Sadly, this clip from the popular science-fiction serial Rick and Morty is the most honest explanation of the spirit of our times that I have ever seen. Here, Morty Smith explains for his sister, Summer, a terrible secret about about his travel between worlds with their mad-scientist grandfather, Rick Sanchez. If it doesn’t make any sense to you, fine. You just need to hear the last part.
Now you understand what I’m up against when you die, and you understand why I’m so frustrated. This is a successful TV show, and it’s more relatable than anything we can come up with. I don’t even blame its creators for their vulgarity. They’re just being honest. That’s something called the New Sincerity, which uses postmodern techniques to argue that total relativism should slowly be replaced with the appreciation of simple pleasures like bonding with family – to the exclusion of “artificial” pursuits like religion. To be relevant to people like this, I’ll articulate our first duty, short of prayer: We must create an alternate narrative that speaks to them. Not all or even many may listen, but I don’t think my demographic deserved to be totally given up on yet. We must say,
“Yeah, listen guys, everyone thinks that rules suck, but I don’t care anymore. The world is really messed up right now, nobody knows where they’re going in life, and religion was the reason that people had direction in the past. You can’t just make up your own reality, because then none of us are gonna get out of our own heads and do something with our lives. I want to go back to that, and want you to try with me, because if God can show us how, we should all be doing it. And it’s something we should be passing down to our kids, if we’re ever able to have any. Even if religion is garbage, and I don’t think it is, we can’t expect anything of people if nobody has any standards. It’s not fair to anybody. Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everyone’s gonna die. Come to Choral Evensong with me?”
Are you listening? Wubbalubbadubdub! That means, “Click on this link.”