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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Tue. 09/23/08 12:36:57 PM
The Will to Survive
Do we still have it?
A trio of essays that go together.
First, The Drumbeat by William Staneski at American Thinker, Sep. 20:
The drumbeat. It's always there. Day and night. Rain or shine. Winter or Summer. Sunday or Monday. It comes at you from every direction. It comes over the TV, the radio, at work, at school, in music, in the newspapers, from the politicians, in conversation with others, even in church. It wears you down. It robs you of the will to resist its message. Even short-lived victories, which stop it briefly, leave you with the knowledge that it will return; each minor victory bound to be lost to the redoubled efforts of this patient and persistent force. You can't escape it. It never stops. It never gives up. It never ends. It rains upon you from every possible angle, from every possible source.
It's the drumbeat of the left. It is political, philosophical, theological, and social. It pervades every activity. It is post-structural, post-modern, post-everything in the parlance of the day. It is tolerant, diverse, non-judgmental, non-discriminatory, egalitarian, politically correct, multicultural, globalist, and collectivist. It insists that there are no rights and wrongs, no moral absolutes. It turns everything upside down in its looking glass world. It denies the correctness of all that produced what our culture revered before the deconstruction of the world in accordance with the tenets of cultural Marxism.
It denies God, human exceptionalism, and the soul. We are reduced to Darwinian animals floundering in an amoral sea of meaninglessness. It is a product of the nihilistic, existentialist philosophical movement, which went hand in hand with modern art, atonal music, scientific materialism and modern physics, and the generally discordant nature of the twentieth century....
Next, The Undefended City by Bill Whittle at National Review Online, Sep. 19:
.... I live a few miles from Santa Monica High School, in California. There, young men and women are taught that America is “a terrorist nation,” “one of the worst regimes in history,” that it’s twice-elected leader is “the son of the devil,” and dictator of this “fascist” country. Further, “patriotism” is taught by dragging an American flag across the classroom floor, because the nation’s truest patriots, as we should know by now, are those who are most able to despise it.
This is only high school, remember: in college things get much, much worse.
Two generations, now, are being raised on this poison, and the reason for that is this: the enemies of this city cannot come out and simply say, “Do not defend the city.” Even the smartest among us can see that is simple treason. But they can say, “The City is not worth defending.” So they say that, and they say that all the time and in as many different ways as they are able.
If you step far enough back to look at the whole of human history, you will begin to see a very plain rhythm: a heartbeat of civilization. Steep climbs out of disease and ignorance into the light of medicine and learning — and then a sudden collapse back into darkness. And it is in that darkness that most humans have lived their lives: poor, nasty, brutish, and short.*
The pattern is always the same: at the height of a civilization’s powers something catastrophic seems to occur — a loss of will, a failure of nerve, and above all an unwillingness to identify with the values and customs that have produced such wonders....
Finally, The Legion of Narcissists and the Confederation of Despair by Pat Santy at her Dr. Sanity weblog, today:
.... As Whittle notes, these days, Hollywood has become the propaganda arm of the political left and the Democrats.
Once upon a time, I thought that movies, literature and art had the goal of entertaining people through the selective recreation of reality, and could inspire and motivate us to a greater appreciation and experience of life.
Really great art stands on its own, without any agenda (to paraphrase Sigmund, Carl and Alfred). What we have exemplified in the anti-American selections that Hollywood chooses to celebrate is not great art at all, but art appropriated for the purpose of advocating and disseminating a political agenda. This is what the Soviet Union used to do with all the statues and posters and paintings and "art" that depicted the beefy proletariat workers with their "new" consciousness, standing around proudly to attest to the wondrous glory of Soviet life.
It didn't really convince anyone even then except the propaganda experts who created it.
Likewise, the intellectual heirs of the Soviet propaganda experts who now live in "Hollywood"; along with all the rest of the artistic and intellectual elite of the West, have developed a creative alternative to the old Soviet realism style which despite its fundamental propaganda style, at least tried to project something positive ("real but fake" you could say).
The agenda of the new propagandists' art is not to "glorify" anything, or at least not to depict anything positively. On the contrary, the current crop of elites seek to destroy and deconstruct the underlying values of the West, for which they feel a profound contempt. The ideology that drives them has failed to create the socialist utopia they yearn for; so now in their despair and spite, their art has evolved to capture and expose the anti-life, anti-beauty, anti-reason, and generally anti-human threads of their souls....
* The phrase is from Thomas Hobbes.
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