May 19, 2006

"this Passion for Superiority"

Good questions by Peggy Noonan...

....I do not understand the thinking of a studio that would make, for the amusement of a nation 85% to 90% of whose people identify themselves as Christian, a major movie aimed at attacking the central tenets of that faith, and insulting as poor fools its gulled adherents. Why would Tom Hanks lend his prestige to such a film? Why would Ron Howard? They're both already rich and relevant. A desire to seem fresh and in the middle of a big national conversation? But they don't seem young, they seem immature and destructive. And ungracious. They've been given so much by their country and era, such rich rewards and adulation throughout their long careers. This was no way to say thanks.

I don't really understand why we live in an age in which we feel compelled to spoof the beliefs of the followers of the great religions. Why are we doing that? Why does Hollywood consider this progressive as opposed to primitive, like a pre-Columbian tribe attacking the tribe next door for worshiping the wrong spirits?....

They don't want the admiration or approval of 90% of America. Just the opposite. Their deepest desire and hunger is to feel they are part of an elite, that they are superior to 90% of human beings, that they understand what the swining masses do not...

A wise man saw this over 200 years ago...

I believe there is no one principle, which predominates in Human Nature so much in every stage of Life, from the Cradle to the grave, in Males and Females, old and young, black and white, rich and poor, high and low, as this Passion for Superiority . . . . Every human Being compares itself in its own Imagination, with every other round it, and will find some superiority over every other real or imaginary, or it will die of Grief and Vexation.
-- John Adams, in a letter to Abigail Adams, April 17, 1777

You can understand a lot of what we see arond us by just remembering what Adams wrote. That's why "artists" create "artworks" that make ordinary people want to vomit, or why the fashion industry uses models who look like depraved drug addicts. They desperately need to feel superior to ordinary people, who, of necessity, must reject their art, to show that only the "in-group" understands it.

That's why judges concoct decisions that let criminals go free on ludicrous pretexts--they get their kudos from the in-group of other judges and law professors.

that's a lot of why leftists hate free markets and want government to control things--they want experts to be in charge, as a general principle, even if the results are bad.

That's why Hollywood and leftists and the "Democrat" Party have no love of democracy. And why they are so anti-Christian. Christianity is about the most anti-elitist philosophy around. I always think of the John Bunyan, who related somewhere how he thought as a young man that he was a very superior Christian, until he happened to overhear some poor old biddies chatting in an alley, and was stunned to realize that they were, spiritually, way ahead of him...

Posted by John Weidner at May 19, 2006 7:00 AM
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