Cosmopolitian, 4Chan, and the Doctrine of the Mean

4Chan is a metonym for the dredges of the internet, its natives are the descendants of the dark geeks of yesteryear who voted for Ross Perot, played D&D in basements, and descended into the grimy abodes of the alt-right. A poetic analogy to Erik from Phantom of the Opera. Losers who descend into bitterness and resentment; currently in subcultures like the manosphere. Erik’s modern adaptation was V from V for Vendetta and that is appropriate since V was, basicallly, a doomsday prepper with conspiritorial and hyper-organic beliefs in the tradition of Alex Jones. V, like the character he cosplayed, was a terrible person who did politics out of a personal vendetta through serial killing done with sadistic schadenfreude. Was he resisting a dystopian government? Given his personality, I am inclined to believe that the dystopia was a deluded conspiracy theory of his own subconscious contriving.

Internet culture is dominated by Kardashians and Incels. Both of those are metonyms for broader movements. To put it in a more coarse rhetoric: pornography and its masturbators. It does not reflect the actual proportion of these demographics in the population. Edgelords and supermodels are much less common in real life than they are on the internet. The internet is brimming with suspenseful horror while the world of flesh and stone is mostly banal tragedy; for all of the creepiness and darkness, it is not, mostly, dark in a creepy way, but a Greek tragedy. It is not a story published by the Southern Poverty Law Center or CNN HLN, it is Greek tragedy like Antigone or Oedipus Rex.

Addicted to either vanity, their own self-pity, or both, these metaphorical families alike in their lack of dignity follow their natural inclinations with a cloistered mypoia and remain within the dank Plato’s Cave of their own subcultures and, to an extent, their own minds. Why did Lady Gaga, a woman ostensibly on my side of politics, produce “The House of Gucci”? If she is going to do early 20th century Italy, why not the rise of facism after the First World War? Because Mussolini’s ascent was far more similiar to Donald Trump’s than Hitler’s was.

Another movie that’s coming out is celebrating Marylin Monroe as if Marylin Monroe is a worthwhile figure to give half a shit about. There are many other examples I could use but the theme is the world is increasingly obsessed with glammour but, worse, they’re pretending it is something other than vain. They are imparting a moral virtue to these pop culture icons which they didn’t possess. These icons are being regarded with the same reverence as the Founding Fathers used to be. Not at the level of saints or religious figures but as major political, artistic, philosophical, and scientific figures.

Mussolini is far more deserving of a biopic than the Gucci family. His appeal to nostalgia for the Roman Empire and how they needed to make Italy great again and the bitterness toward the treaties like the Treaty of Verseilles where Italy felt the promises for land in the Balkans were broken thus sewing a distrust of internationalism and the feeling that the international community is against them so they need to put Italy first.

Beneath the moronic glammour of the metonymic Kardashians and the solipsistic turn to the dark side of the metonymic incels are the people outside of their Plato’s Caves watching them and the world around them. Those of the Doctrine of the Mean and its associated Aristotelian Eudemonia. Those who, against the odds, remain fully human in a sense. Like the Gucci family or their devotees or the enraged Italians drugged by their own resentment, they fail to see the poem play out and are merely players in the poem. That of the piper luring them to their doom because the macro sociological picture is a mosaic so big that their myopia precludes them from seeing the picture. Outside of the allegorical Plato’s Caves of the glammour and the rage is where one sees the horrific truth.

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