Ours would not be the first culture to kill itself.
History is littered with dead cultures, some dead in ways we can define, and others disappear without reasons we can determine. The Roman Empire died by its own hand; yet the Olmec just faded away.
So cultures die, this we know. How they die should impart a lesson to us, and often times it does — cultures succeed on the backs of such lessons.
I have been watching our culture slowly swirl around what I can only call a contemplation of suicide. This has been going on for some time now, at least since the late 70’s, though I cannot point to a single event to back this up. But we became obsessed with death around that time — action hero movies, video games, even music, began to treat death thematically.
And now the pandemic has come, and all around us swirls death by choice.
Our beloved Constitution, and the nation it founded, were nearly killed in a coup attempt, which is still ongoing in slow motion all around us.
Republicans are threatening to destroy our economy with the debt ceiling, and there is no reason to believe they won't do it — think Weimar Republic for context.
Fully half of our population is lost in a sea of cognitive dissonance, fed by an endless supply of misinformation.
And hate, is everywhere. So is fear.
Is it suicide our culture has chosen? I don't know for sure, but it sure feels like an attempt is underway. And I know that if we cannot cure ourselves of this madness, it will be.
I watched my little sister descend into this madness, without knowing what I was seeing. She hung herself four years ago. And before she died, I remember feeling very concerned that something terrible was wrong, but I was too close, I could not see it, and when she committed suicide, suddenly all I had been seeing and feeling made awful sense.
I'm not maudlin because of this I experience, I promise. But I'm getting that same feeling I had then, when I aggregate what I'm seeing our country do now, in the face of what our culture has become over the last 40 years...