This is my earliest attempt at a sort of indirect apologetics writing: critical commentary on the current zeitgeist or “spirit of the age” and what was often called the “Me Generation” (from which I got my title). It’s dated 6-5-81. It’s more or less unique in my entire output of writing: a free-form, non-rhyming poem about the modern age and the attitudes of the typical secularist and nominally religious person, or agnostic (which I had been myself for about ten years until my evangelical conversion in 1977). I start in a “narrative” third person Christian perspective, then move to the first person in that mindset; finally switching back to the “narrator” and ending with related biblical passages as a “coda.”
I was fresh from four years of college and almost obtaining my college degree in sociology, with a minor on psychology (just short of a few credits), so I had been well educated as to how modern secularist people think, and was only just emerging from my own rather extreme political and social liberalism into an increasingly conservative and traditional political, moral, and religious outlook, at almost 23 years of age. I was still nine years away from conversion to Catholicism and it was almost fifteen years before I went online, and 11 1/2 years before my first published article.
What do they seek?
Or believe they are seeking?
Happiness is sought
Truth is neglected
Pleasure-seeking, no cares
Does love not have intrinsic, unquestioned value?
Yet hate flourishes through common consensus
Do your own thing
Survival decade (selfishness implied)
We can do it
We can make and determine our own destiny
Technology / materialism / HEDONISM
These comprise the Trinity we seek and live for
Leave us alone
Let us reap our own freely chosen destruction
Life makes no sense anyway
You believe in a loving God?
Look what he hasn’t done!
Maybe Jesus was a nice guy and a good person
But where did it get him?
Dying for us?
That’s too complicated
The story must be a myth
My professor said so!
I (I, I, I, I, I, ME, ME, ME, ME, . . .) won’t believe anything that requires me to change my life at all
I run my own ship
No one tells me nothin’
I have beliefs too, though
If only people were educated everything would be okay
Because man is basically good
Environment and a few bad people mess up the world for everyone
We could have Utopia if it weren’t for ignorance
Truth is what I think is true
Good is what causes me the last pain
I love women (hundreds) rather than an abstract God who exists only in the mind
Man, why don’t you start living?
Can’t you see that I’m fulfilled?
I’ve got my head on straight
No one influenced me at all
I arrived at reality using my mind, which evolved by chance from wandering atoms
Isn’t that beautiful?
I escape through drugs
To find peace of mind, tranquility
And a refuge from this world and its ignorant people
If only everyone could know what I know
Education is the answer
Only that will prevent hate
They claim to be seeking truth, yet do not define it
They say man is good, yet pride and self are the essence of their words
They say they are happy, yet escape and avoidance are their basic reality
Self is their only value; survival their only reason for being
They believe they are open-minded, yet they do not read the words of Jesus, nor consider Who He was
God is able to break through cold dead hearts as hard as granite
But He will not force our love, although He offers His freely
This world’s wisdom is stupidity to God. In the last days cynical mockers will come, who know no law but their own desires. Men will become utterly self-centered, greedy for money, abusive, violent, arrogant, irreligious, merciless, brutal and enemies of all that is good. They will look for teacher who will tell them just what they want to hear, deliberately shut their ears to the truth and turn to mythology. (1 Cor 3:19; 2 Pet 3:3; 2 Tim 3:2-3 and 4:3-4: composite translation)
(originally written on 6-5-81; with a new introduction on 6-27-20)
Photo credit: Yours truly in July 1981: the month after I wrote this piece: doing my Bob Dylan / Neil Young routine. I had only just recently taught myself guitar and blues harmonica.