Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Hope vs. Despair
The Burr-Hamilton duelling set.
AS PROMISED. I'm not going to get pretentious about this with a big "Resolved" statement. What we're talking about is pretty clear. Lake thinks there's still hope for the United States, and I'm taking the position there isn.'t. As the guest, Lake gets the first word and the last. The Youtube pick is his own.
RL is pissed these days, ever since the long, hot blackout. I don’t blame him. A lot of things in America, the rest of the world, and our personal lives have gotten shitty. He’s about ready to hang up his gun belt, unsaddle his horse, and live out the rest of his digital life in “My Little Acre.” But he’s looking for one last shootout, one more slugfest in the ring, one final faceoff in the Metalkort. He called my name, so here I am.
My job is to defend the existence of Hope in the face of the supposedly failing American Experiment. He’s going to argue that this is the dark end of a great dream, the final chapter in a sad, twisted comedy. The events of today are unprecedented, he’ll imply, and will truly pave the way for the end of this noble country. I’ll argue instead that this is the middle of the story, perhaps the tumultuous end of an act, but that the story of American Hope continues and will not end here. No, it won’t look the same, just as it’s changed its Way with each passing generation. And as every generation says to the last… “Damn kids, get off my lawn.” This is the argument of Despair in a nutshell, remember that as you read the ongoing debate.
I don’t know exactly what he’s going shoot me with on the side of Despair yet, but I’ll grant that he has a lot of ammo.
If he comes with History, I’ll ask: “What point in American history wasn’t bleaker than now?” The Civil War? The Great Depression? The Great War or the even bigger one to follow? The halcyon days of your youth in the 60’s? And yet hope endured.
If he comes with modern Pop Culture, I’ll retort: “What are you watching?” Hell’s Kitchen? The Jersey Shore? Louis CK? (ahem) Go ahead, try to make the case that television programs -- selected by a handful of execs trying to shock viewers weekly into making the biggest viewing audience -- somehow embody the actual soul of the American people. As we mid-30’s kids grow up and realize that almost all TV programming is shite, we move on. Unlike RL, we’re not watching TV all day to our keep our finger on the nation’s cultural pulse. Those that keep hope alive in this country don’t fill their minds with hours of dreck. They’re working and they’re putting in the time needed to actually raise their kids properly.
If he comes at me with personal anecdotes, I can match him one for one, but that’s not going to make for a good debate. If he comes at me, Lake, personally -- and his strikethrough text implies that he might (a soul sickness, really?) -- then he’ll have lost the debate right there. But we both know that low blows are the coward’s way, so he’s got his crosshairs on my jugular instead.
So be it. Since I get the last word, I’m looking forward to seeing what he starts in with. Or do my points above win the debate before it even begins?
The United States received its mortal blow during the Vietnam War. That's when the radical draft dodgers chose to hide out in academia. They realized the opportunity they had when they looked around and saw how many of them had chosen the same hiding place. Since then, they have annihilated the education system of this once great country. The End.
Oh. You wanted more? Well, every other systemic ill flows from this one. They have rewritten history, perverted and politicized science, eviscerated both religion and the law, and effectively amputated the nation from the cultural taproot that fed its virtue, vitality, and dignity. Their obsession with multiculturalism has destroyed everything that made America great. Striving individuals are from their perspective selfish looters. Capitalism is predation. The historically disadvantaged are not winners in waiting but victims. Those who believe in the God of our fathers are racist, sexist, idiot theocrats. What they teach the children whose tutelage is their prime responsibility. Meanwhile, their commitment to unions and affirmative action has ensured that the young minds they receive for so-called higher education are already fatally nobbled. I've lived through three phases of the dumbing down of the SATs. Today's kids -- and by kids I mean 35+ and under -- are mostly illiterate vulgarians.
I have said, not flippantly, show me what a company advertises and I'll show you what they're bad at. If they talk about service, they've been criticized for poor service. If they talk about quality, they've got a record of poor quality to expunge. If they talk about reliability, they've been unreliable. What do we talk about and endlessly promote in this country? The kids. Why? There's never been a sorrier generation than the current one. They don't know anything except how to operate gadgets. They don't know how to work. They can't concentrate on anything. We choose to call their scatterbrained doodling through life multi-tasking. It isn't. They're barely conscious. They're spoiled, selfish, foul-mouthed, inarticulate, innumerate, and so all-around stupid they don't have the slightest conception of how much they don't know. But they're still the future.
Why we don't have one in the United States of America.
Exceptions? You bet there are exceptions. But who are the ones who are still conversant with art and literature and classical music, who still know that "fat, drunk and stupid" is no way to go through life? They're the offspring of the draft dodgers who took over all the great universities. Why the vaunted "New Media" is a myth. It's a joke, a rowdy low-rent circus of misspelled, half-written crap you have to look up on your own. The entire blogosphere doesn't add up to the sum of writing and thinking talent at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the New Yorker magazine.
They win. They've succeeded in creating a new aristocracy to rule the rest of us morons. Proof? What do they advertise? Class warfare. The perfect camouflage for the new master class. Get used to your chains. They will only grow tighter in years to come.
Stay tuned for rebuttals.