Contra Mozilla

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Critique of Modernity in a Review of a Review

John C. Wright offers this lengthy vivisection of modernity in the form of a response to a 60 year of review of "The Lord of the Rings." He has a tendency of being long-winded (even more so than I am), and of going down various rabbit-holes (even more than I do), but it is all interesting and entertaining and mostly correct. More importantly, it is a good read, and an important defense of the virtues, and of truth and beauty and goodness.

Excerpts will not do it justice, but here are a few anyway:
Now, the great matter of heroism is that it comes in three stages, a childish stage, a pagan stage, and a final stage.
The heroism of children, as in STAR WARS, is concerned with the plain and straightforward heroism of bravery and camaraderie; the heroism of pagans, as in Homer, is more mature yet, for it deals with the bright moments of glory and the dark, melancholy sorrow of inescapable fate that follows; the heroism that is more mature yet deals with the dark melancholy of free will and of fates that are freely chosen, albeit that they lead through dark and drear lands, but with the promise, in the end, of a bright harbor at the end of suffering, and a ship to carry the weary traveler away to a home he never knew, somewhere beyond the walls of the world.
Han Solo is an example of the first, as is John Carter the Warlord of Mars, or Robin Hood, or any number of action heroes or superheroes; Achilles is an example of the second, as is nearly every major figure in the matter of Troy; and of the third there are too few to list as examples, but that short list includes humble Frodo Baggins.
Each stage of heroism builds on itself, from mere bravery or courage, to fortitude, and at last to heroic virtue.
Lust and fornication, the moderns certainly admire and support, but lust and romance are opposites, even as fornication and marriage are opposites. The idea of a bride and bridegroom both coming to the marriage bower as virgins and cleaving to each other in tender yet fierce mutual adoration, worshiping each other with their bodies, and forswearing all other partners, this is an image the moderns find repellant, if not incomprehensible. It reminds them of the suburbs, or white picket fences, or Ozzie and Harriet. To them it is saccharine and nauseating. The only marriages they favor are gay marriages.

As for glory and honor and patriotism, love of chivalry and love of nation, the modern mind regard these things with distaste or disgust or even horror. They are regarded as machismo, as sinister attempts to oppress the weak, or to glorify violence and aggression. Patriotism to the modern man is bigotry, and vile; love of God they dismiss as superstition. The moderns have an insolent double standard: The superstition is harmless or even admirable, in an avuncular and condescending way, when practiced by Mohammedans or Buddhists or Animists, but it is an appalling enemy of enlightenment and progress when practiced by Christians.
The modern man disdains heroism in all its forms, and reduces them all to the heroism of children, brushing them away as "childish." Yet, even the child's heroism is greater than the cravenness of the modern men. The heroic virtue of the Christian saint sears the conscience of the craven man like a flame, and thus he hates it most of all, though he attempts to dismiss it as no different than "childishness."
There is a porn star who at the time of this writing is a Duke University freshman who appeared on a ‘rough sex’ website which portrayed her being choked, spat upon, and insulted during the sex act.
To justify herself in the face of criticism, she has publicly and defiantly stated that true feminism, true liberty and happiness, consists of her ‘ownership’ of her body, which ownership renders her immune from criticism, and hence allows her to do whatever degrading acts she wishes to herself for her own pleasure. She absurdly assumes a moralistic stance to blame the decent people who are disgusted by her acts. She is also a homosexual, and suffers from a crippling self-loathing. People who like themselves don’t act out fantasies of sexual degradation.
Reading the words of this poor, young morally crippled fool is a chore I will spare the reader. I am sure you can find her words through a thousand references on the Internet. I will provide no additional links or pingbacks or clicks-through to such sites. I will, nonetheless, mention the clear absurdity the words convey. She objects in the strongest and most morally elevated language, in fiery tones worthy of Tom Paine and Nathan Hale, that anyone should say demeaning things about her choice of playacting in scenes where she is demeaned. In other words, she enjoys being demeaned, but does not want anyone else to demean her. She is a masochist who does not want to be slapped.
This may be a bit of a rabbit hole, yet it is illustrative. Modernity is filled with people made of this material, the hypocrites (literally) who play-act and demand it be taken seriously and then decry those who critique the masks they wear. They are the men without chests, and perhaps worse, the followers of the faceless men who smell of the pit.

They are by nature iconoclasts, but only of fine and holy things, never of ugly and degrading idols; likewise, they are by nature romantics and idealists, but only of what is inhuman and loathsome. They hate happy marriages or heroism, but grow misty-eyed with deep emotion at the sight of Che or Mao lolling atop a mountain of corpses, and when they see the hill of smaller corpses of infants killed in the womb, they laugh and cheer and skylark, bright-faced and starry-eyed with rapture. So they have the same emotions as human beings, but merely reversed like a photographic negative.
 At this point, I've probably quoted as much as good internet etiquette allows without doing a more in-depth analysis or rebuttal. Please do go read the whole thing.

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