What's Tony Thinking

Quick Takes: God Would Have Forgiven You, Twitter Never Will


I liked this from Richard Beck and his blog “Experimental Theology” on our “age of authenticity,” particularly the final sentence:

“This age of ‘authenticity’ is actually characterized by a massive amount of social conformity.

“And not just conformity, anxiety. We fear social censor and stigma. We have to perform our identities with the utmost care for fear of getting out of the mainstream consensus. We used to worry about pleasing God, now we worry about Twitter mobs and getting canceled.

“Sad thing is, God would have forgiven you. Twitter never will.”

Ezra Klein’s recent piece on the work of political analyst, David Shor, and his concerns about the Dem’s being out of touch rang true, but not only about the Dem’s. It sort of fits super-progressive Protestantism of the UCC variety. Here’s Shor:

“I think the core problem with the Democratic Party is that the people who run and staff the Democratic Party are much more educated and ideologically liberal and they live in cities, and ultimately our candidate pool reflects that,” he said.

Shor believes the party has become too unrepresentative at its elite levels to continue being representative at the mass level. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the people we’ve lost are likely to be low-socioeconomic-status people,” he said. “If you look inside the Democratic Party, there are three times more moderate or conservative nonwhite people than very liberal white people, but very liberal white people are infinitely more represented. That’s morally bad, but it also means eventually they’ll leave.”

If you look at the whole article there’s a focus on “educational polarization,” meaning the highly degreed and less degreed (I prefer “degreed” to “educated” as I think you can be educated without having degrees, and have degrees but be stupid) going different directions politically. Similarly progressive and mainline Protestants tend to be playing to an educated elite and their sensibilities.

I accepted Andrew Sullivan’s challenge to view comedienne Dave Chappelle’s final Netflix special, “The Closer.” Here’s Sullivan,

“Far from being outdated, it’s slightly ahead of its time, as the pushback against wokeness gains traction. It is extremely funny, a bit meta, monumentally mischievous, and I sat with another homo through the whole thing, stoned, laughing our asses off — especially when he made fun of us. The way the elite media portrays us, you’d think every member of the GLBTQ community is so fragile we cannot laugh at ourselves. It doesn’t occur to them that, for many of us, Chappelle is a breath of honest air, doing what every comic should do: take aim at every suffocating piety of the powers that be . . . 

“The Closer is, in fact, a humanely brilliant indictment of elite culture at this moment in time: a brutal exposure of its identitarian monomania, its denial of reality, and its ruthless tactics of personal and public destruction. It marks a real moment: a punching up against the powerful, especially those who pretend they aren’t.”

I too thought Chappelle’s piece very funny, in some respects brilliant, but there’s a raunchy, sexually explicit element that some readers may not appreciate. Caution advised.

Chappelle concludes with a story that takes us back to Beck’s observation about the unforgiving nature of social media. He tells a moving story of a trans woman comedienne who takes to social media to defend him against charges of “trans-phobia,” and is then brutalized in that space. A week later she took her own life.

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