Thursday, September 26, 2013

Millennial Malaise


Vampire awaiting invitation in the doorway: Sean Chapman  as Frank Cotton in Clive Barker's Hellraiser (1987). Image Source: Life for Films.

My last post on the demolition of French churches added to a sense of Millennial malaise this week. It came jumbled together on the micro and macro levels. A friend called to complain about a week of rude people and worse - people who are post-rude - who never knew what social conventions they violated in the first place. Another friend sent a link to a Gawker story about,
David Gilmour, the University of Toronto English professor who told a female reporter that he is "not interested in teaching books by women." "What I teach is guys," Gilmour continued. "Serious heterosexual guys."
A news story in a nearby town reported on a pregnant woman who was raped by two men on a well-traveled path behind her house, while she was walking her baby in a stroller. The baby was unharmed. And these days, that is surprising. Another local news story - in a normally low crime area - involved a girl who was almost abducted from the sidewalk by two men in a black van with darkened windows.

In non-local news, 300 teenagers invaded and trashed the home of ex-football player Brian Holloway in New York state. They posted their party on social media. At first, Holloway responded with unusual grace, and offered not to press charges if the kids would show up and help him fix the damage. He set up a Website to make his appeal. Only four teenagers showed up (some accounts state that one showed up) to help Holloway; the parents of the teens "threatened to firebomb his house, and are now planning to sue" Holloway rather than see their kids charged. After that, Holloway began pressing charges. Nor is this an unusual incident (see here and here).

There was the Kenyan shopping mall siege; I wondered if this was a not-so-dry run for terrorist attacks at other malls elsewhere in the future,  at Christmastime. A few other people thought the same thing (here, here, here, here and here). Then there was that island exposed by an earthquake off the coast of Pakistan, a bad dream made real, which is now emitting flammable gas.

Some entertainment news stories, like this and this and this, further reminded me that the cultural means for digesting the real world malaise have descended into an impoverished atmosphere. After that, I came upon a 2005 rant in the Guardian by the British actor Sean Chapman, in which he bemoaned the degraded state of the film industry in the UK.
Read more »