Are Ya Winning Son? A simple meme that reflects one of the great tragedies of modern life. The division between father and son, an idyllic past and a nihilistic present.
This meme shows us that our fathers are incapable of understanding the suffering that modern men experience, a type of pain so deeply linked to our time, as to make it truly private.
The father in the meme is often depicted as silly, someone who really does not understand what the son is enduring, he is smiling, smoking an old fashioned pipe, wearing a hat, the spitting image of an ideal 1950’s dad. While son is shown as a wide variety of surreal pained images, or ironic, digitized expressions of modern humans.
This meme makes one ask, why do bad things happen to good people? Why can’t we feel as good as we did when we were children, or as good as when we were still in good graces. This feeling of painful maturity, typified by the doomer, and every other memetic archetype, is often thought to be truly modern. That economic conditions, or the sexual liberation of women, or the downfall of Christianity, migrants, and every other variety of ideology, takes the blame away from human nature, and onto something new which our fathers did not face. The father is still innocent as a lamb.
But in truth how could this be known? The son is split by the gulf of time from his father, how could he see clearly into the past other than through propagandized, rose tinted glasses? How could he know the suffering of his father?
In this meme I see the image of Christ, the archetype of the suffering individual. While crucified his last words were “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Or to put it in terms that we often think of, why does God let bad things happen?
Is this not the sentiment of modern man? Split by an impossibly vast divide from the love of their Father. Carl Jung believed that God the Father could not comprehend the experience of human suffering until becoming Jesus Christ, and that through his experience as a human he forgave man, knowing now what he had been for the previous eternity, unconscious of the pain of human existence. The last words of Christ are rarely given the context of the Psalm he is quoting, the 22nd. The psalm is a prophecy, and he is actively fulfilling it while dying on the cross. God is justifying the pain of human existence.
Nietzsche provides a fascinating alternative to the image of the Father and the suffering child:
‘Strange!’, he says on one occasion – he is talking about the case of Aegisthus, a very bad case – Strange how much the mortals complain about the gods! We alone cause evil, they claim, but they themselves, through folly, bring about their own distress, even contrary to fate!
Yet we can immediately hear and see that even this Olympian observer and judge has no intention of bearing them a grudge for this and thinking ill of them: ‘How foolish they are’ is what he thinks when the mortals misbehave, – ‘foolishness’, ‘stupidity’, a little ‘mental disturbance’, this much even the Greeks of the strongest, bravest period allowed themselves as a reason for much that was bad or calamitous: – foolishness, not sin! you understand?
-Genealogy of Morals
Here we see that the suffering of man is really not a product of divine intervention, but of man’s own foolishness. The Gods are fascinated by, and amused by humanity. This gets to the root of the Nietzschean concept I espoused in the Doomer video, which is that of the Boomer being someone who has adjusted to reality, who is not merely a fool who had it way easier. The Gods, our divine fathers, really do have it figured out, they want mankind to win. The suffering is not punishment, but the very energy that produces all experiences.
I am reminded of some of Crowley’s wisdom, on the topic of the Arabian Nights and the Bible, that children believe wholeheartedly in magic, their religion, and their parents, when they become adolescent, they cast these things away as meaningless and childish illusions, and when they become men, they again see the truth behind what they were taught as children.
One day, when the truth can be gleaned from illusion, and we spin new truths to raise the next generation, who will endure a new slew of horrors, we can tell our father with confidence, yes dad, we’re winning! Remember, Memes Matter.