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"They kept saying they believe in nothing"

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OKLAHOMA CITY – When it comes to “nihilism,” there’s no better pop culture touchstone than The Big Lebowski, starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi.

The 1998 film by the cinematic mages the Coen Brothers came about at a time when post-modern apathy was starting to really take hold. I find it remarkable that the dark comedy, which oddly takes place in and around September 11, 1991 (check out The Dude’s checkbook date at the beginning of the film), captures how things would be as the decade of Clinton darkened and fell into the history books.

And of course, by September 11, 2001, the pop-culture nihilists, the authoritarians who consider themselves subversives (h/t Christopher Knowles at The Secret Sun), had largely taken over, but instead of wearing all-black clothing, sneering and talking with a German accent (“Oh come on Donny, they were threatening castration!”) a new “Scientism” has taken hold, an anti-philosophy where “life is meaningless and hopeless, a cosmic accident, and the only chance of salvation is dictatorial rule by government scientists who won’t flinch from making the tough choices needed to pacify – and periodically – cull the herd.”

Those words, again, are from Mr. Knowles and his latest Secret Sun post “Narrative and the New Nihilism.” This is a step past the Dawkins-ization of the anti-theological “narrative.”

He talks about the film K-PAX (with Bridges and Kevin Spacey) and how the film could have been good, post-9/11, but had been drained of its “metaphysical appeal.”

It’s interesting, in reading Knowles’ recent posts, how he notes that the “Globalist’s nihilist agenda” (that it’s all for nothing and that’s it) was rolled out in the mid-to-late 1990’s. I’ve been saying for years that something changed around that time. I noticed it more acutely around 1997 and into 1998. He’s definitely on to something by saying that.

In fact, I was thinking about popular “skeptic” Michael Shermer today and wondering if there was something that happened to him many years ago that soured him severely on the “possible.” Shermer is the guy who goes behind the stage and reveals the secrets of the magic trick to the audience and laughs at you for being so stupid and gullible. He's a cruel bully, he and his lot.

The Shermers of the world are a sad bunch. And they want to drag us down their horrible, nihilistic trail with them. They, as Knowles notes, don’t understand the sense of community. America, he writes, is a “just a giant shopping mall filled with strangers.” 

Knowles is not particularly optimistic that we in the love/sync/what-have-you community can thwart the nihilistic agenda. It's easy to get discouraged when everything in the culture has seemingly gone down that destructive path. 

And QUITE coincidentally (read: synchromystically) it took a video from Elvis Costello & The Attractions (that seriously just came on!!!) called "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding" to tell me - right now, mind you - that there is "light in the darkness of insanity." Thank you, (songwriter) Nick Lowe! I knew you'd come up again this week. Must be that "old magic," eh?

"And as I walked on / Through troubled times / My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes / So where are the strong? And who are the trusted? / And where is the harmony? The sweet harmony? Sweet harmony / 'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry / What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

I know it's hard to not fall for the nihilists/scientistic dark agenda. But we have to find one another in the midst of this "insanity." I'm already finding those people who have not slipped down the hole. 

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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