Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monasteries of the Mind

Here's some excellence from Victor Davis Hanson, writing for the National Review and commenting on the culture in Monasteries of the Mind:

The Oscar awards? It too has become cultural Newspeak, with limited themes and scripted vocabulary. Watching hours of multimillionaires gushing about their own psychodramas was always trying, but in the age of Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, and Maureen O’Hara, the stars at least showed some dignity and authentic eccentricity. Now entertainment awards ceremonies are mostly predictable rants, as if career success required speaking “truth” to power in a collective Two Minutes Hate exercise condemning the president, who serves as our new Emmanuel Goldstein. How odd that liberalism became elites’ groupthink about equality — or perhaps not so odd at all, given Orwell’s observation that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Hanson suggests a parallel with the Roman Empire. As it became increasingly globalized, frenetic and devoid of surety and meaning, people opted out; to Stoicism, for example, and later on to the monastic life. Likewise today, in the face cultural inanity people are switching off. 

When everything is politicized, everything is monotonous; nothing is interesting. There are only so many ways one can express existential hatred for Trump, turn the Aztecs into the Founding Fathers, or show disrespect for the National Anthem (Kneeling? Or clenched fist held high? Or just sitting? Or turning one’s back? Or talking over the music?). So millions tune out and retreat to reading what was written before 1980, or to watching movies of a past age or seeking their own tribal ties of the mind.

Hanson concludes his quick stroll through the progressive left's garden of the inanities by describing the newly erected Aztec totem in his hometown.

I went into what once was our sleepy hometown the other day. An Aztec totem devoted to Coatlicue, the earth-mother goddess, portrayed as a paean to noble farm workers, sits in the old park. The huge monolith is sculpted quite well and by a talented former colleague at CSU Fresno. Its dedication was widely reported; no one was so rude as to mention that Coatlicue was a fierce mother goddess to whom captives were sacrificed each year. (She wore a necklace of human hearts and hands and a cloak of skin.) But identity-politics art is never free from overt propaganda: The modern epigraph atop our Coatlicue reads “Viva la Raza” (“Long live the Race”). I don’t recall anyone in the city’s supposed illiberal past ever suggesting that “Long live the race” would have been an acceptable epigraph on any city art.

Right on the money and you can read the whole thing here, but be warned. The author appears to have a fondness for the disturbing and possibly repellent Joan Baez. Coatlicue is a kind of female snake demon.

God bless,



LL said...

A female snake demon is an appropriate totem for the Democrat Party. Do you think that they'll trade in the ass?

LindaG said...

Seeing that Kingston Trio ballad was a surprise. My favorite group growing up.
I didn't read the whole report though. Almost bed time.

I've heard that some city in Arkansas was going to put up a statue of the Devil smiling at two children smiling up at him. So why not a snake lady?

Good post, Parson. Thank you.

LSP said...

LL, the Ass Donkey has bad slavery connotations so I'd wager they're looking for a replacement. What better than a female deity worshiped by people of color? And a snake demon to boot. Apt, eh?

LSP said...

Thanks, Linda. And for sure, the satanists are doing pretty well lately. Maybe they'll think twice when they wake up and there's a demon gnawing on their elbow.

Mattexian said...

I think I'd rather not let the lefties claim another symbol. They've taken the rainbow and made it synonymous with their Pride. Compare that with the snakes on our Revolutionary banners, which were resurrected as national symbols after the 9/11 attacks, but once the bipartisan support of that waned, those banners became aligned with conservative groups, such that displaying one earns the scorn of SPLC and other red diaper doper babies.