This should be a tweet, but I couldn’t make it a pithy little quip. Just…if you don’t care about my inane intolerance of just annoyingly edgy and confident media…like…just…go do something else instead of reading this. I’m just…tired…
But really, I listened to Benjamin Walker’s Theory of Everything today, most notably the episode on the future, and I just don’t have words to explain how much I exhaustedly hated it. Like, it epitomized everything I hate with our culture right now that doesn’t revolve around politics.
This is what I got out of it: technology is making us stupid, and Benjamin Walker knew everything bad that would happen with technology now in 2006, and only people as smart as him knew it.
Oh, and social media is making us dumber. As is technology.
He’s 4 years older than I am. We are in that weird middle stage where we are the elder millennials, me more solidly in Generation Y than him, but still this isn’t a generational divide. He just arrogantly doesn’t like social media and technology for the sake of not liking it.
What he epitomizes, for me, is the ultimately popular counter-culture, the hipster culture, the “I’m somehow better and smarter than everyone else because I’m not a sheep that just adopts technology and uses social media and you should worship at my superior feet” mentality that makes me want to punch things.
And it does because the reality is that this mindset of edginess and counter-culture being morally superior is so grating on my nerves because I have the mentality that I don’t care what culture does, I do what I find to be the correct course of action. If culture agrees, great; if it disagrees, whatever.
I spent a lot of energy as a preteen trying to fit in, and a lot of energy as a teen and young adult screaming that I didn’t fit in and that made me better. And then I grew up. I found my confidence and humility that allowed me to enjoy the world instead of looking for what I should hate.
I will pull an example from music. I have a weird taste for Ingrid Michelson, Sara Bareilles, and Brandi Carlile…and Tech N9ne and Bad Religion occasionally. I should hate them according to…well, really every measure of culture that I fit into. And I also love great, non-mainstream (but still accessible) bands like The Tedeschi Trucks Band and JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound and PJ Harvey and Gary Clark, JR., but I still like these really mainstream (or popular punk) artists, as well.
Why is being counter-cultural moral? Can someone actually answer that? Why is being contrarian a moral position? Why do you get to look down your nose at people when you refuse to consume popular culture and you rebel against technology?
Christians, too, have this awful ideal. Whenever a moral direction is changing within the church, the accusation is that the church is following culture, implying that all surrounding culture is absolutely wrong, and that aligned changes mean that the church is following culture, not that it is a parallel and concurrent, but separate, change.
Why is resisting change and being contrarian and counter-cultural seen as automatically moral? Can someone actually answer that for me so this subset of our culture…odd word choice…can not grate on my nerves quite so much?
I’m grumpy, I’m tired, and caffeine has worn off. Someone please just save me.
Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee…