Culturalism

Narrative Crippling

This post will likely be arriving too late for the presses, but in some respects it has an evergreen flavor. I can’t say I watched the Olympics, not because of limited time availability per se, but on account of having minimal interest in the events. Sure, they worked hard, but any appeals to patriotism are increasingly lost on me. We are expected to be proud of a nation which few can define anymore, as presenting a common image is beyond the capacity of most flag-wavers. Just believe and stay quiet is the takeaway.

One thing did grab my attention though: the hammer blow to an inflated story written by our social influencers. As some remember, Simone Biles failed to deliver the goods, resulting in a less-than-stellar finish for the goddess of popular media. Megan Rapinoe was similarly unremarkable. At a glance, they’re two athletes who had a bad day, and might possibly return to triumph in the future. I cared little about the results, although seeing pink hair lose was pleasurable. On the other hand, Biles’ demise wasn’t welcome or heartbreaking; it just happened.

For others of course, these developments quickly became a crisis. You see, over the past several years our journalistic benefactors have fixated on a single narrative: that in the era of resurgent white supremacy, “strong” diversity women would continuously rise up to conquer the unreachable, proving that history was marching on towards progress, and Trump remained a temporary distraction. Hence the deification of Kamala Harris despite her atrocious record, and the mouth-watering joy brought on by Squad summits. They fit the bill, and everything’s fine.

Until it changes. The Olympic losses were not simply a flash in the pan; for folks who have dedicated their lives to these narratives, such defeats threaten their mental well-being. So it was inevitable that we would see pieces like this:

Realize why they were put on word processor: to reinforce the fractured notions in the head of the writer. Few people actually care about Rapinoe not scoring more goals, or Biles dropping out; the messages are all about who’s sending them. Stay calm, continue the propaganda, and it’ll be alright. The steady hand, a comforting lullaby.

God forbid they should ever have to rise from the sweet slumber.

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