It’s hard to get everything right, in fact, humility and wisdom recognize you must already have some things wrong. So, which things?
Better to spend more time thinking such thoughts, though what gets one’s blood up enough to write, even, alas, blog posts, is pettier stuff.
Meanwhile, in the Valley of Self, onward ride the avant-garde, merging the arts with rather naked political ideology:
The other day, on the subway, I observed an American male in contemporary business-casual costume. The color of his trousers was richly nondescript.
Urban anthropology and woke cultural criticism is a burgeoning field. All you have to do is start putting people into identity categories, good and evil, oppressed and oppressor, and you too can get published in the New Yorker.
Better be in a favored identity category, regardless of your talents.
Zoe Satchel is searching for Self through ideological and group membership, environmental awareness, and inward-looking re-affirmation within communities of identity. She is a leading popularizer, writer and communicator.
She can take these games up to 11 (this is very serious business, and she is very real):
‘Bodies juxtaposed in the space-time of Wall Street echo the dialectic of power. Who is this Ralph Lauren? Are you his ball or will you become the mallet?’
-Zoe Satchel from ‘Humans Being, Humanity Adrift’
— Chris Navin (@chris_navin) May 11, 2019
Ralph Lauren logo here.
Just as many old-guard institutional members of the liberal arts and humanities were overrun by the radical, righteous ideologues of their day, many companies and regular citizens, sooner or later, deal with the consequences.
Politics, ‘culture,’ the arts, and the social sciences are attracting many people who already have a core set of beliefs, ideas and assumptions, and the totalizing true-believers often have undue influence amongst them.
Maybe the popular ‘narrative’ of the 60’s being about personal freedom and individual Self-expression has helped lead to many of the current political and institutional failures, though many rates of change have increased dramatically, often much faster than our insitutions, traditions and laws.
It’s often seemed to me like we were living off the grain in the storehouse. But that may or may not be true.
As posted, here is an interesting piece of a larger puzzle:
Subject: ‘Is England Still Influencing America?’ on Hitchens’ book ‘Blood, Class, & Nostalgia: Anglo-American Ironies‘ when Hitchens’ was pushing the idea that ’empire’ was the primary transmission, apparently due to his ideological commitments at the time. America must have seemed a classless paradise with institutions well-functioning and ripe to achieve justice and equality for the whole world…for some folks in the Generation of ’68.
*Includes the Firing Line opening theme of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 (those damned Germans influencing us) followed by a Michael Kinsley introduction (founding editor of Slate, which has since gone more progressive under current management).