In elite cultural settings in the US, it is not only that the range of acceptable opinions is astoundingly narrow, but much more than that, the range of acceptable interests more or less ensures that speech remains reduced there to a recitation of in-the-know allusions and easy cultural identifiers. Increasingly, moreover, the collapse of cultural discourse into periodic password-updates is being hastened by the pressures of social media, where only a dozen or so things have ever proven to be compossible: electoral politics; the latest streaming content from Netflix and Amazon; a very small list of books, generated out of the right complex of zeitgeistlichness, PR savviness, and money; and, of course, race as the great monolithic structuring force of our world. This is a universe that no theodicy could ever justify, a far greater metaphysical misfire than one that contains, say, seven helium atoms and nothing else.
Just as much as believing the wrong things about, say, pronouns, showing a persistent desire to talk about things too far removed from this list is a surefire way to get yourself removed from elite spaces. One becomes a “contrarian” (as opposed to what? a conformist?) not only by believing the wrong things, but also by staring at maps, as it were, when one is supposed to be listening to the teacher — that is, by thinking out loud about the things one really cares about for inward inscrutable reasons, rather than adhering to the shared, official, public curriculum.
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