I just wished my handful of friends Merry Christmas on Facebook using messenger. Since dropping local blogging, I know they’re relieved, as I’d long ago worn out my welcome as l’enfant terrible sans filters of any kind.
My personal journey took me into the strange world of Trump, which has been remarkable. Even so, the Wife and I have been watching Survivor on CBS since the beginning, and while I haven’t been watching every week, I caught the last few episodes and finale.
Here’s the problem. Whereas the fake news and Russian hacking ruses have been weak to the point of hilarity, the level at which Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are operating in reality television is only rivaled by the talent show, The Voice, both of which surpass the freak show which is politics.
It is certainly a time of signs and wonders, none of which have anything to do with end times. Rather, we are seeing the distillation of social modalities. For instance, rather than a demagogue, Trump confounds critics and elates supporters with remarkable cabinet and admin appointments while eHarmony wishes it could approach the selection algorithm demonstrated by Survivor or wrap nascent musical talent with coaching and production at the level shown by The Voice.
While the NFL and NASCAR are consumed by their inescapable environments, we’re seeing examples of expectations exceeded through sheer exuberance in a world clouded by deflation, austerity and madness.
OTOH, you have cautionary tales like JD Vance, who hauled himself out of Appalachia into the Marines and J-school, only to disgrace himself with Hillbilly Elegy by transcending nothing. I don’t worry about the liberals who have succumbed to authoritarianism by hauling water for the doomed status quo. Neither do I fret for the used car salesmen practicing fascism in the NCGA. The here and now will always constrain us. The goal is to exceed imposed expectations, whether it be in marriage, business or politics by transcending limits and elevating the game in ways not considered possible.
Of course, I have no clue how to do that, but I like to think to think I recognize it, especially in leaders like Putin, perhaps when few else do. To be fair, I long ago saw it in my wife and that has made all the difference. We are not always nice, nor are we always fun, but there beats within us a burning desire not just to persist, but to prevail regardless of circumstances.