Thursday, 2 May 2013

Modern life - since the sexual revolution = dating and careers

*

'Modern Life' as it is portrayed in the mass media - in innumerable novels, movies, TV shows and commentaries - is depicted as essentially a matter of dating and careers.

In fact, the 'work' side is usually left-out (unless it is 'cool'); and life is a matter of dating - and dating is a matter of sex; albeit much is made of the delay between dating and sex - presumably this makes for a good plot.

(Indeed, the effectiveness of this narrative constraint of delay, plus the attractions of a successful career, are perhaps the only things that stand between modern culture and the explicit propagation of a radically-simplified view of modern life as sex, sex and then more sex - and the narrative complications this leads to.)

*

But my point is that this is the implicit world view of mainstream modernity.

As a child or teen looks ahead: that is what they see, that is what is in prospect. They see a career - education, training, jobs - and they see the prospect of dating a string of (hopefully) appealing folk.

That Is Life.

*

This is the primary triumph of the Left - to have excluded marriage and the family from the mainstream depictions of Modern Life.

Now, marriage and family must fight for a niche in the framework set by the primary demand for education-work and for serial dating.

Depictions and advocacy of marriage and family nowadays are required to justify the abandonment of the primary lifestyle narrative of modernity.

*

This is a tall order!

Essentially it means that if marriage and family are to be depicted positively, desirably, in mainstream culture, they must be portrayed as providing a superior form of the kind of life characterized by careers and dating.

That is, since a life based around work and dating seems to offer (from the teenage vantage point) progress and stimulation, prestige and excitement, self-esteem and strong emotions yet with an escape clause (you can always quit the job, quit the relationship, move somewhere else - this providing the pornographic appeal of 'travel' to the modern mind) - therefore marriage and family must also be presented as providing similar 'goods' to the work and dating lifestyle - while also retaining the escape clause.

Which is exactly how marriage and family are generally depicted - a mainstream trope is about people escaping marriage and family - because they fail to live-up-to the standards of a life based on dating and career - and re-entering the mainstream of a modern life focused on career-progess and serial dating.

*

Things keep moving; and for the elites the depiction of marriage and family as the primary lifestyle path is now regarded not just as dull and stultifying (which was the attitude of avant garde intellectual Leftism from the late 19th century, becoming dominant and mainstream from the mid-1960s) - but wrong.

So positive depictions of, and advocacy for, a life based on the expectations and hope of marriage and family, are increasingly regarded as actively evil, and these must be prevented and punished.

*

But what a bleak, empty, nihilistic and despair-inducing prospect of life it is - this dating and work scenario!

It is the kind of thing which could only satisfy a person as a life-plan in that most deranged and impatient period of youth; and even then only for a few years at most.

After which it is an infallible recipe for despair and hysterical distraction-seeking, for suicidal-tending hopelessness on a mass scale...

Which (looking around) is precisely the effect it is having - and this was (no doubt) the intended effect all along.

*