When I come upon a video on YouTube or when I stumble across an article somewhere on the Web, I quickly scan for the date and I often find that I reject to even glimpse at stuff which is older than six months.
Until today, I saw nothing wrong with this and I’m not about to change my mind. I don’t expect that I’ll be giving older content any chance in the coming days or weeks. But today I’ve begun questioning if I should.
Why would I read content about Geopolitics if it is older than six or sixteen months? It doesn’t relate to what is happening right now or what people are discussing. Why should I spend time on analyses from people who were – or may have been – hyperventing about something which is, simply put, old news.
Why would I be interested in some day to day rantings and ravings, whether from laymen or professional critics and commentators, about the civil war in Libya six years ago? Why should I get into an old – and possibly lengthy – article about the beginning of the Syrian civil war?
Who cares about the first Iraq war? The one usually referred to as Desert storm. Who cares about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan or the German invasion of Poland? None of this relates to what’s going on with Brexit or with Russiagate. Who cares about the Boer war in 1899 to 1902?
Does anyone remember or care that Mahatma Gandhi was active in South Africa from 1893 to 1914 and (possibly) fought in the Boer war?
I have often been accused, in political debates with fellow Icelanders, that I dwell too much on antiquated things when it comes to cultural analysis and perceptions. That I’m not modern enough and that my fascination with the National Republic of Iceland (often referred to as The Commowealth of Iceland) is simply out of date.
Here’s the controversy; I don’t dwell on antiquity and I am interested in modern inventions and the continuity of thought as expressed in our times. I am also interested in what brought us to the current state of mind and I am – it’s true – sometimes stuck in the strange limbo of transitions from old values to new values.
Hence I can see when certain older values have been ditched simply because they are old and look old for newer values which were chosen simply for their sound and look and never tested, tried, or debugged. I also find myself – often – drawn to articles and videos which are older than a few weeks, simply because they dig into the trajectory from the old to the new.
How can this be consolidated in a short and clear article? What’s the point of departure and where am I arriving at?
The answer is actually rather simple. When I read two books, Propaganda by Edward Bernays and Public opinion by Walter Lippmann, I began to understand how the modern state of mind was shaped. When I dug ino Hegel’s Philosophy of History, Kissinger’s World order and Spengler’s Decline of the west, I developed a better understanding of the continuity of modern Geopolitics and the trajectory of the collective mind.
I spent years studying the Bible and other material related to Dogma, Religion, Monotheism in particular and Myth and Mysticism, as well as immersing myself in Jung psychology and its symbolic concepts. These two mind-genres in themselves have contributed to an acute insight into the same collective mind and the 21 versions of it which I have based my narrative on.
Perhaps the point is obvious. Just like everyone else, I want to know what was happening on the world stage in the past few weeks, both globally and locally. I like to know what’s going on, but I find that the only reason that I (sometimes) can make sense of it, is that I find myself equally at home in the old stuff.
Furthermore, I like the edge that it gives me, in the Zombie world which we live in. Perhaps an arrogant statement, but quoting an old friend I have long since lost touch with, when she said “I like to know things that other people don’t.”
It doesn’t get me laid and it doesn’t fill my purse, but who cares. I know stuff. Sex with boring people is always boring and spending money on things which can be bought requires only money and money is both simple and easy.
But knowing is never boring and always a challenge. Zombies like an unchallenged life. They stand for nothing and have long fallen for something cheap.
Turning to the question at the beginning of this post. I have at last realized that the more I know of the older stuff and the deeper I’ve analysed it, the faster I decode the new stuff. In fact I’m beginning to realize that content which is younger than six months, has nothing to offer and can be decyphered in seconds, depending on the depth of antiquity one possesses.