Fresh out of Hell - Part 2: Buzzkills and Boring Friends - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Fresh out of Hell – Part 2: Buzzkills and Boring Friends

In last week’s article I told a giant fib. I said that nowadays we’ve got no enemy like the ones we used to have, and therefore no more heroes either. In fact, the problem is that we young people have all made friends with our enemy, even those of us who could be heroes. Unlike the Soviet war machine that threatened to extinguish Christianity by military force in the real world, or the Lidless Eye who sent out armies to fetch him the all-powerful Ring, today’s evil mastermind is so dull that very few young would-be-heroes have the intelligence or subtlety to take up arms against it. This enemy is more like an army of Gollums than one of Orcs. So we, like Frodo Baggins, don’t have the heart to slay a single one of the adorable little rascals—after all, doesn’t Gollum provide most of the comic relief in The Lord of The Rings?


But even Gollum had a little chutzpah. When he lost his “Precious,” he promptly left his home and spent forever on a quest to recover it. Our young foes do no such thing, because they have no treasure like the magic Ring, and if they did they wouldn’t treasure it. Without a Precious or a purpose, our lazy young villains have no time for anything but fun, which is, after all, an easy enough thing to come by. And so they sit with all their friends to watch their favorite movies or groove on their favorite tunes. And I would love to just sit down and join the get-together–wouldn’t you? After all, the people in this dark and comfy room are beautiful, sleepy, horny… and they are the majority. Maybe they’re a little dull, but they don’t strike us as a group that militates against what’s good and true. They certainly don’t constitute an army against which you could fight with much fanfare.


And this Mediocre Majority is as present in the pews and pulpits of the church as in the aisles of movie theaters, if only to keep at bay the boredom of a life without enemies. They’re welcomed everywhere. “Come as you are.” Boredom is the common enemy that makes the good and evil into allies for as long as it’s around. It’s the long-lived distraction that makes us spend our lives fighting for a diversion. This is why we try to make the most diverse, diverting friends, and not the most virtuous. The problem with this way of choosing friends is that we’re fooled by boredom into making friends who are only tiny subordinate boredoms, who serve to distract us from the Father of all Boredom. And I suspect I know who that is….

Is this a culture that even deserves a hero who might fight it? Where’s the crowd of red-eyed henchmen for us to mow down? Where’s the big bad guy whom we secretly would all be proud to face? I more often find myself fighting to keep my eyes open in the universal friendship that predominates behind enemy lines than fighting for my life among a group of thugs.

Ugh. Even Joan of Arc or Louis IX might have lost this battle. Rather than face the new conundrum that the Devil has devised for this poor generation, they might well have toddled off to play tic-tac-toe together. And who would blame them?

To be continued….

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