Saps

From greetings cards to presidential speeches, we live in a sappy time.

Sentiment is no longer bold, honorable and stirring; it’s quasi-ironic, saccharine, self-deprecating and “uplifting,” which means a combination of distracting and momentarily pleasant.

Underlying this style of expression is a fundamental negativity. Only if life itself is fundamentally not uplifting do we need little uplifts to get us through the day.

These are doses of the positive in the small. They are not major life goals that turned out OK; they’re the small consolations, diversions and compensatory self-rewards that we use to pull ourselves through life, inch by inch and not mile by mile.

They would have no value if life itself were not on some level negative. If life were positive, we would not seek the uplifting but the complementary, to enhance the beauty we found in life.

Instead, we’ve given up on the big picture or life as a whole being beautiful, and instead view it as a kind of jail sentence in which we take in our uplifts like cigarettes, little breaks that are alternatives to the misery of the whole.

The only reason to fixate on the uplifting, sentimental and emotional is out of a belief that the bigger situation will not change. We believe we are helpless against our jail sentence, and with it, the decline of years.

As a result, we become saps, only too willing to ignore our own concerns in favor of a sad story, a cute picture or a dramatic and emotional news story.

Our goal is perpetual emotional distraction which affirms our negative view of life, and that our only hope is to retreat into the self and the human world of emotions, socialization and “hope.”

We don’t believe in our society, or in its mission, or even it having a mission. We don’t believe in reality. We believe only in the self, and the external rewards like socialization, “hope” and uplifting moments that make it bearable.

This forever excludes us from anything deeper than the surface. In order to experience life, there must be a goal and a study of reality to match. Without that, life is like a skit acted out before the campfire — a caricature, a cartoon, and a farce.

Saps seem like an innocent enough phenomenon. They are harmless, after all. But the underlying cause of saps, as well as the consequences of their presence, is a deadly matter that no amount of uplifting propaganda can correct.

13 Comments

  1. Missy says:

    “As a result, we become saps, only too willing to ignore our own concerns in favor of a sad story, a cute picture or a dramatic and emotional news story.”

    Among the biggest saps in the universe are those who donated money to that incompetent, useless “school bus monitor” Karen Klein whose contribution to the world consisted of sitting like a yoyo while 4 bad little boys called her names. Oh, boo hoo hoo.

    In the wake of this Supreme Crime Against Noble Old Ladies, there now follows a veritable orgy of embarrassing-to-read sentimental commentary about the beauty of humanity, who rushed in with their last few dimes to give this nodding-off old prune a lovely vacation and retirement.

    1. Eric says:

      I get your point, but hate to say it – you sound bitter.

      1. Missy says:

        No need to “hate” saying I sound bitter. It’s okay with me. So, while I’m here, children (and adults) get abused and bullied every day; we find out about it; but nobody sets up a fund for them. What’s so special about the monumentally incompetent Karen Klein? I’d sure like to know why the noble Mr Sidorov is so taken with her but apparently nobody else? Further investigation is needed.

        Anybody who gave that woman a donation is a four star, cardcarrying, double-barrelled SAP and worse. K. K. was financially rewarded for – incompetence!

        1. Eric says:

          For me it was not the basic message you were trying to convey, just the intensity in which you describe someone I assume you don’t even know. But hey, maybe you followed this story closer than I did, and gathered things about her I was not keen to.

          1. Missy says:

            The saps (that’s Brett’s topic here!) who give to a total stranger because some boys were mean to her don’t know much about her, either. Er…did you donate? If so, why?

            KK is a victim in the sense that she was hired to do a job that old, out-of-shape women are not suited to, and anyone with 2 brains to rub together could see it coming – undisciplined boys getting nasty with an easy target. What a dumb society this is, no sense of what women are suited for and what they’re not. Mind you, I knew a woman who in her 80s could have made incredibly short work of those lads. The exception that proves the rule.

            1. Eric says:

              Alright, I’ll accept that. No, I did not give money, but did feel like she was not treated well by what was caught on the video (I also admit the media loves this kinds of feel good stuff without otherwise dealing with reality.) I remember near thirty years ago when I had moved to a new neighborhood where I had to then ride the bus (made it through elementary school being able to walk to school), and we had this older guy as a bus driver. Some of the kids were outright awful, going so for as to one day unhooking the removable last row seat and tossing it out of the rear emergency door. Sorry, but I thought that was in poor taste, and I thought what these kids did was as well. And my main point, posted in haste, was that you came across a bit harsh in regards to someone you couldn’t even really know that well. It wasn’t the general point that she was unfit for the job, it was the intensity of words you used to describe her. Anyway, that is all I meant and all I have to say about it.

    2. Another way to look at it: for every Karen Klein, there are 10 million people in a similar position who get nothing.

      It’s like the lottery; the possibility of winning is more important than the reality of almost certainly not winning. And thus they throw down their hard-earned cash by the billions…

  2. crow says:

    Great stuff!
    Then again, as usual, I don’t really understand the detail, only the larger pattern.
    Saps I see in the same way as those sad cases that go around displaying their so-called ‘spirituality’. Wearing it like a fashion, it displays something that really isn’t real, at all, to the displayer, but only an as-if.
    Such people, in embracing this appearance-of, completely miss the fact that what they are displaying is real, and that they actually could have it.
    But of course, they can’t, because what they display is something they don’t really believe in, and thus have no access to.

    I wonder how it came to be that the whole western world lost sight of reality, and focused, instead, upon the mere appearance of it.
    Drugs probably had a lot to do with it, and dishonesty.

    1. Eric says:

      What happens when caricature of self becomes more important than character itself, when appearance takes on a greater importance than substance?

      Well, we are finding out, aren’t we…

      1. crow says:

        When people tell lies to appear to be what they are not, they come to forget who, and what, they are. Forgetting this means they can never again be it.
        There is a way back from such a state, but realizing this is both the simplest and the most difficult thing a human can ever do.
        Becoming completely honest is the gateway to actual spirituality, as opposed to the caricature of it that you so often see. The caricature heaps ever more dishonesty upon dishonesty, and is probably even more detrimental that simply being an out-and-out atheist.

    2. You know, that’s very true. It’s like hipsters: the exterior is used to argue for the contents of the interior. No different than saying “I’m wearing a police uniform, thus I am a policeman.”

      I think that’s the essence of our modern confusion right there. When everyone is equal, every opinion must be valid; when every opinion is valid, there is no truth; when there is no truth, emotions, judgments and feelings are equal to reality itself (in our narcissistic, externalized, and judgmental eyes).

    1. Missy says:

      I’d say this is a cure, too:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZEHH0qBFHY

      Not my idea! This is what happens when you have children!

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