G.K. Chesterton, 2016, And How We Got Here


Andy Warhol was wrong.

In an age of selfies, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and now Periscope – a broadcast service which allows anyone from anywhere to live-stream the most intimate, or the most inane, moments of their lives via a simple smartphone app – I think it’s safe to say that Warhol’s prediction of 15 minutes of fame has easily morphed into a 24 / 7  / 365 reality.

No, I don’t need to see a photo of everything you’re about to eat (or have just eaten). Nor do I need to tune-in to your live-streaming Periscope channel to watch your dog napping, or as you answer viewer questions about your love life on your drive to work.

And no, I’m not making either of those up. As for that driver, I kept thinking “keep your eyes on the road and stop reading the damn questions off your phone”; my lawyer’s mind pregnant with the countless evidentiary implications being created by eye witnesses from around the globe, bolstered by a live-action video forever floating through cyberspace.

This recent story about two New Jersey EMTs, done in by their own unfathomable handiwork, only hints at the legal and societal nightmares that are about to be unleashed upon us.

The age of unbridled narcissism has surely arrived. And our culture, our society, even our 2016 electorate is, without a doubt, all the worse for it.

Years ago, G.K. Chesterton recognized this cancer. He saw it as monumental clash between the self and the truth, and about misplaced priorities:

What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place.

Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition and settled upon the organ of conviction, where it was never meant to be.

A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.

We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.

Chesterton, it seems, was on to us.


Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Copyright 2016

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