Friday, March 6, 2015

Mockery

A picture on Breitbart suddenly clarifies things. It's the picture of the "three-way gay" marriage among some young men in Thailand, who are no doubt laughing all the way to the bank. But it couldn't even be a joke (and one of the trio's names is "Joke") if there weren't a fast-moving cultural understanding behind it, -- an ability for the language of a joke to be understood. 

So the clarity is this: it seems that the prime mood of the sophisticated world around us is mockery. I am not the first to have this bright idea. Someone much brighter than me once pointed out that when daring "irreverence" is all that matters, irreverence becomes both easy and pointless to do. What's the use of irreverence when nothing is revered?

Hence, clarity. Gay marriage was never an expansion of rights, it was always a mockery, and it didn't take long for a Thai "three-way" to shine even a joke-light on that. In the same way, global warming is a mockery of science, amnesty a mockery of citizenship, Obamacare a mockery of health insurance, and oh, let's say Republican electoral victories a mockery of electoral victories. Just as, below, the dried and pressed Queen Anne's lace -- it fell out of a Bible, strangely -- is a kind of mockery of a summer roadside under a hot August sun.  


These are just matters that you have to be clear about, I think, in your own mind so that you can live an honest life surrounded by a din of falsehood and folly and mockery that you personally cannot affect much. "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world", or platitudes to that effect? Maybe sometimes. Very often, it seems the million dollar donors who don't like election results rule the world. Perhaps that honest soul Samuel Johnson had come to this sort of conclusion, not about election results per se but about cant -- although we could give him the most astonishing lessons in cant -- when he said --
"My dear friend, clear your mind of cant. You may talk as other people do; you may say to a man, 'Sir, I am your most humble servant.' You are not his most humble servant. You may say, 'These are sad times; it is a melancholy thing to be reserved to such times.' You don't mind the times. [Aha!] You tell a man, 'I am sorry you had such bad weather the last day of your journey, and were so much wet.' You don't care six-pence whether he was wet or dry. You may talk in this manner; it is a mode of talking in Society: but don't think foolishly."  Boswell's Life of Johnson, Thursday 15 May 1783
Now you may have a glass of wine.  A pure, light, and honest French chardonnay. Retail, about $10.



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