Sunday Stories: Looking back at puberty
Remember those awkward days when your every move was dependent on being independent. Your laundry was done for you, dinner was still served and your presence at it was a sacrifice to the elders. You are ashamed now about the future you predicted for your self and that of others. You should be. It was naïve and self-centered on wishing ill on others. You had as little room for others in your heart as there was for yourself in your room.
I’m talking about the years 2015-2016. Years of stupidity that are by now mostly forgotten. Ape years paling in comparison to the big fires scarring the century before. Religion was a hot item again. Can you imagine? God was long pronounced dead. The notion of humanity was born long before His epitaph was written. But here we were: each boxed in their own room of right, sulking about the unfairness of it all.
In the end, it was all about being independent.
He got up and fired his first comment on the internet. All that talking, it was time for action! The situation was clear, the solution obvious. Hungry for righting the wrong and for some cereals too. He postponed eating and that was his yet another sacrifice. Things were broken down. Truths were told, simple and square; take it or leave it.
Such were those times where talking was suspect – and language a means to an end. Talking was an invention of the past, some pre-Enlightenment thing outperformed by science and technology, by the exchange of facts. It sounds weird now but what have we gained? We embrace uncertainty – some even spell it with a ‘U’ – and don’t we talk ourselves to death? Well, it’s not the worst way to die.
“We have talked and discussed for a long time. And we came up with this, and we know this is the way it is. Accept it or die, preferably out of sight. We are not as weak anymore. Our elders have sought the truth, we found it and we’ll defend it.” Time for cereals. Evolution had magically ended by casting the spell of unambiguous, scientific truth.
That was the real invention of those times, by the way: the divisive we. Its capability to suck up just enough of the insights of the tradition without it ever getting really wet, was, well, Platonic. You could have the truth and not have anyone eat from it too. I’m too critical. This is a generation of people who had everything but who were still raised to get even more; it is a small wonder their puberty lasted them a lifetime.
“Our parents have become soft. They forget that what they got and what they could pass on was obtained by their parents’s blood. Talking worked for them because they were left alone, unchallenged. They didn’t need the fences and could use them to sit on, spotless and politically correct. We’re back to reality. We know we need to be competitive.” More food and a lot of indignation to spice it up.
It’s just one perspective on history at a time there were no perspectives, plural, just one perspective, singular: our perspective. I know I needed to write about a World War or something but the real tragedies happen when nobody is around. I’m convinced of that. The real tragedies happen when there are no spectators; they happen without a cause. We got god damned close, so much educated unhappiness can’t but make education suspect.
“They teach us respect and say it’s our tradition. It isn’t. Respect is just a waste of time. We have goals and we reach our goals, that is our tradition, and a bloody good one it is. We win and we need to keep on winning if we want to be true to our culture. If you can prove to be a winner then you’re one of us. As simple as that. We’re not racists whatever they say.” Time to take in the likes, make a bow, more applause.
They weren’t either. They didn’t hate a race, they hated humanity because it was too much work for no (immediately) apparent profit. You know you don’t need mass genocide for things to melt down. This was the decadent time. Decadence is always the puberty of some culture. Retrospectively, it is always seen as if decadence is there when the decay shows but that’s as true as thinking fever is the cause of the disease. The cause of decay is the moment at which some people are so well off that they refuse to see it can only keep on getting better if others are equally well off.
“I’m not rich but that doesn’t mean I need to side with the poor. If they’re out to get more, let them work at it. Why would we solve their problems? We solved ours and it gave us our spine. I hate spineless whining people. I don’t whine. Whining should be illegal. That would be a simple law to get rid of all that left-wing bullshit. On second thought, forget about the law. How far did the Romans get with their laws? Just give us a Caesar.” Time to go to bed now.
We know by now that there’s only one culture, the one where we all go up and realize from which depths we come until we believe that every other step can make us tumble and fall. So we stop to take a breath, only to feel the slope getting slippery under our feet. Then we fall. The only way, tired or not, is up. People were tired back then. They just wanted to take a little lie down and found themselves spinning and spiraling.
So how did we escape their melt down? How did we escape n° 3?
Luckily their children were already too massively spoilt. Fortunately their children could not be controlled to only stare at their own navels. The new generation skipped puberty and just continued quietly going up. Without stress, for they knew there was no end goal to be reached. No urgencies of any kind. They liked the company and used their hormones to have sex. It was mostly chatter they exchanged. Still they talked again and that – my dear teacher, so fond of drama – proved to be enough. They reserved their respect for people so had none in stock when it came to singular points of view. To them I tip my hat, the unknown heroes who refused to fight; just simply refused to fight against anybody or for anything
Is my take on it.
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