I can’t think of a worse nature of personality than cynicism to be perfectly honest. I’m not a huge Camille Paglia fan, but she nails the essence of our cynical dark side by shining a light on people like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens; I regard them as adolescents. I say in the introduction to my last book, “Glittering Images”, that “Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination.” She goes on (as an Atheist mind you), The real problem is a lack of knowledge of religion as well as a lack of respect for religion. I find it completely hypocritical for people in academe or the media to demand understanding of Muslim beliefs and yet be so derisive and dismissive of the devout Christian beliefs of Southern conservatives. I bet that got some of her Salon peeps talking!
And then she turns her guns on one of the most destructive personalities to ever pollute a TV audience; But this sneering thing! I despise snark. Snark is a disease that started with David Letterman and jumped to Jon Stewart and has proliferated since. I think it’s horrible for young people! And this kind of snark atheism–let’s just invent that term right now–is stupid, and people who act like that are stupid…I think Stewart’s show demonstrated the decline and vacuity of contemporary comedy. I cannot stand that smug, snarky, superior tone. I hated the fact that young people were getting their news through that filter of sophomoric snark…It was Jewish comedians who turned stand-up from the old gag-meister shtick of vaudeville into a biting analysis of current social issues, and they really pushed the envelope. Lenny Bruce used stand-up to produce gasps and silence from the audience. And that’s my standard–a comedy of personal risk. And by that standard, I’m sorry, but Jon Stewart is not a major figure. He’s certainly a highly successful T.V. personality, but I think he has debased political discourse. I find nothing incisive in his work. As for his influence, if he helped produce the hackneyed polarization of moral liberals versus evil conservatives, then he’s partly at fault for the political stalemate in the United States. That’s some brilliantly honest and dead-on writing right there my friends! We’ll make a believer out of her yet! Once you’ve seen the devil…
Cynicism is the most dangerous pollutant of all. You can pollute the world, and people can fix it. But when you’ve polluted enough people, who can fix that? The devil loves a cynic! Why would that be? Because the devil hates God. God and cynicism are irreconcilably antithetical…more light means less darkness by degree. Unfortunately, we have been in a solid more-darkness phase for the past 8 years. Thanks Jon! Hope you’re enjoying your 30 pieces of silver…I mean retirement!
The most interesting observation Paglia makes here, at this very hour, with the death-by-Muslim body count rising rapidly…is the “academe/media” support for Muslim while being “dismissive” (I call it persecution) of Christians. That’s a real noggin-scratcher if one doesn’t stop to think about it. But of course, when one does; the side-by-side image of Jesus Christ loving us into nailing his body to a cross in the worst possible death imaginable…with his muslim warrior/prophet counterpart muhammad lopping heads off the (innocent) infidels…to the enemy of my enemy is my friend in the White House…it all begins to, I’m afraid to say, add up…along with the death toll.
We have all been here before…people from all walks. Mostly good and decent people looking to make their way, caring for their families and enjoying time with friends. What we are experiencing now, they went through as well…a slow and steady strain and drain on the good times from the weight. Almost imperceptibly, trust turns to skepticism, laughter into frowns, joy into fear, and worst of all…faith into cynicism. Just getting by becomes a matter of just getting along and not making waves within the politically correct confines set by the thoroughly corrupt power-brokers of the day…the Pharisees and Scribes of the Sanhedrin. And they had it awfully good…before Love came to town.
I was there when they crucified my Lord I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword I threw the dice when they pierced his side But I’ve seen love conquer the great divide ~ U2
Cynicism is powerful enough to kill faith, but forced to hide when Love is in the room. Snark and Sneering scurry for the shadows like cock roaches when the light comes on. Truth to Power is a tall and shining lighthouse on the greatest ocean imaginable, on the most perfect day imaginable…where the salt air, gull and surf sounds fill every sense with the joy of living! He broke the spell and conquered hearts with words alone. They had to kill Him.
Even those closest to Him fell into doubt and despair after the crucifixion. Think of the moments between the betrayal and His final moments on the Cross. We tend to focus on the people involved; Pilate, Herod, and the Roman Soldiers. But close your eyes and imagine the mood setting of the moment…think of the mocking coming from those most threatened by Him. Can you feel it? It is the exact same tone Camille has unwittingly called out in her piece above. We are here again my friends…
When will they ever learn? If I cannot believe today of all days, perhaps I never will…But I do…I Believe