Current Events, Eternal Events

As of late, I have felt a considerable wane in my interest in current events — interest which had become really too keen during the “Covid Era.” While there is no doubt in my mind that a responsible citizen should have some passing acquaintance with the salient happenings of his time, I do not see that exceedingly detailed knowledge of the current political, geopolitical terrain does much to aid us in our troubles, or gives us a power over events that we do not otherwise possess, or even prepares us for what might be coming. The elections are manipulated and controlled by the ongoing meddling of public, private and media agents? Global war could break out at any moment, consuming us in a cataclysmic nuclear fire? Our technological know-how has reached such a pitch that its insane ambition to substitute human beings with their own mechanical servitors is actually becoming a reality before our eyes?

Alright! Well? And what of it? Should we then obsess over things, substituting our daily panem with the newspaper’s daily pablum? One can be aware of all that is happening without wishing to know much about it; and what does “knowing much” about it really do for one’s state of mind or soul? Whatever in these things actually concerns us will affect us more or less directly. The true “news” of the times always arrives, sooner or later, at one’s front door.

Good democrats will perhaps object to this logic, thinking it an excuse for political apathy; but good democrats are also of the bizarre opinion that the Great Machine is moved, not by those who architect and drive it, but by those are most in danger of being crushed by it.

To be clear: I am not proposing we ignore the dark truths of our times. It’s no use hiding under the rug to avoid being trampled on, and blind optimism is as bad as any other kind of blindness. It is good to see, with some clarity, where we stand. But will we really be freer and better men, if we incessantly indulge in servile examination of the least movements of the powers-that-be? Will we be better prepared for the “apocalypse,” if we do nothing other than worry over the clothes it is most likely to wear? When the anti-Christ comes, will it be more important for us to know who he is, or who Christ is?

Let us be economical. Our time is limited; we can give it to this or to that pursuit, but not to all pursuits. We must make a just hierarchy of our day. It is better to pray than to be prey to the information-jackals. It is better to weave oneself to a more eternal fabric than this fleeting, all-too-mortal stuff of the “current events.” The “olds” are by definition more durable than the “news,” and when disaster comes, that man who has passed his time in contemplation of eternity, prayer to God, and assiduous self-improvement will far be better prepared to face it than the fretting, hyper-informed armchair soldier of the “culture wars.”

Some solid acquaintance with our state of affairs, by all means! But beyond that, let us strive for a greater independence, which never once came from trivial factuality.

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