Post thanksgiving Saturday morning. For the first time in two years I’m not alone on a holiday. Last year I wandered the desolate streets of northeast dc and cataloged my regrets and misgivings. I took pictures of stray pigeons pecking at crumbs on street corners and had a meal at a Chinese restaurant. I could have reached out to people but I held back. Solitude was my default setting.
One of my strongest temptations is dwelling on sadness, isolation and emptiness. An awareness of transience and futility is always with me, a baseline of my consciousness. To live is to lose, no matter how powerful or fortunate you may be.
Sensitivity to the vanity of existence can lead upward or downward. It can take you down a dark path of denial or towards the truth. We are meant for more than mining the earth; our deep dissatisfaction with mortality is the seed of transcendence.
But if we don’t transform our disappointment with life into devotion to a higher power and service to others, we risk losing our souls to terrestrial trivialities and diabolical perversions. Life offers itself as both the cause and cure of our ills. It threatens and injures us, it tantalizes and torments. And when we’re on the brink of giving up, it provides our fearful, ignorant selves with enough delusions and distractions to prolong our suffering.
I know my heart is corrupt; I’m not a naturally good person. Our current society didn’t make me this way. Our culture didn’t twist my spirit into a selfish welter of destructive drives. No future state of engineered excellence will guarantee angelic conduct or heavenly harmony among the masses. Progress falls short of perfection. You can be a politically free man but a slave to your passions.
We want what we can’t have and it’s not capitalism’s fault. We want what’s bad for us regardless of who’s in power or what’s on the news. It’s not just the current hyper neoliberal mutation of a rapacious economic system turning us into amoral atoms of consumption. And kids today aren’t inarticulate, mumbling relativists because they read Derrida and Foucault when they turned 21.
Cultural Marxism and the Frankfurt school are corrupting influences. But they only work on the essentially corruptible. You can expel the parasitic, sophistical jew from your society but that still leaves the jew within. You have a supernatural, tireless ability to cheat god and deceive yourself. Keep this in mind as you war against the depraved cabal of murderers and child molesters at the helm of the world.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t follow current events or that we don’t need to know what’s happening or understand where we came from. But we should also be capable of stepping outside of time and finding our place in eternity. Not everything that happens now is worthy of our attention. Much of it is needlessly upsetting. A window into the world is also black tar on the soul.
A compulsive preoccupation with the present annihilates history and mutilates our reverence for the past. We should look back with love on the sacrifices of our ancestors and set our sights on a future far beyond our materialistic fantasies.
Let’s not pin all of our hopes on a collection of votes. There will never be a just society free from violence and hate. Politics is often the pursuit of revenge, and the humiliation of our enemies, while fun, can also turn into a stifling obsession.
People treat love like a worn out whore; ready and available for everyone, equally at all times and all places, always good to go. But it’s rather a precious resource, finite, easily lost, misdirected and changeable.
They lecture us on loving difference, celebrating diversity, opening our arms to the alien and the distant. We must embrace the unknown, drop our distinction between insider and outsider and override our core instincts. Disgust and hostility are to be reserved for the similar, the familiar, for the known and the traditional. They’re programming us to be feckless, self loathing and defenseless, confused about our priorities and deaf to our real calling.
Loving what’s close is a task, a project, while loving what’s far away is a pose, a fashionable article, an affectation with destructive potential. It demands no effort upfront but it will rob you of a recognizable future.
I love my family more than wild Africans, feral chechens, melon picking mexicans, scheming jews and inscrutable orientals. I love what my people have achieved, their perseverance, intelligence and strength, their health, humor, morals, beauty and religion.
Cultivating love for organic social bonds is more difficult and much more important than listlessly signaling your flaccid acceptance of drowning under a tidal wave of miscellaneous savages from every stinking pit on the desecrated earth.