2015-07-16 14:21:13 -0400
The problem with teenage angst is that many people keep that angst feed well into adulthood where they parade it before the big bad people in the form of totalitarianism / environmentaism
and every other ism provided to them by their handlers to angst about. They are the antithesis of rebellion .
I read the book. Yawn.
commented 2015-07-16 14:19:14 -0400
You are the most hyperbolic person I have ever seen , but you are to fucking blind to see it. So we can sit here and trade insults all day where is that going to get us. Nowhere. Why? Because the divisions between the right and left are wider and deeper than ever. Why? Because people on the right are sick and tired of paying and paying and the people on the left are getting sick and tired wanting and demanding. But there will come a time when the gravy train ends as we see it happening in the European Union all those governments have predominantly progressive socialist and how’s that working for them.
commented 2015-07-16 14:04:27 -0400

This would be the same News Media that all push the same Leftist Agenda. Sorry, you’re not even worth debating anymore, especially since Hillary is no longer leading in Democrat polls.
commented 2015-07-16 14:00:59 -0400

The only reason for that is because Hillary is going to be the next President – so why bother tossing your hat into the ring when you already have a winner? The Republicans have 20 different people running, because they are fucking desperate and know that they are going to lose another Presidential election.

I have no problem conceding that Democrats can be racist – but all the major news stories that have taken place in the last few years involving race – murders, etc, – have all been about racist conservatives.
commented 2015-07-16 13:46:09 -0400
Jimmy, 2016 US Election, 2015 Candidate Selection, your oh so loved Democrats are all old White people. The Republicans also have a few white people, but their standout candidates are of different ethnic groups.

The Confederates (South US) never turned people into slaves, they simply bought from the established system, and then those who established the system went all “We are now abolishing slavery.” and the Confederates were like “Okay, that’s great, but we still need people to work the fields, and all the slaves you freed so far are mostly still partying, and getting no work done.” to which the Union said “YOU WILL FREE SLAVES NOW!”, and thus bitterness between the two exists to this day.

This lack of management skills is present in modern left politics, as well as the jump to outright attack mode as soon as you don’t instantly get your way.

and the “but all racists are Republican” is incorrect, because there are racists among Democrats, it is simply aimed towards White people, and more specifically, with the addition of Sexism, towards White Men. Sorry, you are not the perfect little butterflies you like to tote yourselves around as.
commented 2015-07-16 13:39:23 -0400

No koolaid here – just facts and common sense without hyperbole, fear mongering and simple bullshit that you live for.
commented 2015-07-16 13:32:17 -0400
If you think that’s funny then the koolaid you’ve been drinking has melted your brain and has retarded your power to reason
commented 2015-07-16 13:26:49 -0400

Thanks – I need that laugh. You are a mindless sheep that obviously gets fed by conservative talking points.
commented 2015-07-16 12:59:43 -0400
Progressive ideals.,…… Planned parenthood….. Selling baby parts. Spending more than you earn, ndp teaching young children how to take one up the ass, KW. Killing jobs in Alberta, RN . Starting wars all over the globe and then don’t have the nut sack to finish them. Handing Iran a bomb. It’s a long list and it all ends in communism
commented 2015-07-16 12:45:12 -0400
Jimmy, Yeah… nice jump to extremes you did there, never mind that the left has been the most racist bunch in politics throughout history. See, I can go there too.
commented 2015-07-16 12:35:48 -0400

So legalizing gay marriage is a communist plot? LOL.
commented 2015-07-16 12:34:32 -0400

Well that isn’t for you to decide. What you may think is fine just the way it is – doesn’t make it so. I am sure there are people in the south today that think having black slaves was fine the way it was and that didn’t need progressive change.
commented 2015-07-16 12:28:58 -0400
Jimmy, Being “progressive” for the sake of “making progress” is a mistake in thinking. Sometimes, we “progress” a certain aspect to a point where it is actually fine just the way it is, but then someone in the left figures it “could use improvement” for the “sake of progress”, even though again, it was fine the way it was. This “Making progress for the sake of progress” is what defines the current leftist thinking, and IS something that will one day destroy society through its ignorant use.