Check out this, from a friend who subscribes to Life 360, an app that lets parents know where their kids are via their smartphones:
What? What does an app that lets anxious parents track their kids have to do with the war in Ukraine? Nothing, actually: it’s a branding opportunity. It’s like how every company has sought to sign up for Black Lives Matter, to show that We Care™ is about the cause of the day.
It’s really amazing. Along these lines:
This war is a pop culture and consumer phenomenon. We are crazy. It’s a conflict that could lead to World War III, and even a nuclear exchange, but the great machine of pop culture is taking it over and turning it into an emotional experience for the consumer.
It is impossible now to think clearly about what is going on, and what is the right thing to do. Who knows where it goes next? Remember how all public health orders on how to handle Covid were dropped after George Floyd, so everyone could enjoy the fun of protesting against police brutality and racism? Here we are again – but this time, with nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, a friend in Romania, which borders Ukraine, writes:
So everyone – myself included – panics, fearing that war is coming soon. Nobody really wants war with Russia, because nobody wants war. We are only a relatively small country on the border of NATO (an indirect target). Sure, the media and “influencers” are in an emotional turmoil over this and the climate is toxic, much like in the US, but we don’t have Carlsons or Greenwalds here, just trumpets fomenting a crude propaganda, in stark contrast to sentiment. and the fears of the ordinary guy. On top of that, it is disconcerting to see an (almost?) inevitable chain of escalation coming from both sides of the conflict.
And to think that we all thought the pandemic madness was over, just to be thrown into the trenches of WW3… What more signs do we need to realize that we are on the brink of the apocalyptic abyss, and the abyss is watching in back to us?
Shh, sir, we have an exciting pop culture phenomenon to witness! You interfere with our pleasure.
I am trying to find a parallel case in Church history, but so far I have not been successful. For example, I cannot think of a single European university professor in the 13th century who had, as a price for remaining in the faculty, to condemn the invasion of his country into another country or his involvement in the Crusades.
I wonder if the Apostle Paul would have had his apostolic credentials withdrawn for his silence on Rome’s recent invasion of Parthia. We know that the Corinthian Christians, for example, were morally sensitive people; they probably had very strong feelings about it.
Absolutely crazy, we are. It is a moral panic. A moral panic that involves the prospect of a new world war. I don’t know how we will be able to return to normal, with people having broken all their standards for the sake of pointing out their virtue and participating in the Cause.
This is a war, not a social media show. Well, it’s a social media spectacle, but it shouldn’t be, because turning this into BLM, or The Beatles ’64, makes it impossible to think clearly about what’s going on. Personally, I want Russia to lose this war, but please, this is the kind of thing that is going to lead to a huge mistake that will get a lot of people killed. We need sobriety. Not that.