According to the New York Times there is a troubling trend among some avant-garde kids to assume the trappings of traditional institutions, like the Catholic crucifix, and defy the virtue signaling mantra of their generation’s elite guardians. So, the Times is looking for a sleuth to ferret out the details of this heresy and hopefully expose the malefactors so that they can be properly punished and then allowed to recant and declare their love for Big Brother.
This New York Times project is described in an article in the City Journal that goes on to try and explain these young rebels as the first fruits of a rebellion of the young against the dominant culture which in this case is the current all encompassing orthodoxy of woke-ism. In other words, these young people are organizing a counter-culture against what used to be described as the Left’s counter-culture against western civilization.
The author states: “Few things are more natural for young people than to push back against the strictures and norms of their day, even if only to stand out a little from the crowd and assert their independence. A counterculture forms as a reaction against an official or dominant culture—and today, it is the woke neoliberal Left that occupies this position in America’s cultural, educational, technological, corporate, and bureaucratic power centers. In this culture, celebration of ritualized, old forms of transgression is not only permitted, but practically mandatory. Dissent against state-sponsored transgression, however, is now transgressive. All of what was once revolutionary is now a new orthodoxy, with conformity enforced by censorship, scientistic obscurantism, and eager witch-hunters (early-middle-aged, zealously dour, tight-lipped frown, NPR tote bag, rainbow “Coexist” bumper sticker, pronouns in email signature—we all know the uniform).”
Apparently, these young rebels can be found in trendy areas of lower Manhattan and their cachet as members of the avant-garde worries the gatekeepers of public morality at the Times and the author equates this worry with genuine peril that the youth among the elites could be corrupted and driven over to the dark side where one day they would produce a new consensus to shift the balance of power away from the monolithic progressive world view. And a new regime could populate the Deep State with acolytes of the Dissident Right.
Well, I don’t know about that. I know that Curtis Yarvin is interested in the lower Manhattan scene being discussed and he is of the opinion that the only way to neutralize the Deep State is to peacefully displace it with a new elite. But in both of these examples I wonder at the circumstances and the time line that would bring about such a transformation. Some kids in Manhattan adopting Christian symbology isn’t a bad thing but what is the larger significance? Do these young people hope to change the values that guide modern life? Are they looking to traditional values to give meaning to their existence? And how many people are we talking about? A handful, a few thousand or a growing trend?
And what will be the reaction of the gatekeepers? I’m sure they’re already busy looking to siphon off any discontented teens with a Tik-Tok influencer who sports a trans-friendly pseudo-Catholic rosary that involves anti-Pope Francis’ official rainbow seal of approval.
I guess, on balance, any fear on the part of the official organs of the state like the Times is a good and promising symptom. Therefore, I won’t rain on their parade. But I think I’ll wait to celebrate until I see some larger more widespread evidence that the Zoomers have begun to rebel. Possibly the “Let’s go Brandon” cheers (or their actual words) at football games could be interpreted as the first real sign of popular unrest of the young against the Left. But I’ve assumed that was more of a reaction to the COVID lockdowns by the Biden administration and not a general anti-woke reaction. We’ll need to see clearer signs such as voting trends or support for traditional institutions like religion and marriage.
But I’ll end by saying that anything that hints at the young abandoning the woke cult is encouraging. Even if it’s a minority movement, it’s a start.