Lilek’s smackdown of Arkin is great, but my favorite line comes before Lileks gets to it – it’s about the sixties:
the 60s aren’t seen as The Past; the 60s are a Timeless Vault of Cultural Touchstones, the apotheosis of Western Civ.
Indeed, nowadays a day doesn’t go by without one having to hear the present-day rehashing of 1960s “counterculture values”:
- that tired, old, narcissistic war protestors are speaking “truth to power” when they are actually basking in their own reflections
- that we’re fighting a war in a far-away place, and that it’ll never affect us, even when it obviously does
- that running away won’t have any adverse consequences
- that “saving the earth” matters more than saving unborn children because it’s “our bodies, our selves”
- that “world music” and chick lit are better than anything Dead White Men ever produced
- that angry spinsters bestow deranged women “absolute moral authority” to go kiss petty tyrants in Latin America
- that global orgasms will bring about peace because “all you need is love” (and gad, was there ever a more hollow sentiment than “all you need is love”?)
- that we shouldn’t worry so much about Iran and pay attention to what’s really important – global warming
- that Judeo-Christian values should be despised for the sake of “diversity”
- that America is the cause, alpha and omega, of all evil.
I was hearing this crap back when I was a young fool thirty or forty years ago and, much water under the bridge later, it is disheartening that so many are STILL so deluded.
As Barry Casselman says, the West is in a trance
I am increasingly convinced that the West is in denial of what is truly happening in the world. This self-delusion is the most dangerous response possible to the intense and rapid change all over the planet. This self-denial takes many forms, including obsessions with abstract issues of little real consequence, e.g., animal rights, capital punishment, celebrity gossip, political correctness, etc. It is accompanied by the rise of secular mandates and the suppression of spiritual values. It exhibits excesses of greed that threaten both capitalism and representative government.
The malign forces that conspire against the West (in contrast to the benign forces which only wish to compete with it), however, are not paralyzed. They are moving and growing at great speed.
Pat Santy looks at the myths that fuel the Left’s denial. Neo-neocon examines the political anger firing up the upsurge in Romanticism
There’s an interesting socioeconomic trend to Romanticism: it’s a philosophy that seems to attract a surprising number of the more well-to-do and well-educated
All of these elements are part of the present-day trance.
That the denial is taking the form of 1960s superficiality only adds insult to injury. Those malign forces Casselman mentions don’t simply wait.
Now go read Jeremayakovka, and try to wake up, if you may.