… with some help from Cole Porter.
In 1934, Porter had already diagnosed the dictatorship of relativism and set it to music: “The world has gone mad today / And good’s bad today, / And black’s white today, / And day’s night today, / When most guys today / That women prize today / Are just silly gigolos.”
Porter also recognized that the modern world can no longer turn back to what we once valued: “Times have changed, / And we’ve often rewound the clock, / Since the Puritans got a shock, / When they landed on Plymouth Rock. / If today, any shock they should try to stem, / ‘Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock, / Plymouth Rock would land on them.”
Nostalgia is a relatively modern invention, acting as a poor proxy for the values–difficult values that can be hard to live by–we have abandoned. No, we can’t turn back the clock. We can only live as people dislodged from time and space, and turn our eyes towards God.