Sunday, September 23, 2012
too much freedom
I have a couple friends who have gone nuts. Though they've never met, they both followed the same route from the real world to the Land of Cockaigne.
I've heard of others as well who've converted to Jesus-flavored fascism in middle age, such as Jack Kerouac. The metamorphosis makes for an ugly story, and I'm beginning to wonder if my friends are part of some kind of phenomenon.
Before you chalk this up as a mere "difference of opinion" among friends, gentle reader, consider that when this change happens, it moves a person from tolerance and inclusiveness to bigotry and narrow-minded resentment. If this kind of conversion was just a simple matter of grasping at the certainty of a moribund fundamentalist religion, as an antidote to the nebulous uncertainties of a vague "spirituality," I wouldn't worry. A worse problem is that for confused, modern people seeking security, Jesus always seems to be accompanied by Mussolini.
A backward, authoritarian and patriarchal religion, racial, ethnic, and cultural resentments, militant nationalism with occasional eruptions of war fever, all travel together in the dysfunctional minds of former hipsters who decided at some point that the freedom of independent thought and speech was too much work.
This is not the first time I've left people behind. When it's necessary, we should do so without regrets, because history never runs backward.