The Observers: Kneeling, advertising, beauty

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Opinions of those whose opinions matter.

Kneeling in the Church of Social Justice. Over the past several years, a social justice philosophy has arisen that is less a political program than a religion in all but name. Where Christianity calls for people to display their moral worth through faith in Jesus, modern Third-Wave Antiracism (henceforth TWA) calls for people to display their moral worth through opposition to racism. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, this vision has increasingly been expressed through procedures, routines, and phraseology directly patterned on Abrahamic religion.

Merchants of Misery. This rampage of today does not constitute something new, well, except in its unashamed and open virulence and violence. For years and years, we have seen the left take over institutions, major and minor, gut them, and rebuild them into something quite different–think, for one, Boy Scouts. The universities, quite critically, have become a shadow of their former selves. Once great establishments of learning and preservation of Western culture, they now purvey dangerous, destructive nonsense. We have produced several generations of hostile illiterates. We see the results of this “dumbing down” not just on the streets, but in other institutions that recruit from universities: the schools, the police, the military, the intelligence services, the mass media, and, of course, the entertainment industry.

The modern world of advertising. No more morally corrupt, fundamentally dishonest, cynically manipulative and socially destructive occupation exists in this sad imperfect world than the modern advertising business, whose damaging effects upon civilization far surpass those inflicted by the oldest profession, by public education and by democratic politics, which it closely resembles and of which it is a vital and indispensable appendage.

Even though I should know better, I still experience a sense of disbelief about what’s going on. Some days I wake up and it takes a while for it to hit me that so many Americans seem to have lost their minds. What I’m referring to is the fact that half the country seems to be willing to vote for the Democrats to perpetuate this sort of thing, Democrats who advocate (or fail to oppose) the most radical proposals ever to air in America. These voters are either unaware of what’s going on with the party or are okay with it all. They also are willing to vote for someone who is quite literally suffering from dementia, has a history of political corruption, has not answered off-the-cuff questions, may not agree to a debate, and will be a couple of weeks from his 78th birthday come Election Day.

Master Cleanse. While protesters pour into the streets, raise their voices, and lobby their representatives to change the status quo, self-help social justice encourages too many of these highly educated, financially secure, socially liberal, and politically engaged women—women who, not for nothing, make up one of the nation’s most influential voting blocs—to take themselves out of the equation. Instead, at this pivotal moment in our nation’s history, in an election year, they are dutifully doing the “work” of staring at their own unflattering reflections. Forever on a journey to nowhere, unpacking and repacking the invisible knapsack, journaling through their guilt while the world burns outside.

The Postmodern Desire to Ruin Beauty. I have grown weary of those who take beautiful things and drag them down to levels of tawdriness. Of course, tawdry is as tawdry does. Think of how many people, especially young people, have rarely experienced beautiful things. From childhood on, they have been thrown into an ugly, noisy world where everything flashes, bangs, and screams its message. Everything they hear is amplified. Everything they see flies by like the wind. The words said and sung are shallow, unfulfilling, or demeaning. Concepts like contemplation, transcendence, and beauty are presented as undesirable, weak, or boring.

~ Al Desko

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