Our two churches, Hollywood and Christianity, are erupting in sex scandals that nonetheless leave most of the perpetrators working, rich, and powerful and the victims obscured. Trump is president and is likely to win a second term. The Wall Street masters of the universe crashed the global economy, got off entirely free, and are now richer than ever. The most vicious side in any court battle wins the day, ethics be damned. Vacuous, totalitarian social justice warriors are destroying our colleges and free speech. Nazis march in the streets, Antifa pelts them with molotov cocktails and bricks to incite the race war that the Nazis want to bring, and the police shoot willy-nilly at everyone. Meanwhile, anyone who feels disempowered plans a mass shooting for Friday while eight-year-old kids in record numbers want to lop off their genitals.
Good people are nowhere to be found in public because public life is a warzone. Good people are, in fact, being erased from private life as well.
How did we get here?
We got here by making primordial values out of:
- Being an individual
- Expressing your inner self loud and proud
- Always thinking outside the box
- Preferring to break the rules
- Being the squeaky wheel
- Refusing to be be silent and demanding to be heard
- Passionate activism
- Winning at any cost
- Daring to be different
- Always standing out from the pack
- Rejecting conventional wisdom
- Refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer
- Calling all compromise ‘complicity’ from the start
Don’t give me bullshit about the list above. These are our deepest-held, most-dearly-embraced values. They are also the core being of narcissistic assholes, the personality disordered, the resentful, past-bound broken, and the wiltingly, longingly wishful. They are in some sense a reflection of capitalism and open society, but they are pathological, a solarized-posterized, Andy Warhol version of this combination.
So long as this is what we tell young people to aspire to, and so long as this is what we most admire and reward in others, this is the society we will get, and this is who will rise to the top.