The benefits and costs of immersion in popular cultural narratives

Many people are immersed in popular cultural narratives to such a degree that they have alienated themselves from others. People who can stand back from these stories and place them within a broader context, containing various different stories, will tend to see the former group as strange.

For instance, the author of this post, would appear to have ‘lost the plot’ for all who do not share his plot. Refer to the following comments in particular:

  1. [commentator] Says:
    Satan is a leftist.Everyday he sends his evil leftist demons into the world to corrupt and destroy.

    Thank God for noble, truth-speaking, conservative freedom fighters like yourself.

  2. [author] Says:
    Satan certainly despises the Judeo-Christian worldview just as does the left. And we have to stand up for that which both the devil and the liberals hate.Our founding fathers were such wise, noble, and religious leaders, who understood the nexus between the Holy Bible and human governance as no one ever had understood it before or since. We have the ideas we need: we merely need to stand up for them, just as THOSE brave men stood up for them in their own day.

    Thanks for your encouragement, Paul. I appreciate it.

The author’s narrative offers him an important place in the world: a noble warrior fighting against malignant enemies to protect good-in-itself. He can find positive cultural reinforcement for this narrative readily in mass media (e.g. Fox News) and peer groups.

The narrative meets the existential needs of the author; it gives his life meaning, it gives him a prized social status.

While I have used a fanatic Conservative as an example, others examples can be found on Left of the political spectrum, and in religious groups.

The cost of such provincial worldviews cannot be underestimated. These people have blinded themselves to broader experience of the world. They do not explore other lands, other points of view, and therefore do not see their beauty. They never find another place for them in the world, a better place.

It is like a Rock n’ Roll fan who never searches and finds the exhilaration of Beethoven, because he refuses to imagine himself anything more than a fan of Rock n’ Roll. That person has missed out on a wonderful experience and only has his identity as a Rock n’ Roll fan as consolation.


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