It's time I had a proper rant.
Some of the things I dreamed about in the Playpower phase of my youth have come true, and I hate them.
Crowley's magick takes us through a succession of Aeons: first, there is Isis the Mother, the Pagan Aeon, in which we are ruled by the laws of Nature. Then comes Osiris the Father, the Aeon of monotheism and, most recently (since 1904 according to Crowley), the Aeon of Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child, the beginning of the maturation of humanity beyond repressive laws.
Yes, much of the old world had to go, such as the sexual repression horror of Victorian society that still lingered on.
That was dealt a significant blow by the lifestyle rebellions of the 60s; the Aeon of Horus was still making sense.
Fourteen years ago, it still made sense: In Chaotopia! I prized neoteny, which, biologically speaking is when individuals reach sexual maturity without developing all the other adult characteristics of that species; this is of course a metaphor for continual openness to development.
That freedom to be anything is the crown and burden of humans – that we are creatures of chaos, that we don't really know what we are. That means we can become anything – our limitless freedom of thought produces Auschwitz, and Beethoven, James Joyce and Big Brother.
This open-endedness is such a deep part of our nature, so I stand by my defence of neoteny – minds that are flexible and adaptable are those which retain youthful characteristics.
But the dark side of the Aeon comes increasingly to the fore: every Aeon must go through this, the accumulation of dilution, compromise, corruption.
Am I the only person who is deeply sick of the following?
1. Adults using baby talk: The other week, I read a report of a magistrate doing the requisite telling-off thing to a woman described as 'heavily pregnant' for an alcohol related offence.
The admonishment actually went: 'You've got a baby in your tummy...'
Did she think the woman she was addressing was severely intellectually retarded? Aren't magistrates supposed to be mature and sensible members of the community? Apparently 'no' is the answer to both questions.
Even professionals like doctors and vets use the word 'poo', a perfectly suitable term for 8-year olds, before they get the hang of what social contexts demand 'excrement' or 'faeces' and which 'crap' or shit'. Suggestion: some Home Office guidelines on addressing adults of reasonable mental capacity; Doctor, I don't do 'poo'.
2. The description 'Grab Bag' for a slightly-too-large bag of crisps. Toddlers grab, adults 'pick up' or maybe 'seize'. Suggestion: replace term 'Grab bag' with 'Greed Bag'.
3. Those nipple-like caps that project out of the plastic tops of disposable coffee cups, which some people actually drink thro, like nipples, eschewing the aroma of the heavily-branded coffee they have just forked out for.
Maybe that ridiculous nipple resulted from the landmark US court case many years ago, in which a person actually successfully sued McDonalds for serving her the hot coffee with which she managed to scald her thighs. Such a plunge into Aeonic-scale legal idiocy cries out for commemoration, in our species' collective Darwin Awards, represented in the form of nippled coffee cups. Thus passes the glory of humankind.
So what is it all about, this infantilization? Why can't I jump on and off buses as they hang around in traffic? Is it because we can no longer stand to lose a few idiots a year in exchange for these delightful, trivial freedoms? Are we thereby a more compassionate society?
I don't think so; consider the following: A few months ago, the Powers That Be closed a gap in the central fence of the dual carriageway at the beginning of the Old Kent Road, so now people have to step over it. This stops the less mobile from nipping over, and makes it slightly more dangerous for those that do. Why? So some bureaucrat can sleep at night, knowing he's taken the advice of his lawyer.
That driver is insurance; this is what makes sense of the extreme anti-smoking notices, which in some places even appear out of doors these days, in defiance of any basic human sense, the effectively-infinite dilution of the open air. But the logic of it is that some person might sue, and sue successfully, someone who allows smoke to drift over their business premises. Bearing in mind the McDonalds decision, one has cause to fear what such stupidity is capable of.
The degraded philosophy underlying that decision gave us our current claim-and-blame culture, surely the epitome of infantilization, the attitude that the adult citizen is not responsible, that Baby needs protecting from Hirself every second of every day.
So what is the function of this sick cultural mutation, the cui bono? It's consumerism. We are being softened up for the endless destruction of meaning and quality and the attempt to replace it by buying unnecessary stuff which, until we learn better, we work long hours to acquire so we can display it to our neighbours. Status crap, in other words.
Dreary, isn't it? Humans could be so much better.