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Monday, 8 August 2011



Click on photos to enlarge.

A well crafted knife is a thing of beauty, a piece of art. The knife above was made by Leroy Gericke of Estcourt. Leroy engraved the blade for me with "Piscatorial dementia," fishing madness.

Several days ago Gorges of Gorges Grouse Blog, posted a piece about knives,(A Country tradition),,  the usefulness of knives and the memories they kindled in him. As with all Gorges post, well written and a pleasure to read.

After reading his post I commented that as I boy I also took a pocket knife to school, so did all the other boys. At school we compared knives, discussed the merits of different knives, as only expert school boys can. We all had theories as to which was the best knife, but most of us agreed that a Joseph Rodgers, knife was the best. We thought of our knives as tools, you were lost without your knife. Any way what would your mates think if you didn’t have a knife.

Today if a boy dared bring a knife to school he would be in big trouble. As in call the police trouble! Our school, indeed the Dept. Of Education, has strict rules regarding knifes at school. Today knives are seen as weapons not tools.

Things have changed, violence, and the use of knives in this violence has become an everyday occurrence in our schools. Two or three years ago, a high school pupil in a school near Johannesburg, brought his father’s Samurai sword to school, and decapitated a fellow pupil. How come things have changed so drastically? Fifty years ago you could trust boys with knives at school and today you can’t. Why?

I have my own theory as to why, some might agree, some might not. The whole foundation, Christian Morality, on which Western Civilization was built has been removed, or at least severely undermined. How many children in the West are still taught the Ten Commandments, with “Thou shalt not kill," being one of them. Not only taught them but taught that they were given by the ultimate lawgiver!  Instead of the Ten Commandments at school we teach them so called, Life Skills, be nice to one another.

Life is not sacred any more, children are taught at school that humans are no more than highly evolved animals, life happened on earth by chance, it is not a gift we have received from God.(I'm a teacher and that's what we have to teach them, "The Theory of Evolution," only a theory but taught as unimpeachable fact!) I tell the learners straight, "it's a load of BS."

We have replaced the Commandments with the NIKE slogan “Just do it.” One of the popular soft drinks in South Africa has the slogan, “Break the rules.”  When the rules are broken everyone is amazed.

So now we spend our time treating the symptoms. We think that passing laws against the carrying of knives and guns will prevent people killing each other. When Cain killed Abel he most likely used a rock to bash his brother’s head in. Maybe governments will pass laws against rocks next.

I own several knives, how can you go fishing without a knife, how do you get through a day without a knife? Below is  photos of two of them.  The top one is a pocket knife I use almost every day, especially when I go fishing. I don't take it to school, against the rules even for teachers. The bottom one is a sheath knife made by a friend of mine, here in town, to my specifications. Perfect for cutting biltong (jerky).

I have had the brass loop added to the handles of all my knives so that I can attached with a lanyard to my belt or my fishing vest. That way I don't leave them lying on the bank of some stream or lake after using them.

handle of this knife made from one of the antelope species, bone.


Gorges Smythe said...

I believe your thinking is correct on the causes of today's violence, Phillip. Nice knives, especially the engraved one! Thanks for the link; I appreciate it.

Pumice said...

I teach middle school. I also carried a knife as a child. With these kids I am afraid to give them a ruler because of the damage they will do with it.

You are spot on.

Grace and peace.

Joel said...

Very nice knives Phillip. I am not really a religious man, but I do agree with you. I was brought up in a Christian society and went to church regularly as a kid. There was morality taught in church and schools. People had more respect, for the church, for each other...I had knives and I had a .22 rifles by the age of 14. It would never have occured to me to threaten anyone with either. I had never heard of kids using knives to hurt each other..There has been rioting in London and many cities in the UK since last Saturday. Looting, mindless violence, fires burning, luckily, so far no one has died. But the terrible thing is: most ot the rioters and looters are kids between 13 and 17..They only have the morality of the gangs to which they belong:-(