Friday, February 17, 2017

The Happy Curmudgeon: An Introduction

“Happy is the man…”

Photo Credit: ©2017. Perry J. Greenbaum

I have been called a curmudgeon more than a few times in my life, including by my family. I take no offense and am happy to wear this label of judgment. It is no small matter to be a man of contrary views and tastes, especially at a time when people both offer opinions freely and disdain those that they find disagreeable and offensive. It does not take much to be offended today, which is not especially perplexing when one considers that “tolerance” is taught in schools at the same time that it is not.

Judgments are allowed as long as they are the correct judgments enforced by the Identitarians, the officers and gatekeepers of the New Philistines, who alone decide what ideas need be disseminated in the world of Art & Culture. In identity politics, there are no individuals, no musings on the merits of the human spirit, but only groups, especially and perhaps most essential to its growth, aggrieved unhappy groups.

Yes, there is a moral sense to it, but without thousands of years of religious and ethical thought and experience to support its edicts and moral pronouncements of right and wrong. More like a few decades, starting in the 1960s. It is as if we have glibly and eagerly thrown the essentials of western civilization into the “trash bin of history”: Beauty, Truth, Religion, The Arts, Literature.

Such briefly describes the strange and confusing world in which millennials have inherited and now take part in with a measure of both faith and fear—confronting a western culture now progressing in large part by organized “moral outrage”—which is what occurs when you let go of the past too quickly without planning well for its future. One could call it a hyper-Evolution, but I wouldn’t. Neither would I call this progress.

It seems, however, that a good number of millennials are not happy with the direction taken by western civilization. There is worry and anxiety and gnashing of teeth. This is bound to happen; it always does when things go too far. The centre cannot hold. [Hint: read Yeats; “The Second Coming,“ 1919.]

I am more than happy as a Baby Boomer born in the late 1950s to offer a few judgments on the state of Western Civilization: on its inadequacies, on its limitations and on its absurdities. That’s what we curmudgeons do: see what is missing and point this out to others. I will post such thoughts, such opinions, such views from time to time, only as I see fit and only as I am so inclined. Usually on Fridays. It will be under the banner of “The Happy Curmudgeon.”

Thanks for dropping by.

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