I have no idea how things became this bad, or even how we reached this situation. However, by all accounts, things could be much worse. Then again, they could be infinitely better. The source of my malcontent is not the creeping Y2K problems that elicit such millennial fervor. Nor do I locate the problem in the events being played out in the former Yugoslavia. Although this spectacle is tragic, I hold it is merely a symptom of a wider malady that has taken root. A malady that has its roots in the hodgepodge of half-baked ideas, wishful thinking, and scientific nonsense we know under various terms, as New Age, Progressive thinking, or whatever.
Although irreducible to one specific author or train of thought, it can certainly be identified by characteristics. Among these traits, the most consistent that appears is a glib, facile, optimism. An optimism not born out of a spirit of overcoming obstacles but of wishful thinking and misguided belief that each individual has the world revolving around him or her. Although I understand the point of this type of worldview (serving to empower those who feel victimized by fate), I do not agree with it. The world, in this way of thinking, becomes transformed as in a funhouse’s mirrors, and is no longer the world of cause and effect. Instead, it’s the world where things happen because we will them to happen. Cancer is no longer a disease, but a crime of thought whose victims are the perpetrators. Victims, who must be punished and are subsequently ignored by their new age peer group. This is the logic of the Pharisee. This is the logic of the bureaucrat. Let the victims suffer, they deserve it.
By extension, not only do improper thoughts become a crime, but considering taboo subjects becomes discouraged. The focus shifts from Auschwitz to the transcendent. It is easier to not think at all than having to confront the evaporation of our antiseptic dream castles. Ultimately, this becomes the worst form of escapism. As one becomes more enmeshed in this feel-good ideology, there is less responsibility to others. This is the feel-good hypocrisy the punks rebelled against. The dated legacy of the Sixties, that has become repackaged and sanitized for the Nineties.