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The American Spectator

Summer Souvenirs 2020

The drive-to-go was once described to me during my adolescence as the motivation to achieve, great things, with your life. It sounded like a terrific way to live life. I was even told that I was filled with that drive-to-go. In fact, people remarked that I “made things go.”

Often, I made things go forward. Just as often, I made them go . . . away.

As I watched the up-and-coming young adults during the Great Recession, I commented to friends that there was a very sharp divide between those with the drive-to-go and those with the need-to-stay. I even explained to an adolescent Dear Daughter that a person of 20 or so, if she squanders those years, and mis-uses any Drive-to-Go, she can not make up for them later.

For whatever reason, those early adult years are a crucible of achievement, or a cauldron of failure. The electromotive force within a young adult either moves him forward, toward his potential, or it sparks and dissipates. Amperage through a wire needs a direction, a place to go. Piddling away time at that age is equivalent to shorting out the best years of your life that can lead to even better years of your life.

What has become known as the Millennial Snowflakes, living in their parents’ basements, were an unknown entity to me during the Great Recession. All that I knew was that the adolescents of that era were not going forward into the world in quite the same way that I did, and certainly not with the same gusto!

I wondered if world events had altered the ways that very young adults looked at the world, at their world. After almost a decade of observing the ones that succeeded, and the ones who slumped along (with the enabling of others), I concluded that world events — life out there — do not determine the extent of the drive-to-go in anyone.

It’s either in a person or it’s not.

Which eliminates a lot of excuses from the sort of person who likes to make excuses for personal failings.

With a sense of incredulity, I can still recall my encounters with my “peers” who derided me for my dynamic drive-to-go. They’d decided, at a shockingly young age, that any drive-to-go was better devoted to playing and partying, going nowhere, staying in Dad’s House, staying in a city that would soon start to crumble from within, staying in a state of decay (geographically and morally), staying right-where-you-are because — hey, the living is easy.

Why struggle? Why make life hard for yourself? Why do without? Why work when you can get room-and-board for free from Parents who are too busy going on trips to notice the drug trips Junior is taking with his pals in the basement?

Why forge a new path? This old, worn-out one will do.

This scene was in the 1970s, not the 2010s.

The emergence of Pajama Boy in the Basement, and Party Girl in the Parents’ Condo, is not all that new. What is new is the media obsession with it, largely for the purpose of maligning a segment of a generation that got sacrificed by their gluttonous parents upon the altar of philistinism. That gaudy godless cult of greed was not invented during the late 20th century, but since the Media Age came of age during that time, well, The History got stuck in that groove of the erroneous mythology of America.

It’s amazing, at times, how the perception of the world depends upon the pictures and pop-culture palaver depicting it. This warped vision is due to something called “Kultursmog”, a term coined and defined by the brilliant and inimitable R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

“Mr. Tyrrell”, as I still call him, and The American Spectator (TAS), his American Spectator, are so much more than a founding publisher and his magazine. He and his little rebel force of writers and essayists, became, for me, during the 1990s, the essence of the journalistic raconteur. And, in its original paper form, TAS was more than a magazine. It was a whetstone for my writing, the final phase of sharpening my writing style, with satire and wit and droll irreverence — via this “litterateur correspondence course” that I resolutely undertook, all on my own, each month, whilst reading this effervescent and ingenious magazine as I endured my days, and nights, in a dreadfully boring and materialistic suburb.

Each month, at the precise time when I estimated that TAS would arrive, I would walk to the mail cluster-box across the street. I’d gently and quietly pull out the beloved monthly from the slot. I’d go into my house with my precious periodical. Dear Husband and Children then knew that Mom would be busy for a while, in the bedroom, with her TAS and a cup of tea, along with a few oatmeal cookies.

The presence of Kultursmog was oppressively surrounding me, there, in the Suburb. And, somehow, I believed that Mr. Tyrrell understood ma lutte, my struggle, against those noxious fumes.

What is Kultursmog?

Simply put, Kultursmog is the popular culture of the country, at times even the “high culture” of the country. Kultursmog is comical in terms of its ridiculous banality, and childish due to its attempt to be hip and young; and it is reputedly inescapable.

I have questioned that facet of its existence. Since I have done my dead-level best to escape those fumes, I must logically avow that Kultursmog must therefore have been minimally inescapable. I’m starting to think that the pervasive toxicity is abating, even dying. A horrible death, yes, but Kultursmog deserves no less than a painful demise. The American culture, true culture, the true-blue culture of red-blooded Americans, is not only prevailing, but triumphing, over the polluted fumes of this farcical attempt to supplant American culture with a faux-culture called Kultursmog.

And Mr. Tyrrell even agrees with me! To quote him from his article in TAS from 28 January 2018:

“Kultursmog may be laughable and trivial and childish, but it is everywhere. Americans cannot escape it. Even Europeans and Asians cannot escape it. Which is why The American Spectator has survived for fifty years. It’s been one laugh after another always at the expense of the Kultursmog — its pollutants and its polluters. The sociologist and other such frauds decry the abundance of dead end jobs here in America. But for me having a dead end job hasn’t been so bad. I have been at The American Spectator, as editor-in-chief, for fifty years without interruption, without being furloughed, without being promoted, without even being fired, no sexual harassment charges, and always the same crummy two-week vacation — year in and year out.”

Year in and year out, during the decade of the 1990s, I devoted myself to reading the best magazine of cultural and political commentary that I ever encountered. The writers, during the glory years of this journal of comical and creative composition, formed a colossus of insight, inspiration, hilarious irony, and informed journalism, the likes of which might never be seen again.

I am an optimist, however. The drive-to-go in Americans who have vanquished the Kultursmog is propelling a new means by which to transcend even the worst enemies of freedom, and to lampoon the most farcical and ludicrous of loonies who believe they run the show. Those 3-ring circuses of Kultur are not folding up their tents, mostly because their tents have decayed down to detritus because of the Kultursmog. The clowns have been sent off to their just rewards.

A new era of American spectators is dawning upon a nation that understands everything that Mr. Tyrrell and his merry band of critique-cutthroats worked so fervently to explain and expound and explicate. The spectators of America may not be the glorious by-gone writers of The American Spectator, but they are the doers of an America that blew Kultursmog into outer space, the vast void of that final frontier. Maybe the Space Force will blow it to smithereens before it smothers the Martians!

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