There is no clearer way to say that you have lost direction than to bring on the personal drama. This is why all dying civilizations are ostentatious, dramatic and competitive.
In fact, the archetypal dying civilization is filled with drama queens climbing all over each other to get attention from the public. They have no real purpose, so they have no achievements, which leaves only the novelty of themselves.
As the West spirals downward, and China rises to fight it (yet again), we can see how many useless people among us are creating constant drama as a means of selling themselves and/or avoiding notice of the yawning abyss of existential uncertainty and historical failure opening beneath them.
It’s a new form of our old friend, conspicuous consumption. Where once people bought luxury brands, now thanks to the influence of the 1960s, they’re buying lifestyles — and they’re dragging the next generation into their dramatic insanity:
Cypress (M/F) Like the tree, Cypress(es) are known for their durability year-round. They flourish in all four seasons, are beautiful, strong and have had literary significance since the dawn of meaning. They’re also beautiful, as is the name, I think, which combines both a whimsy and strength. Possible nicknames: Cy, Essie
Echo (F) pronounced Ek-O, “to have a continued significance or influence”, this was a contender before we knew we were having twins. (Echo also means “following” as well as reverberating influence which is the last thing we wanted either of our children to feel.) Love Echo. But not in the case of twins. possible nicknames: Co, Coco
Lark (F) songbird, a carefree or spirited adventure, amusing. I still love this name so much. It’s feminine and upbeat and beautiful. You should totally use it.
Cricket (F) Loud insect of the night. We thought Cricket was cute, but maybe better as a nickname than a given one. Then again, I love the name and think the right family could pull this one off with aplomb and eccentric grace.
Pace (M) pronounced Pa-chay, meaning: Peace (Italian). This was a middle-name front-runner for a boy. Pace pronounced Pace, meaning “speed” is also cool.
Zenith (M/F) the very top, (possible nicknames, Zen, Zeni) I like this name as a singleton but doesn’t work as well with twins unless the other twin’s name was, perhaps, Everest? – A very dramatic blog
The problem is that these people have banded together and created their own reality. If I buy your stuff, and you buy mine, we never have to face reality. Ta-da!
This is the phenomenon we call Crowdism, and it underlies every modern failing. People decide to evade reality by using other people as their reality. The social mindset takes over their brains, and they “succeed” by pandering to each other.
In the process, they make a giant group of people who have minimal functions like blogging, programming computers, selling clothing, writing press statements, making funny radio shows, etc. but these people are one-dimensional. They have an external dimension where they impress others, but underneath it, they lack the infrastructure of a personality. They care about nothing other than what rewards them; they know no truth except that which the herd rewards; they are hollow, but they’ve turned that into a weapon, by penalizing anyone with a deep passion for something by making an insincere, simplistic and trendy version of the same.
For example, the baby names above. Motherhood and fatherhood are sacred, reverent duties; this hasn’t changed with the years, no matter what trend-addled hollowmen tell you. When performing a sacred duty, you don’t draw attention to yourself by ornamenting yourself with the trivial but flashy. You also don’t project this same pain onto your child.
Who wants to grow up with a freaky, draw-attention-to-me, quirky and trendy name? It’s like showing up with your own television commercial. “Hi, I’m important not because I do anything well, but because I’m social! I have trendy tastes! I do things that other people like! Do the right thing? Only if it’s profitable!”
The parents who are dramatic and draw attention to themselves use their children as another possession. It’s the new conspicuous consumption. Why buy a BMW, and admit that you’re a soulless materialist, when you can have four kids and give them trendy names? Make a big public show of being a mother with a career, or a dad who gave up that promotion to have time with his kids?
It’s amazing how quickly the suit-and-tie guys of the 1950s, who worked soulless jobs and did anything for a buck, learned to change their tune in the 1960s. The best way to reach your customers is not through the machine of commerce, but through the even more vicious machine of socialization. It reminds me of the drab statement in The Graduate: the future is plastics. That’s where the profit is.
The new imperative takes the same old drab, disguises it as the exciting, and makes it even more powerful: Get your customers addicted to the drama. They will feel incomplete and boring, existentially lost and miserable, without your products. And they will come back for more, because even after they consume, they will still be lost sheep looking for guidance.
It’s the same underlying idea. Who cares what’s right, or what’s in your soul, or what might be a testament to the ages? What matters is what’s here right now and that other people like it. If other people like it, that’s better than reality. That means you get to be the center of attention, and make a hefty profit.
The bland suit-wearing drones of the 1950s turned into the bell-bottom wearing trendy drama queens of the 1960s, and the profit train never stopped.
Unfortunately for us, this same vibe then infested our society. It has wrecked everything, even motherhood, and by extension, childhood.
Like the Baby Boomers before them, but even more amplified, they’re saying to their kids: “You are appearance to others, and allegiance to me. You are a product that shows what I am, not what you are.”
We are rearing new generations who have never known anything but the perpetual distraction of constant self-expression, the dramatic egomania of thinking their life is like a movie, the vapid pursuit of trends in order to make popularity and thus profit.
These people will swear up and down that they are the opposite of what ails us. What ails us, they say, is the grey men in suits who sell us corporate products. That’s not what they are! Yet each one of them stands before us, in vivid clothes, selling us corporate products.
We’d have to be fools to not see through it.