Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Big M Question

I hear people use the word "millennial" to describe an individual every day now it seems. The expression is one of many, demonstrating the increased granularity of our society.

That's what we see more these days: an emphasis of quality, denominations of  culture, gradations that have tremendous weight. I think of, say, the Transgender community, a fraction of a fraction of the wider populous, that leverages so much power through appealing to hardened concepts like Justice, despite the depreciation such weighty concepts endure now that God is dead. 

Millennials have been described in a variety of ways. That demonstrates the wider problem of what to call a millennial definitively. We as a people are pulled in two different directions. On one hand labels are viewed as micro-transgressions. On the other, they are coveted and disseminated. When I listened to Metal I found it very interesting that the anarchist mobs, my brothers and sisters, coveted their genre particulars like they were species. More interesting is the renewed interest is ethnic studies of religion, dying languages, and anthropology. Our world has changed so much in the last two thousand years; our cosmology has changed. What does it mean to be human in the context of the great heat death of the universe? To those that still believe, is God entropy? Our epistemology has changed. at one time knowledge was knowable, then unknowable, now quantifiable, soon to be quantum. Information is volatile, ultimately. To know what a Millennial is, we must trace how we came to this road. A truly postmodern generation, Millennials are burdened with a duplicitous relationship with their world. They both aspire to find meaning in it and grapple with the futility of existence. 

I found it interesting, personally, that I contemplate who I am on a regular basis. I am a Nihilist, a Christian, a Socialist, and an Author. Capitals to emphasize the essence of each, their properties and true form. This makes me very much a Millennial in that regard. Labels, as used by Millennials, connote variety and innovation. Labels in reality imply qualities superficially. When someone who is black says, "I am Black," it could mean much different that when a person, who is white, says, "He is Black." This is why when I say I am a socialist, there are three meanings to the word: what the "world" believes a socialist to be, what a socialist believes a socialist to be, and what I believe a socialist to be. This doesn't even account for nationalism. Obviously, the Dutch may believe different things about socialism than say, an american, or a Brit. In the end each member of the three yearns for a kind of cohesiveness that negates the originating intention of a label, and at worst reintroduces the racism-like equivalent of category, the very state the Millennial was intending to avoid by expressing their uniqueness in the first place.

We live in a mad, rudderless world, that compels me to embrace forms of nihilism that thread through popular culture. On Facebook, there are meme communities that generate more meaningless content than a Dadaist monastery. I'm familiar with a few of them. Popular entertainment, though not as cutting edge, perpetuates what these internet communities call "shit posting" on television. I think its because we crave order that we cannot acquire, and we want the world to be okay with ourselves giving up, and feeling crazy with us. I ask myself, "why is Nihilism so funny?" everyday, and I can't produce a worthy answer. This morning while I was walking my dogs it occurred to me that #YOLO is less of a modern interpretation of the Latin "Carpe Diem," and more an expression of futility. 

"I just had sex with three different partners withing 48 hours. #YOLO" a Twitter feed iterates. Translated from the common vernacular: "Smashed all night. Smashed All day. Sick beats at the club. #fuckyeah #YOLO"

Might as well right? We are all going to die.

I don't mind this world as much as it may seem because it drives people to accept Christ. To defy convention by undertaking one. Nothing is certain anymore, so people yearn for certainty. Half of me writing this is an attempt to talk myself down the ledge, to turn away from the bleak world that was provided me by moderns and post-moderns alike. The other half is just procrastinating from starting my work on the novel.


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