Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Enlightenment?  §

I happened to play “Fireflies” for the first time in my car, driving with the kids.

My daughter absolutely fell in love with it. “That song is so great! I love it!” she said, when it finished playing. She was glowing. She’d had a genuine moment.

I kept my eyes on the road and just about cried.

— § —

We’re failing our children. They start out understanding things, being able to see beauty and intuitively presuming meaning, and then they grow up and become Lena Dunham.

That sucks, as an outcome.

We go out of our way to pull the rug out from under them. By the time they are adults, they will realize that there is nothing particularly meaningful to hold onto, to place at the center of their lives. Not family, those are temporary “arrangements” that last until they become irritating and impinge on personal development, at which point they’re replaced by FWBs. Not God, that’s just a prejudicial myth (I say this as someone that, friends know, is not exactly a religious person). Not true, rooted community or the public body of the nation, those are also prejudicial and have been replaced by Walmart and Best Buy.


© Aron Hsiao / 2003

The “enlightened” spend many hours teaching them that the meaning of life is recycling, saving the whales, stardust, yoga, tolerance, the celebration of “diversity,” the “community” that they find at the farmer’s market and meetup.com, and “becoming your best self.”

I’m sorry, but these things are absolute crap as the meanings for life, as things to hold onto, as reasons to get up in the morning, or as things to look back on at the end of life.

And at some level, shallow or very deep, we all know it. And so (we all know this, too) the emptiness and pain get displaced into various forms of literate irony and wink-wink posturing in the case of the lucky and well off, or into opiate and anti-depressant addiction in the case of the less lucky and less well off.

Tada! Lena Dunam. It’s not by accident; she’s a symptom of the ultimate vacuity of what the enlightened folk are marching around calling “meaningful”—of the world that we have built around our selves.

Seriously, it’s crap. And it pains me that this is all I can leave my daughter and son. I’m not concerned about “the kind of world” that I or even we leave them; I’m concerned about “the sense of their place in the universe” and “the nature of things” that they cannot help but settle for in our modern era.

How I wish that she could just listen to lovely music and be six years old forever.

How I wish that we could fix this crap and stop f***ing around with stupid postmodern forms of “enlightenment” that are really just lies that emotionally damaged people tell themselves so as to not fall to pieces until they’re on their death beds and it doesn’t matter anyway.