A Generation of Mockers

Let me preface this: I enjoy satire and sarcasm.  Perhaps my self-awareness makes me more keenly aware of the dark side of this type of humor.

I was recently reading a blog which has established quite a reputation for its pointed critique of contemporary Christian sub-culture.  As I read the most recent post and the accompanying comments, I was struck by the cynicism and pettiness of it all. Has our culture and this generation in particular been trained in the art of mockery and ridicule?  And does this have significant social impact?

At least one thinker seemed to see this coming.  In 1990, David Foster Wallace wrote in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,

“And to the extent that it [TV] can train viewers to laugh at characters’ unending put-downs of one another, to view ridicule as both the mode of social intercourse and the ultimate art-form, television can reinforce its own queer ontology of appearance: the most frightening prospect, for the well-conditioned viewer, becomes leaving oneself open to others’ ridicule by betraying passé expressions of value, emotion, or vulnerability. Other people become judges; the crime is naiveté. The well-trained viewer becomes even more allergic to people. Lonelier” (p. 63).

As a Christian, this type of barrier between people would be something to be avoided. This hinders the Gospel! It should be our desire to build bridges of relationships rather than burn them down.

Is this a legitimate concern? If so, what can a believer do to guard against a mocking mentality? Against a fear of ridicule that hinders relationship?

HT: 22 Words and Fors Clavigera

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4 thoughts on “A Generation of Mockers

  1. I love to kid around with friends but I am a bit leery of kidding with folks online because things written can be so misunderstood. My cynicism radar is often activated by words like “Institutional Church” and “Christ Follower”. Yet I do try to read past the cynicism and try to understand where the person is coming from. Some church wounds run deep.

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