This has been one of those weeks when craziness piled 20 tabs high in the browser. It’s one of those weeks it’s especially clear that the world out there is not only rapidly going nuts, but is fragmenting into specialized segments of insanity, all threatening war with each other.
The phrase “the center cannot hold” keeps running though my brain. Not that I think centers holding is necessarily such a great idea, depending on what centers you’re talking about. Consensus may be comforting, but only for those on the inside and only as long as the delusion lasts.
But another pair of lines from the same poem seems apt:
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Millions of militant morons froth with murderous indignation over any old thing and everything. Governments at every level dig deeper holes even as their residents flee in desperation. Everybody’s proudly sporting a grudge and demanding that the rest of us prostrate ourselves in guilt over whatever they imagine ails them. Our politicians have descended from merely being scurvy, lying, corrupt scum to being clowns in a circus of the damned. All these years since “terrorism” has been the excuse for tyranny, Our Betters still monumentally refuse to get it. Or worse, they get it and they enjoy it — may they rot in it.
I was going to write a post about the growing madness. I was going to make predictions about the colossal crackup Western culture is so clearly headed for. I was going to speculate about whether the current craziness is a sign of freedom end-times or just a crazed phase, soon to burn itself out in embarrassment, giving civilization (actual civilized civilization) a brief reprieve.
But no. I’m not.
Because (I remind myself once again), that deteriorating Crazyland out there isn’t where I live. And isn’t where you live, either (unless you have the misfortune to work in a university, in government, in mainstream journalism, or some other crazy-attached field).
Most of us, blessedly, walk and work and live and enjoy life among the sane. Our neighbors are too busy going about their lives to tote mattresses as performance art. They know that grudges and grievances, if they hold them, are petty things to be dealt with, not badges of pride to be poked in everybody else’s face. They may be black or white or Mexican or Asian or male or female, but they’re people first. People with families to raise and jobs to do. People who have to get along with other people as best they can — sometimes well and sometimes not so well, but always recognizing that we’re all in the same boat, one way or another.
They’re musicians and grocery clerks and retirees and librarians and mechanics and mothers and fathers and sons and daughters and neighbors and friends before they’re members of the ascendant or descending interest group, victim group, or guilty class of the week.
Let the noisy crazies rave. They’re penned up — by their own choices! — in a handful of professional, cultural, and geographic enclaves where they have more influence on each other than on us out here in the real world. Yes, the self-righteous loons and their puppets in government, media, and academia are a nuisance. Yes, they do threaten to crack society (such as it is) right down the middle, then into a thousand sharp, jagged pieces.
But they’re out there, and we’re here where the sane people are — and where the sane will remain even if Yeats’ “rough beast” is soon reborn.