How Bad Is Our Confusion?

It had been an age of cut-rate homers and dime-a-dozen Dantes, an age when everything was great because nothing was very good. It had been the age of Capote and Warhol and Updike and Pollock masquerading as the age of Pericles; an age in which multitudes of creative writing teachers had suddenly become “important” rivals of Shakespeare; when rock lyrics “leaked bits of near-meaning that made beyond-sense”; when technicolor images of perverted sex and sadistic cruelty drew the hallelujahs of the nation’s media elite; an age when “hollow people wrote hollow books for hollow critics.”

How bad is “it,” meaning our own confused century? According to critic and essayist Bryan Griffin, the rot is deeper than any of us had thought, which, in most cases, is pretty deep. But there is hope, because:

“It was all over: from Havelock Ellis to Shere Hite … the names and noises and postures that had defined the bizarre cult of the infantile for the greater part of this spiritually stagnant century had suddenly become the targets for general intellectual ridicule.”

And ridicule them he does, in a brawling, audacious style, buttressed with plenty of documentation. None of the popular media pundits, social-engineering academic bullies, small-minded publishers and soi-disant sages are spared. Evangelical readers who know from Scripture “what is in man” will not be surprised, but they will delight to have some of their own judgments stated so bravely and pop culture’s catechism of can’t so effectively decoded. “The awful pallbearers of the nation’s shabby legacy,” according to Griffin, have had their day.

But why did it all happen? Griffin examines the prophecies of some of the last century’s true wise men and concludes: ...

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