Monday, October 24, 2022

Woke Culture, Nick Cave

I subscribe to the American Spectator because it challenges me in especially arts, music, wine, food, travel, and architecture. It is considered to be "conservative", but in the classical sense of the word "liberal", meaning free markets, radical free speech, civil liberties under the rule of law, limited government, and some sense of  "enlightenment". 

It often covers people and topics that are "out of my lane", which I find to be important.

I would likely have never ran into Nick Cave, save for a review of the linked book from the current issue of the Spectator. I would normally have just done an incomplete blog and waited for Spectator online to catch up with my paper copy.

I didn't, because Nick lost his15 year old son Arthur in July 2015 when under the influence of LSD, he walked off a cliff and died. I have not had that exact experience, however there were times I could see something like it as somewhat likely.

The second reason is that although I'm going to have to do some typing rather than cut and paste, I didn't want this one to be semi-misplaced among the 100's of incomplete blog entries on my account.  I'm blessed to not have felt all of that pain,  but I have some of the pain of cancel culture. It seems nearly universal, though as Nick mentions, to some of the cancel purists, it is ecstatic.

A quote from the article:

For a man who by his own admission, spent much of the Eighties and Nineties in a miasma of heroin addiction, he is admirably clear-sighted about the greater hypocrisies of our age. He describes woke culture as:

... akin to to a fundamentalist religion impulse ... it may reflect on an unconscious desire to return to a non-secular society, and talks angrily of the "performative aspect to the theater of cancel culture that is essentially vindictive ... it's as if autocratic ideas of virtue and sin have come into play, and as a result, prohibitions and punishments have been put in place, enforced by a kind of callousness that, in my view, is akin to the very worst aspects of religion -- the fundamentalist, joyless, aspects of religion that have nothing to do with mercy. Cancellation is a particularly ugly part of it's weaponry and can end up as a kind of sadism dressed up as virtue"
I've been struggling through Durkheim's "The Elementary Forms Of The Religious Life". Durkheim is considered one of the main, if not THE experts on "why religion"?  In every human culture, no matter how primitive in time and space, and how similar at the base, every manifestation is ... sacred/profane, spirit(s), a creation myth, symbolic totems,  and how critical it is for every tribe/family/community/team/culture it is for a "social imaginary" to be shared for the health of both the individuals and the "group". 

I recently reviewed "The Rise And Triumph of the Modern Self" which gives some good insight as to why the woke culture came about.

Having just attended a wedding at a very fundamentalist church, it is clear that "joyless" is not a common experience of all "fundamentalists", and the Durkheim book shows that rigorous standards, prohibitions and punishments" are an integral part of obtaining the solid community and "joy" -- belonging, comfort, camaraderie, the feeling of being happy ...

Think Navy SEALs. The initiation is brutal, the bond approaches unbreakable, the sense of joy, pride and accomplishment is palpable. We can't all be SEALs, but we can be a member of SOME group of "like minded people". To "work" it has to be something "real", where you know each other F2F, have some "rituals" (like maybe just breakfast after church). The more rigor in the connection, the more likely the group will be significantly helpful.

Like exercise, training, ritual, symbols, rules, etc, there are parameters that have to be carefully aligned and calibrated  in order for the danger of the flame of faith can be properly respected and utilized. This takes decades, lifetimes, sometimes  millennia. We know that cars are dangerous, and we accept the danger (minimizing it as much as possible), in order to reap the benefits they provide. Life is often a tradeoff between risk and reward. To be real, it involves sacrifice.
We WILL all have a "worldview" that is either explicitly or implicitly a "religion" ... how much "choice" we have in what that is,  given genetics, family,  the probable existence of "spirits" -  Holy, Totemic, Tao, daemons, etc, along with community, mental health, physical health, etc, the range of "choices" (or enlightenment)  is a matter of little agreement for those that believe that the examined life is the only real life. 

While not a popular path today, the examined life seems like something worthy to give at least a cursory examination. 

I hope to get around to the book ... my stack is a bit deep and esoteric at the moment though.

No comments:

Post a Comment