“Archaic” Ain’t An Insult

Kid Williams dares you to call his style of fighting "archaic" in that snide tone again.

Kid Williams dares you to call his style of fighting “archaic” in that snide tone again.

You hear it all the time. “The pope’s views,” “the idea of chivalry,” and “traditional” anything…they’re so archaic.

Running a blog based on the idea that men of the past have much to teach us about responsible living, we at the Broom Factory balk at this usage of the term “archaic.” Like its cousin, “medieval,” the word confuses “old” with “backwards” or even “evil” to imply that, because something has its origin in the past, it does not belong in the present. Phooey. Here’s a brief list of some archaic beauties:

  • Classical studies (anyone here able to quote Virgil as well as any educated 19th-Century-er?)
  • Farm-based communities
  • Silence
  • Books without an “e-” in front of them
  • Reading the newspaper at breakfast
  • Reverence for…anything
  • Appreciation of sincerity over irony/mockery
  • Beethoven
  • Socrates
  • Shakespeaere
  • Cursive
  • Cathedrals

Archaic Means Old-Fashioned

If all you know about something is that it is “archaic,” the worst thing you could deduce would be that it is out of fashion. Hardly an insult in today’s world. Recall that fashionableness is neither a necessary pro nor a definite con (though a nostalgic few might argue the latter).

These suits are indeed archaic, yet the “fashion” standard is still well above the average businessman’s today.

All that fashion grants is a ready audience. It may be more fashionable to be a graphic artist than a broom-stitcher, but graphic design does not make one of greater character, personality, or even taste than does broomwork. It is merely a job that is in vogue (with good cause, no doubt). Still, remember that any fashion is set by the wider culture, the same one that glorifies Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo and “John Carter of Mars.” Hardly an esoteric inner ring.

The Take-Home

And since we’re giving a nod to the archaic today, why not take it home in a briefcase rather than your iPhone?

  1. You don’t need to judge your value as a husband on whether your acts of love are Pinterest-worthy. Please, please don’t.
  2. Your parents, grandparents, and other older people can mentor you, and just because they may say things that don’t fit in today’s culture at-large, you needn’t throw the old man out with the bathwater, as it were.
  3. Using language such as “archaic,” medieval,” or even “country” and “redneck,” teaches a sort of dismissiveness in thought to your children. Hardly laudable.
  4. You don’t know what archaic types of love your dear ones would cherish, but you risk not showing love by relegating these types to the junk pile because they are outmoded.
  5. History is a trove of lessons on the heroic, the humble, and even the divine, and the sort of mind that ignores the “archaic” fails to experience much of the greatness of this temporal world.