I’m a horrible insomniac. So, as some of you may know, that lends itself to online scanning at 3am searching for something of amusement. Recently, I came across a version of one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite singers. It was Tori Amos and her rendition of “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” Alluring voice, superb song.
The YouTube clip was from a series called “Good Omens” that I had watched for about thirty minutes some time ago. I wasn’t impressed. It wasn’t the lead actors, they were two I liked, Michael Sheen and David Tennant. Sheen had been Wesley Snipes on 30 Rock and Tennant had been Dr. Who. Good stuff. It was the basic premise of the show.
Both men played supernatural creatures, Sheen an angel and Tennant a demon. The angel was portrayed as fussy, effeminate, and pompous. The demon was portrayed as cool, witty, and masculine. An agent of God, made to seem weak and ridiculous. A servant of evil, the manner of a swaggering rock icon. All wit, confidence, and candor. And there you have it, the modern inversion of morality. As Churchill said about a political opponent, our sensibilities can’t tell the difference between the fire and the fire department.
It’s akin to the old Cold War moral symmetry argument, that the US and the Soviets were moral equivalents. Just the two biggest kids on the block. That conveniently ignored the fact that one of those kids, while not perfect, defended liberty. The other promoted despotism.
Now, I’m no great moralist and, like others, I’ve done some despicable things in my life. So I’m in no position to give blanket moral instruction. However, when I’ve done these things I fully knew I was doing something wrong. But I still did it to advance whatever dumb or nefarious goal I was pursuing. There was nothing cool, fashionable, or witty about it. I was being a jerk. But our popular culture sees it the other way around.
To them, what Judaeo-Christian ethics says is wrong is oh so delightful. And conversely, what traditional morality says is right is boring, suffocating, and to be avoided at all costs. But if we look at human history the opposite holds true.
Evil, as personified by the likes of, say, the Soviets, Castro and his henchmen, and Pol Pot, have all been applauded by modern culture. Kill millions? No problem, as long as you’re not one of those Christers. Shoot gays for fun, as Che Guevara did? Excused if you have the whiff of Marxist romance about you. Execute a good portion of the Cambodian population in an orgy of Maoist barbarity? Totally cool with the Western cultural powers that be, as long as you opposed the United States in Vietnam. What actually happens to the people of Cambodia and Vietnam becomes an afterthought.
These people aren’t cool. They are plodding, soulless, remorseless automatons. They are not charming, nor clever, nor attractive in any way except to the dark twisted masochists who decide what is pop cool and what is not. The above faux heroes are the antithesis of cool. They are as lame as it is possible to be, if we define cool as considerate, brave, and innovative, with a deep respect for freedom.
The real heroes? Leaders like Ronald Reagan, doctors like Ben Carson, writers like Charles Murray and Thomas Sowell, well, these individuals are seen by our predominant culture as reactionary lunkheads because they dared to fight actual tyranny and oppose the dead hand of leftist orthodoxy. For that, they are forever condemned as uncool, not deserving of the homage given Che Guevara, lest the gullible masses smell a rat and switch sympathies accordingly.
Thus, make your cultural choices wisely. Those who would invert good and evil, those who would sneer at decency but wink at murder, those who work night and day to submerge Judaeo-Christian ethics into the quicksand of modernity, deserve neither your attention nor your patronage. You have better things to do. One hopes you do, anyway.