The Wild West

A professionally charitable person might say their real enemy was modernity. The West had shut down and the party was over.

– Hackberry Holland in “House of the Rising Son” by James Lee Burke

Texas Ranger Holland was ruminating about the violence in the West at end of the 19th century in Burke’s newest novel.  The continuing gun violence on a daily basis may not be about guns or religion per se, or even violence itself, but about people who are not at all comfortable with modern life itself. Western modernism has brought the world to no longer being well-disposed towards religion and a worldview aimed towards a progressive force promising to liberate humankind from ignorance and irrationality.

A complex topic, more on modernity here.

Perhaps the mental health focus has become misdirected. Perhaps we should look less at the diagnosed and more at the disaffected. We can attempt systems to treat the former, but what do we do about the millions who are really, really unhappy with life in the 21st century?

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