Presentism (noun), uncritical adherence to present-day attitudes, especially the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts. 🏛
Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote one of the best-loved stories in the English language: Anne of Green Gables. It is the story of a red-headed orphan girl adopted in the 1890s by an elderly man and his sister — in rural Canada. Anne is depicted by Montgomery as a strong, intelligent, creative person; and now she has been transformed by Moria Walley-Beckett into a social justice warrior, in a television retelling of the story, titled Anne with an E.
The left/right polarization of the country is accelerated, in part, by the manipulation of culture; and today’s culture is driven by television. Some of the most interesting television is found on Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and even YouTube. It is not the formula television of the 1960s, 70s, or 80s, in which each episode is the same story variably reconfigured. Now television aspires to literature by way of the small screen.
The culture warriors of the left are always casting about for new material. It is no surprise, therefore, to see them latching onto the late Philip K. Dick. He was an artist. He was nominally a leftist, it is true; but here they picked the wrong kind of leftist. In actuality, Dick was a nonconformist. His real interests carried him into Jungian psychology, metaphysics, theology and the occult. In his younger days, living in Berkeley, he so enraged a communist that she put her cigarette out in his coffee. An individualist of this type cannot be safely turned to account by anybody. Real art defies political categories; and Dick’s best work, safe to say, was art.
It is the story of a clown. He is mentally ill and creepy. He has delusions and is maladjusted. He can’t hold down a job. Of course, like other oppressed people he is literally downtrodden and mocked.
So he gets revenge.
He kills three Wall Street boys on a subway. They weren’t nice. He brutally murders a coworker. The coworker also wasn’t nice. He murders a comedian on live TV for trying to make fun of him.