These are two words which appear to have no current relevance. They may now join the plethora of English words which have passed their sell-by date such as fizgig, gadzooks and doxy. The positive attributes they once indicated are no more.
One might find an excuse for the passing of the former if it implied that all females had to abide by the Victorian ideal of ‘lady’. It doesn’t and never did. The talent of ‘swooning’ to order has vanished along with the ever-present handbag accessory of smelling salts but I’m not sure that screaming at your child in Tescos and swearing like a three-badge stoker while you light up a spliff are tolerable substitutes.
Many witnessed the modern idea of sportsmanship displayed by Brazilian Neymar in the 2018 World Cup, or by members of the sandpaper squad in the Australian cricket team, or Lance Armstrong’s substance abuse in the Tour de France. These are insupportable but there is a wide-spread attitude that tactical fouls; diving; Hand-of-God Maradona incidents; claiming throw-ins, corners, penalties etc. when a player knows he’s lying, are now perfectly acceptable. They are not: cheating is cheating and has no place in sport.
The excuse often is, ‘well there’s so much money at stake nowadays’ as if this were a justification. The cream of footballers already earn as much in ten days at the average citizen in Europe earns in ten years and they are often the ones setting the example.
Naturally one sees a reduction in morals when the ideas of God and Heaven are in retreat. I am not a believer in either but if you are certain there is no hell or punishment for bad behaviour then what’s the point in behaving ‘correctly’ if you lose by it? How many Muslim ‘martyrs’ would there be if the guarantee of virgins in Paradise could be proved a lie?
Plato believed that Man wanted to be virtuous, which is probably true of the majority but unfortunately it is the minority that plagues us. Witness the security performances at airports necessitated by a few crazies. ‘Virtue is its own reward’ won’t cut the mustard any longer.
What is the answer? Is there an answer? If you have any decent ideas pass them on. We are in desperate need.
We don’t want to put females on pedestals but it would be nice to see parents setting an example to their offspring. Those who believed and acted as ‘ladies’ always had the power to curb the behaviour of their men and their young.
Maradona’s and Neymar’s actions should be reviled not lauded and similar performances should hit the criminal where it hurts – in the pay packet along with a big dose of man shaming. End of rant.