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Community Welcome and Opening Thoughts

Fellow Victorians, I realize that this is a trying and confusing time for all of us. We live in a time of change, of expansion and innovation, but also of confusion and trouble. Our own identities are jumbled and there is no solidarity between all Victorians in the quest to become the penultimate Victorian. After my own struggles, which I will relate to you, I have come to the conclusion that that is alright. Being a Victorian means something different to us all, and our own perceptions of Victorian identity change with experience and time. So I am here to offer a place to discuss what being a Victorian means to you.

My own answer to this question has changed over the years, particular in respect to recent events within my own social circle. I used to think that being a Victorian meant denying fancy and accepting only fact. With the advent of factories and progress, I thought that this only enforced the idea that only fact advances people. Factories are the epitome of fact, with their machines and cogs, and infallible day after day routine. I took the factory mentality home, and used that process to mold my own children. They were to be the ultimate Victorians, as reliable and successful as factories, with no room for fancy or feeling. I am now deeply ashamed of myself. By denying my children room to properly develop feelings, I turned my son into a scoundrel and my daughter into an unhappy machine. I thought that a Victorian was synonymous with mechanical, but to my surprise, that was not. Lucy spent years of her life deeply unhappy. Tom spent years of his life rebelling and ended up running from the law. By looking at the family interloper who resisted my molding and is quite happy, I realize that being a Victorian does not mean buying into the factory mentality, where life goes on the same way day after day, and only caring about fact. Instead Victorians need a combination of fact and fancy, to care about progress, but not at the expense of human feelings. I am now a humbled man and must admit that my mechanical view of Victorian England was incorrect.

I can only hope that others benefit from this revelation. I hear news now of scientific advancement, and I can only hope they realize the unhappy end they will come too before it gets that far. What good can come of establishing more fact? We do not need to concentrate on learning more, but instrad should appreciate what and who we already know. No good can come of science, only more detachment from the emotion that I now know is so essential to our survival and humanity. We are not machines, we should not be made into machines, and we should abandon science before it does just that.

I have realized the dangers of expansion. I have emotionally damaged my children with my obsession for facts. I am worried about the damage that this interest in science can do. I am a Victorian.

Take heed my fellow Victorians, and please, share your tales of Victorian identity so that others may learn from our triumphs and mistakes. Introduce yourself, and let’s discuss. And please, follow the rules as outlined in the community profile.

Comments

e_bbrowning
May. 1st, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
Mr. Gradgrind, I am delighted that you have chosen to open this community. How glad I am that we will be able to discuss our issues with the narrow definition of Victorian identity in a civilized manner! I look forward to posting soon.

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What Does It Mean to be a Victorian?

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