“A civilization, when the moment has come for crowds to acquire a high hand over it, is at the mercy of too many chances to endure for long. Could anything postpone for a while the hour of its ruin, it would be precisely the extreme instability of the opinions of crowds and their growing indifference and lack of respect for all general beliefs.”
― Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind
“Nothing really matters much, it's Doom alone that counts...”-Bob Dylan,'Shelter from the Storm'
Decadence is not the same as “Wake and Bake”.
It's not synonymous with Homosexuality, or even Promiscuity.
I define it, after Toynbee and Barzun, as Cultural Exhaustion, with a concurrent inability to Discern the Real....the Important.
Exhaustion with keeping up, with being Informed...a weariness with trying to Better oneself and one's Community...
Indeed, an inability to connect, at all, with anything resembling Community.(as previously defined)
The Alienation I've rambled about is in play, here, as well.
What “Community” we have is Forced, or Artificial.
In Virtua Mundi, Facebook stands in for the Coffee Shop.
In four years, I have conversed across my back fence with the neighbor behind me exactly Once.
And while I am for the most part Anomalous and Not Representative, in this case, I don't think that this is all that unusual.(he, quite ineptly, attempted to feel me out; to determine if I was Sufficiently Teamerican.)
To be Cassandra in these times, when all of the warnings we have shouted are now evident, at every turn...yet still Disbelieved.
Attention Spans, withered to Nil...to a 60 second Spot.
...and when you do find someone who will stoop to discuss the Very Important Things...they are, to a man, so ill informed, and so Certain in their Befuddlement, that no ground can be gained...no consensus reached.
Here is the Wasteland...here, the Dark Age...
...and there ain't a damned thing to be done about it.
There are many Minds on the Internet...but how Kafkaesque...how Absurdly Coincidental...that they are all equally Far from Here!
This, the effect of a dozen years of Terror and Tea, of Right Wing Populism, masquerading as Objective Reality.
All that's lacking is the Tricorn.
Everyone merely goes through the motions...with little bursts of activity around the Scandal Du Jour...who fucked who...who got caught masturbating...who blamed the school for their own parental ineptitude...all so very commonplace.
...and the Confusion!
No one seems to know just what they believe...bemoan the school being short of money, and vote for Rickfuckingperry, anyway...failing to see the connection.
Moan some more about how you can't afford to get sick, and then moan some more about Obamacare, and “Death Panels”....
Terrified of Muslims...while never having seen one.(I doubt that there's ever been anyone of the Muslim Faith, even passing through this little town...Ha!)
The only commonality, that I can detect, is two-fold:1. A propensity to get fucked up...and 2: an equal propensity to condemn those who get fucked up.(and I include , here, all forms of “getting fucked up”, including Religion.)
Quite the rickety structure on which to hang Civilisation.
Schizoid. Willfully Ignorant.
A vacant gleam.
“But it is not only in the “little religions” or in the political mystiques (Marx, et alia-Ed.) that we find degenerated or camouflaged religious behaviour. It is no less to be seen in movements that openly avow themselves to be secular or even antireligious. Examples are nudism or the movement for complete sexual freedom, ideologies in which we can discern traces of the “nostalgia for Eden,” the desire to re-establish the paradisal state before the Fall, when sin did not yet exist and there was no conflict between the pleasures of the flesh and conscience.”-Mircea Eliade,-' The Sacred and the Profane.'
Monotheism, especially of the Protestant Christian Varieties( and of those, the worst are the Fundamentalist sorts)...have done great damage to the World...and especially to the Natural World.
Indeed, it is because of that Mindset, that I must make such a distinction: Human World and Natural World.
No Longing for Eden, there!
Instead, a Longing for King Death.
These Habits of Mind, as Eliade says, are present even in the avowed Non-Religious, Secular parts of our collective life.
These Habits prevent a sufficient number of Humans from seeing, let alone Understanding our Dire Predicament.
So we Fuck, and get Fucked and get Fucked Up...and run around in circles, “making a living”, “living our lives'...and, at the end of the day, it's all so meaningless....
So we talk about the neighbors...look down our noses...all to make us feel a little more Worthy, by comparison.
...and that is the Rub, right there: Worth.
Are We, as a Species, Worthy of Survival?
“Then to this earthen bowl did I adjourn
My lip the secret well of life to learn:
And lip to lip it murmur'd-”While you live,
Drink!-for once dead you never shall return.”
-From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
What a Way to Go …..