Exhaustion

During an Interview with Mark Steyn he says:

The West is exhausted because it has ceased to believe in anything and by that I mean it’s not necessary for everyone in a Western nation to be a believing and observant Christian but you have to understand I think that your your civilization springs from a relatively narrow foundational source.

Now this idea is not new but I want to focus in the evocative term “exhaustion”, or an exhausted civilisation, for a moment here, after I recently came across an article in a newspaper.

In The Sun, a UK newspaper, there is a recent report of Jeremy Clarkson, sixty years old, of Top Gear fame, having a go at Greta Thunberg, blaming her for the loss of interest in cars and his show, by young people:

She’s an idiot. Going round saying we’re all going to die, that’s not going to solve anything, my dear.

We gave you mobile phones and laptops and the internet. We created the social media you use every day and we run the banks that pay for it all. So how dare you stand there and lecture us, you spoilt brat!

I’m sorry Ms Thunberg, but if you’re going to lay into my generation, you must accept it when I lay into you and yours. What about the pills you take when you have a headache? What about the clean water that comes out of your tap? What about the food you can buy at any time of the day and night? No 16-year-old was responsible for any of that. What about the aid missions currently being run in some of the poorest countries of the world, or the drugs that help keep Aids at bay? Think about all the movies you’ve enjoyed. Movies made by grown-ups. And all those comedians who’ve made you laugh. Many thousands of people who you had the temerity to blame this week are trying to do exactly what you want. So be a good girl, shut up and let them get on with it. And no. You cannot stay out past ten. And you cannot go out in a skirt that short.

This obnoxious, demeaning, dismissive and contemptuous tirade spews forth from the mouth of a sixty year-old man who has come into being as a consequence of a worn-out logical definition of what a man is. This style of masculinity as we know has ruined the world and brought us to the brink. And it is exhausted! This final, empty tirade against the coming generation which should “be seen but not heard” is vacuous, powerless… and exhausted. The same definition of what a man is lies behind the ultra-conservative movement in the USA and its efforts to turn back Roe v. Wade, return women to the kitchen and to elect Trump, etc. 

We in the West have, as Mark Steyn above suggests, lost any connection to a “narrow foundational source” but extremism insists that such a foundation still exits in the forms of the past, and so we hear echoes of that past in the flaccid protests of Jeremy Clarkson who still wants to drive his fast cars with impunity, and, no doubt, hold as many automatic weapons as needed to blow away some animal in the forest.

We don’t have to hope here. It is certain that this logical definition of a man, or style of manhood,  is on its way out. It is exhausted and men or women who define their existence according to this exhausted definition, are taking down with them everything  that wants to live in a way that is not simply a useful resource or plaything for that style of “manhood”. 

We simply have to wait! Maybe the last spasms of this style of manhood will succeed in taking us all down in some kind of insane annihilating war before anything new can emerge but I am seeing signs, at least, of a new kind of man coming into being, based on a totally new logical definition and new way of being but I do not know what final outcome we will face as the old gives way to the new in the kind of frenzied violence we are seeing in Clarkson’s ugly speech, and more.