Rod Dreher has some smart readers who fill his moderated comments with wisdom. Sometimes he just gets out of their way and lets them speak. Lately, that’s been some of “his” best work (said the guy who’s tired of Catholic scandal stories even though I know they’re important).
I’m discerning “post-truth” a lot in my reading lately, and start what I hope is a catalytic collection of “post-truth” anecdotes with one of Dreher’s readers:
When my wife was a 7 year old girl in the USSR, she once blurted something out in public that was forbidden, to the horror of her parents, who (once they were alone at home) gave her one of the most important lectures for any Soviet child – that there is the truth we have at home by ourselves, the things we can say in front of a very few trusted friends, and then the “truth” that we say everywhere else, where you will constantly say things you know are untrue because that is how we survive here.
A reader of Rod Dreher’s blog. I’m father-in-law to a Russian immigrant, so this one hits me particularly.
Here’s an item, from a website that our commissars hate, with an example of reasonable (I’m tempted to say “irrefutable”) observations on the transgender social contagion that the observer only dare voice pseudonymously.
I’m guessing she’s at Oberlin but, heaven help us, Oberlin may have been cloned.
As I muse about last Thursday’s hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’m troubled to realize that anything, however microcosmic, that seems obvious to me might be taken as utterly wrong and incendiary by someone else on social media.
Examples could be multiplied, just in the Kavanaugh context, ranging from tendentious defenses through tendentious condemnations and crazy “Can’t we all agree that [X]” tweets.
Is there anything on which reasonable people can agree? Can we even agree that there are reasonable people?
If you serve truth, humanity and the world, you are almost certainly delightful to be around and you will almost certainly never have a career in federal politics. The system is set up to serve a ruling class of plutocrats and their lackeys, so the way to get to the top of the political ladder is in the exact opposite direction of serving the weak and defenseless and being truthful and compassionate ….
Another Rod Dreher reader, Matt in VA, spots another “death of truth” vignette:
[A] lot of today’s competitive/aggressive liberalism among academics stems not from genuine belief or even interest in such politics but from the need to cover over the philistinism, vapidity, and fraudulence of these people. “Down with dead white men!” is extremely handy and convenient for such people, who NEVER, but NEVER, replace scholarly grappling with the Greeks and Romans with any kind of serious scholarship in other traditions – it’s not like they show any real engagement and immersion in the cultures/literatures of Persia or Japan or India. They just know nothing. My boss in particular recently let slip that she does not know what decade World War I occurred in, but she never misses an opportunity to throw “intersectionality” into a sentence.
And quite frankly, unreconstructed vulgar “conservatism” deserves a LOT of blame here. These are people who, to this day, still think it’s a huge own to laugh at the liberal arts and sneer “have fun working at Starbucks for the rest of your life!” The total rot of higher education that has occurred over the past decades could not have happened without both the efforts of liberals to sever people from their roots/place themselves over the canon as superior judges of it by using the stalest conventional pieties and passing orthodoxies against it, AND the disgusting spectacle of ugly fat American conservatives with no intellectual curiosity whatsoever demanding that higher education function as a credentialing factory moving their bovine offspring along an assembly line from high school to “business” or “marketing” degree to Good Job (TM) and Suburban Tract Housing..
Of course, the occupant of the White House is the most blatantly mendacious President in my memory. (“Can’t we all agree” haunts me as I write that.)
I think he’s likely symptom rather than cause, but I have a family member who seems to have been emboldened to brazen lies concurrently with Trump’s campaign and Presidency.
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