Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Personal Aside: The President We Deserve.
It will have been said of us one day that we elected the president we richly deserve. The reason Barack Obama won was that his followers resent absolutes hierarchical and authoritative. That goes particularly for authoritative religion which the Enlightenedmostly the media--despise. This is a secular state. The other day when Justice Scalia spoke and invoked God the media looked at themselves questioningly. Violation of church and state? Only the primitives go to authoritative churches like the benighted evangelicals or the one in four Catholics who attend weekly mass.
Oh, you CAN go to church (actually its good to hear about love-love-love and civil rights, as per the Rotary Club). But what the majority of Americans now hate with a fury is definite moral strictures on things. That smacks of primitive superstition. Where once this country was founded on bedrock Christianity with few exceptions from the pilgrims to the abolitionist moralists (Jefferson being the major dissenter) our people now believe science has left agnosticism as the only respectable intellectual position. This is the unspoken credo of the media and the jocular late-night talk show hosts who are so very-very-very clever and cynical. They all imply: Freud, Marx and Darwin have triumphed over the believers.
We elected the president we deserve because he is cool. But also because he is black. That makes us feel good. Take a look at the slouching, grinning guitarist on the Moosejaw show (Jay Leno). Seeing him strum, seeing them defiant seeing Obama trotting up the steps makes us feel so tolerant, filled with a smarmy hypocritical version of brotherly love to replace morals. Obamas church was involved in only two absolutes: hate whitey and wheres the largesse for us? But media have made us forget that. Now we all feel so good about ourselvesbecause of him.
How enlightened this is next to the old bygone verities. You know the bromides our grandparents believed in: mans inclinations are to seek the good, including the highest good, eternal happiness with God (so out of date) to preserve himself in existence (no room for death with dignity) to preserve the species i.e. to unite sexually (no room for homosexuality) to live in community with others (no reference to sexist mal-authority) to use his intellect and will to know the truth and thereby to make his own decisions (smacks of God).
By this 5-pronged standard Christianity is largely out-of-date. When we enlightened ones discard it we all feel liberated, although we dont care to recall that it presents massacre of the unborn, intolerance of people who love the old ways, destructive pride in ourselves, the feeling that, after all, there is nothing worth dying for, a kind of insidious pleasure in confronting the pitiless nature of man. Time was when the unifying creed was Americas culture; but these times are different and America has no significant culture but rock music. It has great appeal; barbaric appeal to sexual wantonness, undeveloped and untutored. The young understand that rock has the cadence of sexual intercourse and they revel in the industry that develops the taste for orgiastic state of orgasm associated with sex, celebrating puppy love and polymorphous attractions that shield them from traditional shame. The good thing is that it is LOUD. Obviating much of shared speech that Aristotle insisted is the only common ground. No-no. What is real is the grunt, bodily contact, a throwback to cannibalism and gladiatorial combats.
The credo that succeeds moralistic absolutes is rock and increasingly the self longing for a world without constraint antinomianism which will overcome the ancient codes that restrict and supplant them with free sexual expressing, anarchism as what happened years ago at Woodstock, the drug-induced mining of the unconscious and giving it free rein. What we strive to become in this new society is like Mick Jagger now old but still very-very relevant passions plaything, a demon satyr, unencumbered by modesty. Yes that is what we have become. And we have just elected our Messiah who with his stylish black wife showed no concern about unwanted infants born from botched abortions dying in hospitals dirty linen closets. No-no-no, we dont want to think about these things. Better to concentrate on the living not dying things education, for instance: not moralizing to children against their instincts but linking between what they feel and what they want to be. Thats education, not Western Civ.
Thats why in this new age of Obama we will all become even more tolerant overcoming the shibboleth that culture should preserve the dominance of heterosexual white males overturning the old dogma that American culture should be Eurocentric denying that this toleration shall mean the slowing of economic productivity, the vulgarization of scholarship. What do we do when we kind of recognize there should be a religion of some sort but reason by itself cant find it? We turn to us. We are the change weve been waiting for! Does that strike a chord? We turn to creative, artistic manman passionately involved in Self: Pascals wager no longer based on Gods existence but in our own desire to be happy. We have seen it with our own Dear Leader: by innate human greatness man can attract followers, organize whole societies, provide inspiration and devise a culture neither reason nor religion can supply. Yes we ARE the change weve been waiting for!
Items of change: taxes on the rich go up (hooray!) the income threshold which defines rich goes down (media dont report this: boring). With tax rates on incomes over $250,000. Andanother hooray!-95% of all Americans will get a tax cut! Many of them pay either very little or no federal income taxes at all so they will get a demi-grant (hooray!). Meaning that everyone who pays payroll taxes will get $500. (Hooray!). If you federal income tax is less than $500 youll get the balance via government check (Hooray!).
On judicial appointments, the Supreme Court will likely change harshly liberal, harshly pro-abort in one fell swoop with the mortality tables (John Paul Stevens, 88; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75; Antonin Scalia, 72; Anthony Kennedy, 72; Stephen Breyer, 70; David Souter, 69). With the Congress the first step will be reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine. As the nasal-Brooklyn accented Chuck Schumer says: what the hell, if you favor censorship against porno, to be consistent you must accept a radio stations requirement that liberal talk shows are equally billed with conservative ones. The fact that liberal talk shows dont sell is immaterial: apply affirmative action.
Tocqueville predicted the end will come with a soft form of despotism to suffuse society in rules that sound good, look good look so calm and relaxed like our new president-elect that we will accept servitude of the regular, quiet and gentle kind. Thats us. 1789 to now where we make the big change.
We made the big decision last night. The men and women who died in Iraq trying to support democracy? Well be out of there quick and their sacrifice will be forgotten. Servitude of the state of the regular, quiet and gentle kind the kind we dont notice as we all sway our bodies to the banal rock music in simulated intercourse. We have a young president who is trim and athletic. Cool and calm. Speaks so comfortingly. Spread of nihilist attitudes is the logical extension of self-indulgence, prosperity that has weaned us from God. Nietzschean nihilism has now become nihilism American style.
Knowing Baracks in charge makes us feel so good so good so good. Hooray for us.