Being Remembered

One of the great insights I found in David Goldman’s book, How Civilizations Die, is how he linked fertility, religion and the desire to be remembered. As someone who is non-religious, it made a lot of sense. After all, the primary biological imperative, the reason all living creatures exist, is to pass on their DNA to the next generation. Like salmon, cornflowers and butterflies, humans are wired to reproduce. That is just the material way in which we are remembered.It’s how nature remembers us.

For a species cursed with self-awareness, it is easy to see how this can mutate into a desire to be remembered for our deeds, the composition of our life as a members of our tribe. We honor our dead, mark their graves, so we will be remembered by those who come after us. Being able to walk through a cemetery and recognize the names or stand in the same spot as your ancestors once stood is an important part of what motivates all people. We want to be remembered as we remember those who came before us.

I’m at an age when these thoughts come easily so it is no surprise that this column by Steve Sailer brought it to mind. The Graduate was released before I was born and was already a cultural icon by the time I had any clue about it. I may have seen it at some point, but it left no impression on me. I don’t recall anyone in my peer group ever mentioning it. For Baby Boomers, it remains a cultural touchstone. The title alone means things to them. It conjured memories of that old American they once knew.

The thought that occurred to me is what happens when the Boomers shuffle off this mortal coil? Will that movie still be a considered great art? I’m sure Steve would probably say yes and point to films like Gone With The Wind and The Wizard of Oz. Citizen Cain is probably the best example of a movie that remains a classic long after anyone involved is dead, but does anyone watch it? I’ve never seen it and I doubt I know anyone who has seen it. The only people who talk about it are film buffs and academics.

The answer is I may never know if anything of the Baby Boomer generation leaves a lasting impression on future generations. I probably will live long enough to have some inkling, but maybe not. despite the fact the Boomers can never stop talking about themselves, they don’t seem all that concerned with being remembered. Instead, if pop culture is any indication, they seem obsessed with redoing the culture of the youth but better, as it more material and less spiritual.

It’s impossible to figure this stuff in the moment. History is the story of unexpected men and events. What gets remembered is often what was unknown at the time. The Sound and the Fury was a dud until Faulkner was in his dotage. I think it sold 3500 copies when it was released on 1927. Today it is considered the greatest work of Southern literature and one of the great American works of fiction. The movie A Christmas Story was a flop when released, but is now a staple of season.

The thing I wonder about these icons of early Boomer culture is whether they will be used to explain the insane rampage through America’s cultural institutions over the last half century. If the movie touched Boomers because of the alienation of the main character, the question is why were all of these kids feeling alienated? What went so horribly wrong that a generation of middle-class Americans produced a batch of kids determined to commit cultural suicide? Will their cultural items provide a clue?

Given the arithmetic, it is unlikely the nation survives the denouement of the Baby Boomer generation. Libraries full of books will be written on how they did it. The degeneracy, the lack of a future orientation, Jewish influence will all be causes future historians point to explain the death of America. Why they did it will be the great question to be debated for generations after. Maybe The Graduate will be one little piece of the puzzle and therefore be remembered long after the last Boomer is finally in Hell.

2 thoughts on “Being Remembered

  1. The boomers were the first generation fully exposed to the cultural neo marxism that had just taken over the university system.

    The Graduate barely touched on the political sea change that happened after university administrators nationwide essentially surrendered to leftist authoritarians.

    They knew exactly what they were were doing when they targeted the schools.

    The problem of America’s good example had to be brought low.

    The products of that era’s propaganda are now are in the drivers seats of our political and cultural institutions as well as huge segments of
    the commercial world.

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