The Exigent Duality
Lack of Fulfillment - 12:51 CDT, 1/25/21 (Sniper)
I listened to this talk last night, which judging by the political references therein took place somewhere around thirteen years ago: my does time fly. The premise of the talk can be summarized like this: "Culture Wars? What Culture?"

He interweaves plays and dialog from eons past to explain how "culture" is the ability to have leisure, which is different from "free time", and how this leisure is playful, like a feast, where people enjoy each other on the basis of their shared stories, heritages, and points of reference.

He argues that America quite literally doesn't have a culture: holidays like "Armistice Day" were moved and renamed for commercial purposes, if he were to give a talk about an American figure like John C. Calhoun half the country wouldn't even know who that was, religious values have been supplanted entirely, and so forth.

For anyone who has been reading this blog for any amount of time, these are all familiar themes.

Like so many software development groups today, at work we employ daily "stand up" meetings as part of the abomination known as "agile", and at the tail end of them one woman in particular always asks, "Did anyone do anything interesting over the weekend, or have anything fun to share?" This is universally met by crickets: silence so thick you would carve it with a cleaver.

The reasons for this is because no one on the "team" has anything in common, and they know that no matter what they say, someone else on the "team" will hold the opposite value. Inevitably then, the awkward silence is eventually salvaged by someone mentioning some vacuous modern television show, which will be forgotten in five minutes, followed by a "lowest common denominator", vapid exchange regarding the supposed merits of the show, followed in turn by the meeting ending.

It's sort of like this:

"'Every client conversation I’ve had these days is about who is going to be offended by this ad,' Rob Schwartz, chief executive officer of ad agency TBWA Chiat Day, told the Post. 'There’s a lot of discussion about risk mitigation. What that tends to do is that it makes things very bland and not effective, or it forces you to look at universal topics like hope or humor.'"

If that doesn't sound like video games or music or video games these days-- "bland and not effective"-- then I don't know what does. Today, it's impossible to even make a television commercial which appeals to "Americans", because there is no such thing as an "American" anymore. Interestingly, "get woke, go broke" is even taking hold: right now, you'd think we live in Nigeria, the ads have so many black people and so few white people in them, something which will probably begin to revert soon.

Of course, this societal implosion is all the fault of the Left, which has been deliberately subverting its own nation's culture for decades now-- 2:05 mark of this video:

"'...comedy has often been used as a subversive way of challenging predominant social structures,' she adds, arguing that because comedy has a history of challenging taboo social issues, abortion 'is even intuitive new ground for comedy to address.'"

I wonder if there has ever been a culture before now which was intentionally subverting itself? "The greatest threats are often from within", as the saying goes.

My particular household is completely atomized: my wife and I constantly police what comes into the house, and our children are only allowed to watch shows or YouTube content which wifey and I have explicitly reviewed and whitelisted. It's also why we home school, as we violently disagree with much of what is taught in schools today. It's like we're foreigners in our own land, with our home being its own little country!

Even for introverts such as ourselves, this never-ending social isolation is distressing.

Of course, radical Leftists will read this and celebrate: "Ha ha, look at the poor little snowflake white supremacist Nazi, he should feel isolated!" Except that the Leftists are even more atomized than are Conservatives: cultural demolition is a blade which cuts both ways; the most miserable people I know are on the Left, and this huge vacuum they've created in their own souls is why they are so susceptible to so many idiotic ideas and ideologies.

This also explains why the Left have gone full-on authoritarian:

"These aren't the only divisions. Since we declared our society to be pluralistic, there is no culture or right way. There is only many cultures and values systems attempting to co-exist, which leads to a lowest common denominator.

That LCD is the basics of modern life: we all want jobs, products to buy, friends to make and sexual partners and/or life companions. Beyond that, compatibility in values vanishes. Not everyone believes in family, or conventional morality, or even the idea of there being more to life than material consumption.

Naturally, this idea doesn't work, because for a group to work together it will have either a clear sense of shared purpose, or lots of rules and nanny-Stasi to administer them. We've gone the route of the latter."

Contemporary Leftism is the administration of faux "shared" values, enforced by a bayonet for lack of any other option.

Let's end with a personal anecdote: as a child growing up in the 1980s, my very favorite people were those who were in their sixties and seventies at the time-- so, those born in the 1910s and 1920s. "Old people" back then had this sort of quiet wisdom about them, a sort of rational calmness. For example, my first grade school bus driver and I used to talk about "Star Trek", and all sorts of other things, as he shuttled me and the other kids to and from school.

At one point as I aged-- I was probably in my twenties when it really struck me-- I remember wondering to myself, "What ever happened to all of the old people? The ones today aren't like the ones I remember as a child." Now at just shy of age forty, it's only gotten worse: today when I have conversations with people presently in their sixties or seventies, they're just as dopey and inane as the "Millennials"!

It's like instead of living sixty years, they've lived one year sixty times over: they have no wisdom to share, no richness of experience, no interesting stories to tell...

Maybe those now long-dead elders from my childhood were the last of their kind, the final carriers of culture...

In any event, time to wrap up this post so I can return to my sedentary day job of increasing the share price of a multi-billion dollar international conglomerate by one thousandth of one cent.