I was thinking of the village today. No, not with any great nostalgia, (except the nostalgia every middle aged person feels for the innocence of childhood. Also, I miss grandma) and I realized that their narrative in the head was as simplified and as erroneous as any we see among millennials.
Sure, it was a different narrative. And in many ways more functional.
They studied history in school — fourth grade was mandatory — but somehow emerged with the idea that Catholicism was the FIRST religion ever. (Not just the first Christian flavor.) That Portugal was the most developed and best country in the world. That they were, in a way, chosen people.
There were a ton of other things in the “narrative and picture of the world in head” which included, but was not limited to, stuff on how and when to plant, how we wore our clothes, what we ate when, etc, etc, etc world without end.
My family was slightly askew to this: better educated, and HONESTLY just odd. We didn’t function the same way. But most of us faked it well enough to fit the general framework. Well, maybe excepting me. The village didn’t know what to make of me in their framework, so I ended up being painted by rumor as either the red woman of Babylon (which was hilarious, since I got kissed the first time at 18) or crazy, or drug addicted. The rumors flew back and forth in contradiction. They probably still do among those that remember me, and are left in the village.
And yeah, the narrative irritated me me as much as the left narrative does, because it wasn’t TRUE. And being odd, I’ve got a weird passion for the truth, even when it hurts.
But today I was thinking that at least the village’s narrative was functional. Okay, so, besides the unbending (sort of, when you grow up you find people make all sorts of exceptions, like, having a baby out of wedlock is the end of the world and you’ll be shunned forever. Uh. Not. If you marry later and behave decently, then it will be expunged. Even if you don’t marry the father of the first baby, people will forget, deliberately and not, and you’ll be an honest woman and mother) moral — and frankly behavioral — rules, which are very helpful for humans in general, because we like to fit in, there was the belief they were part of a great country, contributing to something immortal.
Look, most people in the village were going to live and die there (many my age already have) doing unimportant jobs, and being forgotten except for a name in the family tomb. But that doesn’t matter, if you feel you’re part of something great, building the next greater and better thing.
People live like that for generations and are happy. Self-esteem works for cultures. Because humans are creatures of the band and the tribe. And being proud of your band or tribe encourages to behave better as a human being.
The problem with the millennial head canon, and really with the narrative that has infiltrated the west starting in the 20s and becoming dominant by the sixties, is that it’s a dysfunctional head canon. It’s a head caonon turned on itself, eating itself from within.
I mean, it’s objectively wrong, too, a-historical and in many ways anti-historical but that’s not what makes it bad.
What makes it bad is that it’s exactly the type of narrative victorious enemies impose on the conquered (partly because it’s the result of Soviet agit-prop, so, exactly that. Though they never conquered us, they did conquer our academia and education.)
My kids’ history books — and remember the boys are now in their mid-twenties, so this was a while ago — were all based on Howard Zinn. ALL of them. They’re all America is bad, the west is bad, white people are bad. It’s worse now, from what I hear from younger friends.
Day after day, week after week, month after month,school year after school year your kids in public school and most private schools, honestly, are bathed in a sea of “you’re bad, the culture who created you is bad. You’re bad for being born. You’re bad for being American. Europeans are bad. Being rich is bad. Being comfortable is bad. Being happy is bad.”
Honestly, I’m surprised at how many kids shrug it off and go on to be happy and productive. What is no surprise are the multiple tatooed, gender fluid, no hope of ever being anything but a mental patient numbers they turn out. Anyone who has studied the history of a conquered country recognizes the dysfunction.
Kids find only ONE refuge: to be a victim. Because that exonerates them. Hence why victimhood is now the supreme good. Which is dysfunctional, too, because victims can’t be happy or successful and must be held down forever.
One way to reject that narrative is what Europe is taking more and more, and I expect any minute now will take them to jackboots.
Europeans are as muttish as we are. They’re a mix and mingle of most of Europe. Oh, Southern Europeans are MOSTLY Southern Europeans, and ditto North Europeans. But not always. Remember all those wars and invasions? the treaties? the traders? even the royal visits? Yeah. Primly “Every contact leaves a trace.”
But that’s not how they think of themselves. Until very recently, and still now, but not out loud, they thought of themselves as separate RACES. The Portuguese race, the English Race, the Irish Race, etc.
They’re defaulting to that. Partly because they have to. They’ve gone as far down the drain as they can without perishing entirely, and apparently there’s some kind of instinctive fail safe. And their fail safe is kicking to “blood and soil.” That’s fine. I’m not one of those people who insists the solution for everything is the same world over. Cultures are different. Really different. And if their new head canon allows them not to self-destruct, I’m all for it.
Obviously this won’t work for Americans. It can’t, despite the delusions of a lot of people (a growing number, as the left has divided us into tribes, and doesn’t realize that will create real racism. Or that accusations of white supremacism breed real white supremacism.)
Americans are not only too visibly mixed, we know it. And the numbers of minorities (increasingly, thanks to the left anyone who isn’t NORTHERN European in appearance as well as ancestry) are too large to be submerged and subdued.
Besides, for this to happen we’d need to ditch the constitution. And yeah, sure, the crazies say we should. But we can’t. Because that’s what made us a country, and what made us the best thing the Earth has ever seen, lifting up our lamp to lift the world into its most prolonged and absolute era of prosperity and safety for most humans.
But we need a narrative to save us. Humans don’t really keep the whole world in their heads, as it is, at all times. They can’t. That’s not how we’re build. We need a simple narrative to teach the children, to make them proud of who they are.
Note the first thing the left went after was the stories of greatness: the founders, our brave fighting men, the courage and honor of simple Americans. They started with “but not…” And then on the basis of that doubt, they demolished everything, including, ultimately the statues, because these were “slave owners.” No allowance was made for the past or for their values and society being different, or for doing the best you can in an horrible world.
The same people who excuse all of foreigners, even stoning women to death for taking a ride in a car with a non relative, and dropping walls on gay people, also think it makes perfect sense to excoriate our founding fathers for being men of their time.
Because the conquering culture wants us utterly destroyed. They don’t care as long as we’re gone.
Raise your children to be Americans. Tell them stories of our great men and women and our greatness in the world. When they bring up the vileness taught to them in school tell them those are lies, planted by our enemies, in the long cold war. Our people aren’t perfect, no one is perfect, but we’re the best damn thing in G-d’s creation.
Without us, the light would go out. Keep the light going.
Teach them that. Discuss it in more detail as they grow up. Yeah, explain the flaws in the picture, but explain that the flaws don’t invalidate the picture. Give them a head canon that emphasizes American greatness and bourgeois virtues. Tell them the truth about the school — that it’s trying to destroy them. That if they follow the path of the schools they’ll end up dysfunctional and lost.
Build. Build a healthy head canon now. And pass it on. Because without it, we’re going to end up in war and the stories we tell ourselves will be the dystopian crap that has been pushed at sf/f for decades. (The power of the head canon is such I swear half the people who grew up reading them WANT them. Because it’s what they expected. That’s why prosperity upsets them.)
And while you can escape from physical chains, it’s much harder to escape the self-hatred that chains your mind.