Paul Parish: I concede. On the other hand, quality-time-with-your-own-mind fits too conveniently into niche marketing

[Paul is responding to a whole chain of posts that started out with thoughts on Balanchine’s ballets “Liebeslieder Walzer” and “Serenade,” but has now taken on all of Western Civilization. (This should probably be the cue to stop…)]
I concede everything Marc says. And I don’t want to go back to national Christianity any more than I’d go back to astrology. There IS a nostalgia for it which I feel personally, but my personal feelings aren’t the point — it’s the popular culture that’s lost its bearings.
I think the big mistake was when we agreed to stop seeing ourselves as citizens and came to accept the idea that we’re consumers.
Niche-making seems to be the acceptable outlet, approved by the capitalists, for those who want “quality-time-with-my-own-mind.” It’s pervasive, for sure, but just another disintegrating factor for the culture, another atomising force that valorizes individual pursuits, “whatever,” mostly because that’s the easiest way to get money out of a lonely person — you’ve got to identify the person with the money and then identify his tastes, and then you’re in.
As for Orwell: in his defense, he noticed that the strength of Christianity was not the punishment it threatened wrong-doers with but the hope of being reunited with people who’d died that you’d loved. The more friends you’ve lost, the more you’ll feel the appeal of this.

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