Every week, every year, now into multiple decades of sermons, Pastor Chris Hedges flies the flag of anti-humanist lugubrious anhedonic conservatism from his perch on the rocks of the obliterated hillside of our beloved micro-left. He is not alone, of course, as Fun Social Nihilism has noted time and time again – the values of secular humanism have been betrayed by the lectern boredom-dispensers on the alleged left since the days of the 60s.
Conservative pontificators have been the scourge of actual social rebellion, from the left as well as the right. Many have been Middle Eastern cultists like Pastor Hedges, but not all. Every week, it is the same tiresome litany in the sermon from the Pastor, the never with an ounce of humor, or joy, or self-awareness. The lead-in is standard superior finger-wagging from the pious one:
The severance of a society from reality, as ours has been severed from collective recognition of the severity of climate change and the fatal consequences of empire and deindustrialization, leaves it without the intellectual and institutional mechanisms to confront its impending mortality.
Okay, great, no kidding, everybody with a pulse knows that the supersystem is one bad arrangement, only Pastor Hedges came to this knowledge very late, after his elective stints at Harvard Divinity and as a pad employee of the NY Times corporations. And watch what you say, buster, about none of us having “intellectual mechanisms.” Many, many folks have them, here in atheist wordpressland and elsewhere, but they are worthless against the reign of the powerful.
And then comes the obligatory cheap shot:
It exists in a state of self-induced hypnosis and self-delusion. It seeks momentary euphoria and meaning in tawdry entertainment and acts of violence and destruction.
Wait, what’s this nonsense about “tawdry entertainment”? What could be finer than “tawdry entertainment”? There is a good deal of honest fun in tawdry entertainment, as opposed to sitting around all day reading musty classics like George Eliot and muttering bemoaning invocations against the uncultured ways of the Philistines. There is a long, long way form “tawdry entertainment” to “acts of violence and destruction,” and to couple them is a sign of psychic disintegration. Pornography, pop music, epic wack TV like Timber Creek Lodge – that’s what modern social nihilism celebrates, enjoys mightily, requests, needs, and certifies gold. There is no “left” without these enduring, mighty popular pleasures.