Thrasymachus wrote:Infact your response consists mainly of emotional histrionics and failed irony.
I was taking the piss out of you. I see you're from JerZ - in more local colloquial terms, "I'm fuc-in with you." I wouldn't quite call what I posted, "emotional histrionics" - that might more aptly describe your writing - unless of course that's who you really are and you really do communicate like that without any irony - in that case... yeesh.
Did my irony fail? I dunno - let's see a show of hands - who got a chuckle out of my post?
I am disgusted by modern society and modern people, it is all phoniness and phonies.
Holden Caufield, is that you?
Today the average Western scum sympathizes with the poor only when it is acceptable: when rich, mostly white, attractive actors portray them on film. When they are not depicted in fantasy, it is always their fault somehow. Schooling and mass media delivered exactly what they were engineered to, it created walking zombies unable to think outside of the framework given to them by their overlords, but who cannot even notice this.
A lot of people here probably sympathize with the gist of what you are writing. But, when you sound like an ureformed, foaming at the mouth marxist - you play up to a caricature that very, very few in the grownup world can take seriously, and if they do, its because they're miserable misanthropes, or at least tend to speak and think like one, like you apparently do. Believe it or not, some of us folks have a few years on you - some of us were actually alive when Ellul published "The Technological Society" and have been aware of the problems you point to in the world around us - call it modernity or whatever - since you were grabbing for your mommy's teet, and when we were raising our fists, screaming about injustice and covering the back of our beat-up old civic in political bumper stickers, there were old timers who had been at it already for a long time, too. Look, some of us have lived our adult lives keenly aware of these problems and have been trying to do something about them - despite their overwhelming scale. Kristof, the author of the column I linked to, is one of these people. Admittedly, he is a softie; he has a great heart but is also in my view, a bit naive. I don't know if that's the character he plays for the editorial pages of the NY Times or if he genuinely is this bright eyed, stubborn optimist, even in the face of the tragedies he uses his column to draw attention to (that podium on the NYT opinion page has global reach. It presents an incredible opportunity to change the minds of the average layman you apparently so disdain. If he were to put on a red sweater, patched at the elbows and start screaming about the injustices of the world in the kind of moralistic judgmental and -ahem- histrionic tones you adopt, I don't think he'd have that job very long, and the world might be poorer for it. We'd be left with Maureen Dowd and David Brooks.). Some of us teach. Some of us heal. Some of us advocate. Some of us just try to be nice to each other. When you actually try to do something, actually try to heal ills, you find that a little bedside manner is critical.
When I see a column like the one I linked to, I don't see a rosy future. What I see is, in all of the data that is depressing, a promising trend that we kindred idealists can work with to try and solve these problems we see. If IQs are indeed rising, this is something we can work with. People's ability to rationally deduce information is improving? GREAT! Maybe if we put data about receding glaciers and the effects of carbon dioxide in the air in front of them, they'll be able to see the problem and its solution. Industrial farming is actually bad for us? Well, lets put the data in front of people. Maybe they'll be a little more conscientious at the supermarket next time. How about turning people on to the insight that grasping yields suffering? Imagine if more people had a deep understanding of that! The point of posting the column was meant to challenge the assumption of some in this thread that life is all shite and nothing left to do but escape into pining for some future primitive. But calling everyone names, judging them, etc., aint getting you any allies, and if any problems of the scale you are complaining about are going to get fixed - you're going to need a lot of allies.
I am happy to see you calling out Buddhists who use dharma and practice as means of escape - in my estimation, our kindred have been calling out fellow dharma seekers in a similar manner, possibly since the beginning, agitating for a more "engaged" practice.
The point is, don't be such a dick and let's see what we can do to heal this world.