A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
It came as no surprise today when it was announced on Twitter that The Enlightenment (sometimes called The Age of Reason) will be demolished. This grand old building stood at the crossroads of our society for over 3 centuries, and is was a beautiful example of Neo-Classical Intellectual architecture. Its inner courtyard housed the Garden of Knowledge, and over the years, many prominent philosophers (influencers) passed through its Halls of Logic. At one time, the main entrance was dominated by a statue of Descartes (a dead white guy) but that was removed several years ago. A radical sect of old people have formed a Facebook group to preserve the foyer’s marble floor with the motto Sapere Aude (dead white language) which, strangely, is actually etched in stone. They have been labelled “divisive” by anybody who really matters, and their efforts will probably fail. The only decision left is what to do with The Enlightenment’s vast collection of books (really long Tweets, written on paper.) One spokesperson said, “We thought about burning them, but that would send the wrong message. So we’re considering just locking them away until everybody forgets about them.”
The idea of The Enlightenment is totally old, and was first proposed by ancient Greek thinkers — notably Socrates, Plato and Aristotle — (more dead white guys) but it took over a millennium of turmoil before it was finally built in the late 17th century. Over the years, the building was renovated many times but always maintained itself as an institution that nurtured knowledge through logical thought and civilized discourse — although those ideals were never universally accepted. In fact, throughout its history, The Enlightenment has been continually condemned by tyrants and dictators who demanded it be torn down. Fortunately, it always managed to survive when free-thinking people stood between it and the demagogue’s wrecking ball. However, times change, and in the 21st century, the shift in popular culture has left The Enlightenment abandoned and derelict for a generation. Its broken windows and peeling paint are considered an eyesore by image-conscious contemporaries, but even its harshest critics admit the building is still structurally sound. Another spokesperson commented, “We’ve been systematically dismantling The Enlightenment for years, but the damn thing just won’t fall down. It’s making too many people uncomfortable. It has to go.”
After The Enlightenment is demolished, there are plans to convert the site into a Celebrity Theme Park to promote awareness for a rotating series of trending social injustice issues. The park will also feature a safe space (with puppies) for university students and areas where celebrities will be flown in to berate ordinary people on a variety of topics.
Despite once being heralded as a bastion against ignorance, the general feeling these days is The Enlightenment’s time is over. Here are a just a few comments from social media.
“They used to do logic there or something, right? We don’t need that anymore. We just get on Twitter and call each other names. That works.”
“Just because you read those book things, that doesn’t mean you’re smart. My post-graduate degree is in Alternative Knowledge.”
“Leonardo DiCaprio has like millions of Instagram followers. How many does The Enlightenment have? Like none!”
“Good riddance! People shouldn’t have to conform to Eurocentric rules of conclusion-based thinking.”
In a related story, the apartment building, Freedom of Speech, has been rezoned, and all the tenants have been given a 30-day eviction notice to vacate the premises.