"Four years before I was born, man walked on the moon for the first time, the most magnificent single feat our little tribe of East African Plains Apes has ever managed. Now we don’t even do that. What happened to the dream? Government mismanagement, yes, but something more than that, too, some failure of imagination and will."-- Megan McArdle, wondering aloud from her Matrix-like cocoon, in The Atlantic.
Oh, Megan, Megan, Megan. It's still early in the morning, and for you to speak of a "failure of imagination and will" in this time of "Hope and Change" almost made me spill my beer.
Where have you been, woman? Out hanging with Joe Biden?
Don't you know, despite the fact there were 400,000 people involved in it, the truly modern folks of today question that whole deal? And don't you also know they have different, completely Earth-bound, dreams now? Today, whether they've ever done anything significant or not, "our little tribe of East African Plains Apes" proclaim themselves gods and demand others acknowledge them as such - or else. They write to me and ask, "Don't you want to be a god, too?" But like you, understanding what effort it took to fly to the heavens, I try to laugh at them. Unfortunately, like my beer breakfast, it seems to be something done alone.
This lonely foster child, also like you, spent a lot of time in school daydreaming, so I know what I'm talking about - it was a signature trait of my youth. I was always being abused, by teachers and preachers and students, for drifting away from whatever they thought was important for me to hear.
One kid even stopped me from blankly staring out a school bus window, specifically thinking of space exploration, by throwing an unopened can of purple soda and hitting me in the head. Yes, Megan, let me tell you, those were the days!
My respect for most people - and what they "think" - hasn't budged much since then, and nowadays, many so-called "enlightened" folks think nothing of harassing me - and others - for pretty much still doing the exact same thing. They "think nothing" of it. Get it?
Oh, I've still got my sense of humor, Megan Ol' Girl.
Good thing, too, because I find that, as I grow older, I still seem to be on an opposite trajectory from most people.
I find that, as they discover this medieval superstition called NewAge "spirituality", my abusers have become more like a perverted version of the dreamer I was, while I've acheived a certain maturity about trying to make my dreams come true.
So "What happened to the dream?"? C'mon, Megan, don't play dumb:
Those were dreams played out by men in crewcuts - men with "The Right Stuff" - and, as The Eagles sang in "Hotel California", we "haven't had that spirit here since 1969".
You'd do better to ask why losers, like the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, caught on.
Or why Oprah Winfrey is popular, with her coterie of Wise Men, like Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Rhonda Byrne, Marianne Williamson, and (most importantly) "The One"?
Why does Bill Clinton listen to Ken Wilber, or Hillary seek out Jean Houston? Why does Congresswoman Jean Harmon think she can gain real-world political insight from talking to a yogi?
Don't you know? They're a new breed of leader! These shamans, I mean, not the stupid politicians who follow them.
A bunch of ignorant men going to the moon - or even Mars - can't answer these brilliant post-feminist figures deepest yearnings anymore - that calls for going inside, Baby!
Seeing what's beyond the stars just made preachers switch to speaking of the "Heaven within".
See, "we are stardust and we are golden" - just like that damn calf idiots danced around in the Bible, except now they dance around each other at raves - and, instead of turning water into wine, we've got Senator Tom Harkin claiming it's medicine. He can do that, and hardly anyone's going to question him on it.
Going into space? Puh-leaze. It can't hold a candle to this shit.
They're obsessed with "Saving The Planet" now, or haven't you heard?
I recently, and openly, asked a similar question as yours of (your friends as well as mine?) professors (and bloggers) Ann Althouse and Glenn Reynolds - the two fine folks standing in the center there - and one commenter said:
"I also think it is curious that New Age is not seen as a threat. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that New Age doesn't require anything of anyone other than 'being open to everything', sort of how a pedophile might be the nicest guy in your neigborhood, 'open to everything'.Megan, NewAge is the stuff that's squashing our dreams. Holding them, and the rest of us, hostage in a Dreamcatcher. They're a nightmare come true.
Once you get burned though, shame sets in, and self-blame. Victims often go quiet.
New age then moves on, it dresses up as something else, something even 'more real'. And New Age never takes a stand. it just sucks you dry and works on keeping folks from picking up on the stench.
Althouse and Reynolds can't quite put their finger on this. They smell it, but they won't look for the unrecognizable rotten dead rat behind the dishwasher. They talk about the stench and not the rat. Your article about France was about the stench in a sense, so it is on the periphery where they'd rather dwell."
Just as these cultural authorities of the hippie generation once shouted "Don't trust anyone over 30!" we must now declare "Don't trust anyone over 50!" because they are the enemy of success - and, if you don't see the proof of that everywhere now, then you're blind.
What we haven't done, at their request, is pin them down.
They'll scream "McCarthy!" They'll scream "Witch hunt!" They'll scream we have no right to challenge their "beliefs". Sure.
But that is exactly what's called for - that, and me getting another beer.
You know, The Macho Response.