Thursday, 19 September 2013

The astonishing triviality, the shallowness and fakery of modern life


The shallowness and triviality of modern life is nothing new - I felt it very strongly in the seventies - mostly as a contrast to what I knew from reading Tolkien - but it is one of those things that just keeps gets worse and more obvious.

I realize that this places me, always has placed me, outwith the major mass effects perpetrated upon us - simply an appalled and incredulous onlooker.

But I cannot - not really - understand, and I never have been able to understand, how so many people participate in this relentless, minute by minute... nothing. How many people simply dissipate their whole lives...

What is the point of it? How can they be bothered?

This masquerades as 'fun', as 'having a laugh', as 'joining in' - but so obviously is not that I am astonished that people can continue to suppose it is. It masquerades as important moral concern - but, really, who is fooled?

I cannot understand how people let themselves be manipulated into faking feelings of excitement, concern, hatred by a mass media which is ever more formulaic and ever more stale.

I keep expecting people, en masse, to wake up - and to admit to themselves that they are faking responses all the way down to the level that they supposedly regard as the bottom line. I presumed people would rebel, would demand meaning, purpose and relatedness from life. I have, indeed, been expecting this for forty years - but clearly my expectation was delusional.

In fact the situation is even worse than described above, because there is an actively aggressive quality about this shallowness and triviality - it wants to impose itself on every last person by loudness, by intrusiveness, by subversion and fake indignation.

All this stuff I knew and felt with certainty long before I was a Christian - but I didn't have an explanation for it because I could not perceive its source: I could see only layer upon layer upon layer of shallow, trivial fakery.

But what I did not understand before I was a Christian, is that the endemic and near-ubiquitous STFakery is in the service of evil, of the destruction of Good - and that is exactly why it is aggressive, intolerant; why it seeks-out opposition in order to overwhelm it.

Indeed, this is the nub of the problem. Life at a level of shallow, trivial fakery would be just about tolerable if it was in the service of truth - that would be what is called hypocrisy. But that is not the situation.

Well, now I know the source - which is absolutely important to know; and reveals the situation as far more dangerous, of far deeper significance, than I could possibly have imagined.

But how to 'fight' shallowness in the context of an ever-shallower public domain? Impossible. That would be fighting shallowness with shallowness, and there could be only one victor.

Answer: don't fight it; do different.