Friday, April 15, 2022

What Price

If you could experience a period of elevated creativity and fruitfulness along with unparalleled emptiness and suffering, would you do it? What if both aspects of that period were necessary for the continuation of the world, or its redemption from descent into chaos?

There's a saying that's been going around in a meme:

Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times.1

The Hollywood heresy (its principal heresy anyway) is that any effort that is momentous or significant is readily appreciated as such by the public at large and probably also emotionally invigorating to those engaged in it.2 The reason for the current cultural corruption is that too many people believe that heresy. But any worthwhile effort has a price to pay.

It's been said before. The problem with the present age is that the people in charge are not adults. Adults put aside their own wants and desires for the good of others, even the common good. They pay the price.

Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. (Phil 2:5-8)


1. Attributed to G. Michael Hopf, in his 2016 novel Those Who Remain. But decades ago, Professor Kreeft said something similar in a talk. To my inquiry he noted that the similar phrase he likely used ("Hard times produce saints, and saints are for hard times") is a common sentiment.

2. This principle is another example of the principle that the medium is the message, or at least a close neighbor. The entertainment industry's view of the world is basically its business model. My recent viewing of Free Guy brought this to mind, but it's a common enough trope on screen for the hero to save the world to instantaneous and unanimous applause of the masses.