meme: a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation)) “memes are the cultural counterpart of genes”
According to the brilliant youth of the left, anyone who holds an opposing view is frequently categorized and castigated as a “scared old man.” Sometimes the word “paranoid” is thrown in for good measure. Evidently this sounds more sophisticated and cerebral to the accuser’s ears. (Racist loses impact when overused … er … doesn’t it?)
Anyway, I had the misfortune of stumbling across some “conversations” taking place on the social media “news” sharing site: reddit.com the other night. I clicked on one of the news stories being discussed under the politics section. Viewing the actual “discussion” that is taking place under each of these topics is something that should not be undertaken by anyone with a weak stomach. The meaning of the term “echo chamber” becomes quickly apparent.
I was reminded of something that Thomas Paine said in Common Sense.
… a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
One of the more obvious themes running through many of the “discussions” was the rancor expressed at “the old”, basically defined as anyone over 30. What is the special knowledge and experience imbibed by the “youth” that is forgotten upon entering your thirties? It’s not clear.
Ironically, Erich was online at the same time experiencing the same phenomenon at Digg. He was immediately labeled as an “angry, scared old man”. He wondered where that came from, It’s not like he posted “Methuselah” as his screen name. Maybe its reflex. Values I don’t understand = Angry, Scared Old Man.
Where does this youth bias come from? It’s being promulgated by the left. Al Gore, in a recent speech to high school students told them “you know things your parents, don’t know.” Like what? How to use twitter?
Jonah Goldberg details this aggrandizement of the youth in Liberal Fascism. The irony of fascist misnomer is not lost on Goldberg.
“We can be happy in the knowledge that this future belongs to us completely. While the older generation could still waver, the younger generation has pledged itself to us and is ours, body and soul!” Adolph Hitler
What Gore meant and what Hitler alluded to was that the younger generation is easily persuaded to go to war against the established norms of the culture they inherited. They are vulnerable, partly due to inexperience and the natural tendency toward rebelliousness of youth. The other part is that they have been imbued with unearned self-esteem and mesmerized by promises of human perfection once the old values have been banished. They are “dwarfs mounted on the shoulders of giants” to paraphrase Fulbert of Chartres, ignorant of their heritage and dismissive of the truths that mankind has learned over time.
It is no wonder they disparage those whom they view as guardians of outmoded values that stand in the way of utopia. If you are black, and you disagree with the liberal orthodoxy, you are an Uncle Tom. If you are white and persist in disagreement, you are an angry old man who lives in the past. It’s much easier to denigrate people and motives than to contend for ideas they are unprepared to defend. One cannot have a debate with an echo chamber.
On the rare occasions that I attempt to engage the enlightened youth by pointing out that their logic is absent, or that their facts are in error, I usually get a conglomeration of obscenities. “F***tard” is my personal favorite. I guess that means that I am mentally handicapped, but I propagate?
I am trying to maintain a sense of humor, but I confess, its difficult. Makes us angry old men want to take a nap.