I’m troubled, as in personally, by what’s going on in the U.S. right now. On both sides. We had a campaign with two unacceptable candidates. Then, we inaugurated Trump, a tremendously coarse and backward-looking figure. Now, the nation is enthused by a massive protest action whose discourse is equally coarse and whose foundational principle is opposition, rather than affirmation or advocacy.
It is a time of negation, and of negations of negations. It is a time in which literally no one is taking the high road. Obama was a good man and a good president, but at the same time did not rise to the level of statesman. He was a moral, judicious technocrat—and we are lucky to have had him—but he was not a wise elder.
The wise elders seem to have disappeared from the nation, and thus, from the political process as well. I suppose the baby boomer generation is the problem here; they lack the gravitas of the World War II generation, as well as the generosity. They, too, were an in-opposition-to; a generation of negation, rather than of affirmation.
We are tearing the whole thing down, brick by brick, and pointing long, self-awareness-free fingers of blame at one another as we do it. It will not end well. I worry about my children.
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Simple joys. The simple joys seem to be forgotten, lost to the culture. They are, ironically, considered somehow morally decadent. Our joys are meant to consist of electric automobiles, community organizing, exotic organics, cutting-edge crowdsourced recycling, and so on.
Speaking of, here is the WOTD: Orient Sparta EV0N001A. Maybe I’ll start posting these from time to time. © Aron Hsiao / 2016
There is little room on the moral calendar for such indulgences as a cup of tea. Making snowmen. Building little toys from wood. Wearing and winding a wristwatch. Reading a Robert Frost poem. Writing a letter to a friend.
These things were fine for those living in other eras, but now Rome burns. They must be stopped, by whatever means necessary. The world is about to end.
The stench of millennialism and the trappings of the apocalyptic cult are everywhere, with everyone vying to bring about their own image of the apocalypse.
For too many people, the world is devoid of simple joys, or at the very least, perspective has been lost on their centrality to being. Mortality has hidden itself away as never before; everyone is savior to the world, rather than a mere mortal who won’t live to see the second coming.
Chop wood. Carry water.
In good times, the people who focus on such things are seen as eccentrics. In times like these, they are seen as the insane and the immoral.
And that is bad. It is bad for everyone.