Creative Response Or Social Enormity: Michael Jackson, Iran & The Perils of Specialization

What do Michael Jackson and Iranian Theocracy have in common?

Both degenerated into social enormities.

When a creative person or institution by an act of memesis attempts to resolve a crisis, the once creative act eventually loses traction rendering both individual or institution anachronistic. Such an archaic repose will continue until either it suffers a revolution or breakdown.

In the act of living, never giving birth to itself in a self defining role, institutions or individuals embrace a failed resolve and continue to live vicariously.  In doing so, it forfeits both self-determination and growth.

The Iranian Uprising has its origin in a Janus like recognition that the current regime is bankrupt.  Iranian citizens have embraced Locke, Burke, Tocqueville in acknowledging that modernity is an unescapable challenge.

Neither success, nor the barrage of assembled Persian traditions can prevent the eruption of the felt response to liberty now confronting Iranian Theocracy.  Dominated by a past unfit to navigate contemporary life is unyielding in its pathos.  No ecstatic dance, authority or text can resolve or substitute an act of self determination.  By never accepting growth, by permitting one’s gaze to be primarily informed by ephemeral success (read terrorism), or a glorious past, is no bulwark against either the challenges to modernity or adulthood.

The challenge facing both Michael Jackson and the ‘Clerics of Treason’ required a measure not found in an archaic pose.

The penalty paid by becoming a social enormity is legion in its shape, depth and duration as evidenced in developed pathologies and cognitive dissonance.  A retreat into either a theologically archaic world or ecstatic dance reveals a failed strategic response indicative of an impending demise.

In a word, the penalty for not choosing self determination is servitude.  Anachronistic persons or institutions lose initiative and resolve.  The slow demise begins in social disintegration and ends in breakdown.

For the Iranic clerics the idolization of an ephemeral technique embodied in mythic history has imported the servitude to violence.  For Michael Jackson, the idolization of ephemeral success limited his range of creative responses.  In a fragmented archaic state, the irritant, the challenge metastasizes in proportion to the threat.  Only an integral response grounded in self determination will bring peace.

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About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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