In my Saturday post on the toxicity of a life of ironic posturing, I talked about the modern hipster who “goes with the flow” regardless of where it’s headed; declares that “perception is reality” without realising that amounts to saying “nothing is real anyway”; and affirms that ideals are things “you’ll grow out of” while not noticing that without them they have become grown-ups who neither know what they are doing nor care.*
It’s like they live their whole life within the “narrative” they’ve created in their head
Even while I was posting that, such a man of our postmodern age was being voted into the job of Canadian Prime Minister, putting the capstone (says one commentator) on “the ‘idiotized’ culture” for the members of whom even their “beliefs” come with ironic inverted commas:
“While Mr. Trudeau [the new Prime Minister] is the product of two political families—his father was prime minister—he came to politics late, after working as a snowboard instructor.”
His promises of “hope and change” may be content-free, for the time being, but I’m sure he “believes” in the drivel he is mouthing. I expect he will prove more used than using, as his government agenda falls into place.
These people, this drivel, is “the phenomenon of our times. They are its triumph:
Perhaps I should explain what I mean by “drivel.” I could write “lies,” but these are only possible to those who have criteria for the truth. Drivel is what people talk who have no such criteria. The fact that what they’re saying may be true, or untrue, is of no significance to them. It is enough that it sounds plausible. The truthful man knows when he is lying; the postmodern man neither knows nor cares. He can believe himself “good,” as drivellers will do, because truth doesn’t come into it.
The old-style politician told knowing lies. The new-style politician doesn’t know what “lies” are. He uses the term rhetorically, against anything he doesn’t want to hear. The old-style politician would back down when confronted with the truth. The new-style politician doesn’t know what you are talking about. He assumes you are only trash-talking him.
These people live largely in the postmodern worlds of their imaginations, adrift--like those who vote for them--in a sea of narrative. The politicians like them, for whom the narrative is all —Obama, Malcolm Turnbull, Hillary (to whom what happened in Benghazi is less important than ‘winning the narrative’) --they are only the symptom…
“The people” believe in drivel, too, as they have just proved. As I’ve mentioned before, a growing percentage of the general voting population has been morally and intellectually debilitated—“idiotized” is my preferred term—by postmodern media and education, and by spiritual neglect within (often broken) postmodern homes. Large vested interests can lead them by the nose, even while they imagine themselves victims of conspiracy.
Yet when reality awkwardly intrudes upon their dreaming, as it so often does, these idiotized folk are left impotent to address it.
They truly know less than they did when they were children.