Faith and Irony
As I get older, I realize more and more the importance of faith.
Faith, in layman’s terms, is fucking idiotic. It’s the placement of worth/valuation and expectation in the untested and the unseen. That is foolish. To be to-the-point about it.
Mature faith is built when understanding the nature of time and investment. It is faith that says that long work is worthwhile, not because it will be worthwhile but because it can be. It sees the untested not as verification of value, but as potentiality for value. Likewise, mature faith respects the barebones fucking fact that while some very important things happen or come together out of the blue, a great deal of them take a fuckload of elbow grease.
Political campaigns are acts of mature faith. Business investment and marriages and mortgages are acts of mature faith. Writing a novel or making and promoting any major piece of art is an act of mature faith. Study of any kind. The list goes on.
Why am I bringing this up?
Because one of the ramifications of faithlessness in society is a misunderstanding of what kinds of faiths are without value. The barebones belief in a deity or afterlife is without value, yes; it’s untested and offers nothing really that we can’t get through other tested means, on top of being clearly whipped up out of desire and not any provable basis, so yeah, valueless. More complex relationships with God and the divine and the spirit, though potentially equally as false as the more basic version, are not valueless; it is these more engaged and nuanced faiths that interact significantly more deeply with behaviors and experiences, and anything that engages in those ways acquires a reflective value.
Likewise, flippant irony as a means to disinvest ourselves from the world is totally without value.
Let me repeat: Irony is totally without value.
Totally. As in “absolutely.”
Like religiosity, irony can be developed and nuanced and matured, made more engaging and more complex, or at least more potent, and these potencies and complexities can become valuable. I don’t mean necessarily just the endless quest for True Subversion, which is a bunch of horseshit as far as I can tell and more a means to write off art we don’t like for being Not Really That Subversive than a useful or real metric.
We’ve learned culturally a cautiousness towards religion and spirituality, but we have not necessarily learned the same lesson about irony, despite it being functionally the same.
At least in religion’s defense, it commends the long work and the building of something rather than flippant dismissal of any and everything under the sun. Although a Rothko’s cathedral built entirely from a sense of irony would be pretty fucking incredible.