In my time spent just around Chicago in the past week or two, I have begun to pick up a theme of a message that is very popular: Nothing Is Greater Or Less Than US.
I began to notice this when, well, those exact words were spray painted on the sidewalk in the De Paul University/Lincoln Park area near the Fullerton stop.
I wondered to myself: “What does that even mean?” Then about, 0.000003 seconds later, I realized, this is relativism, of an even stronger type.
Earlier, the downtown Chicago Metropolitan Library had massive ads hanging from its outside which said “Be Part of the Ordinary.” I was equally confounded, since usually we hear emphasis to the opposite: be extraordinary. Why the strange juxtaposition of two seemingly contradictory concepts coming from the same source of public education?
The next day, getting off the train to walk towards my house, I heard the drums of a brass band and engines. The street was lined with observers, But this band was different. There was a rainbow flag hanging from the tuba and the jeep, and the shirts of the marchers were not uniforms but rather “Chicago’s Gay Pride Marching Band.” I didn’t know we had such a marching band until that day. They were indeed quite proud – especially since as I turned to walk home I felt a palm quickly slap my chest. Thinking the worst, I look down to find an “Equality” sticking to my polo, and looked up to see a lady quite excited that I was joining her movement.
To continue the story, the next morning I got off the train again at State and Lake. As I walked towards my office I saw a man selling the magazine pictured below. He told me the picture was worth $00.10, so we settled that.
Before you think I’m going to criticize the cover of this magazine, let me just say that I have nothing against disabled people or disabilities.
Most people will say the cover really is trying to communicate that “Disabled people are people too and they aren’t any less valuable.
The reason for all this backstory is because there is a common thread. The magazine cover does not say “Disabled people are not any less valuable” or even “…are of equal value.”They are indeed equal, but I don’t happen to think its a mistake. Why? To say that would be to acknowledge objective values beyond just our emotions. Again, this means no respect to people with disabilities, but should you be proud of and recommend missing a leg, or losing a track meet?
I have become accustomed to talking philosophy with graduates from a number of schools and the most popular idea out there these days is “in our differences we are united, and how you choose to be different is no less than anyone else.” In a world obsessed with diversity, ironically all things are the same, all things are valued equally. Even though this denies common sense (we act to the contrary) it is popular, probably for just that reason. To know anything beyond emotions is cool as long as it remains a part of “what makes you different” and doesn’t spread its objective disease on other people by imposing its consequences.
Do you remember playing baseball when you were a kid and getting a trophy? Right, well I do to. I also remember one year in particular when the losing team got the same trophy – size – marble and all, as our team, and me.
Even if there was something wrong with homosexual behavior, who would (or could) claim there is when there is no such thing as better or worse beyond how things make you feel? Ironically, I find this to be Neitzsche’s criticism of Christianity “on steroids” and re-canned for the secular masses. Supposedly in Christianity the weak have convinced themselves that they are strong, good and healthy, when really in the Greek view they are weak because they can’t conquer, rape or boast. In this worldview, beyond the individual the only thing that exists is:
Us and Them
And after all we’re only ordinary men
Me, and you
God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do
Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died
And the General sat, as the lines on the map
moved from side to side
Black and Blue
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up and Down
And in the end it’s only round and round and round.