In 1994, the English rock band Oasis released a song titled “Whatever.” Its leftist cultural message is summarized in one of the closing lines of a stanza. “Whatever I like,” the song goes, “if it’s wrong or right, it’s alright.” I never heard of this song but discovered it while researching the meaning of a bathroom sign I saw in a craft beer shop in Youngsville, North Carolina.
The bathroom sign had an image on the left that seemed to be a mermaid, while the one on the right looked like a centaur from Greek mythology that is both man and horse. He has a bird perched on his arm. It implies that those entering can be anything they imagine themselves to be: male, female, animal, or a mixture of all. Every option has a place in a gender-confused world.
What drew my attention most was the word “whatever” in all caps written above the images, followed by a directive to “Just wash your hands.” Whatever can be used as an adjective to mean “at all” or “of any kind” as in “they received no help whatever.” However, the informal use of the word as an exclamation expresses a reluctance to discuss something or, more importantly, an indifference to the matter.
This use is a sarcastic way that indifferent people deal with the politically charged “bathroom-wars” issue. Lamentably most people will laugh it off by exclaiming, “Whatever, just wash your hands and forget about it.” The gender-confused are appeased, and the owner is satisfied that all get a good laugh. This indifference to serious matters is the most problematic part of the controversy since it favors the wrong position.
There are No Neutrals in the Culture War
When looking at the myriad grave cultural issues that beset our world, this “whatever-mentality” is very dangerous. If the sane among us were to speak out more courageously, the world would not be in its current mess. Those infected with the “whatever-mentality” lull themselves to sleep with their centrist position.
The example of the student revolts of the sixties comes to mind. The students’ radicalism was facilitated by messages similar to the “Whatever” sign mentioned above. A powerful statement of the protesters at the 1968 Sorbonne Revolution in Paris, France, said, “It is forbidden to forbid.” Their American counterparts proclaimed, “If it feels good, do it.”
The centrists of the time tried to downplay the severity of the student revolt as merely the unruly impulses of rebellious youth that would eventually fade away. They did not! Meanwhile, these centrists lulled themselves to sleep with their comfortable position of neutrality camouflaged so well by those pithy sayings similar to the bathroom sign.
The centralists of 1968 and now 2022 refuse to accept what Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira made clear in his masterpiece Revolution and Counter-Revolution. He affirms that “there are no neutrals in the face of Revolution and Counter-Revolution,” although there may be “noncombatants, whose will are in one of the two camps, whether consciously or not.”
He proved this point in a very psychological way. Whenever a Counter-Revolutionary is debating a topic, like the bathroom-wars issue with a Revolutionary, the person who declares neutrality will always side with the Revolutionary position.1 Thus, they are not neutral at all. They may even be infected with the “whatever-mentality.” Indeed, being “whatever” in a world dominated by the Revolution is permissible if the individual is not a Counter-Revolutionary.
Our Lord Jesus Christ would agree since He declared, “He who is not with Me is against Me.” He was even more categorical when He stated, through the mouth of Saint John, we must be hot or cold; otherwise, “I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.”
In the face of Revolutionary ideas and trends, we must take a firm stance based on principles. A Counter-Revolutionary should never take a flippant attitude in the face of an objective disorder. More importantly, we should never do anything to provoke a laugh about a grave matter.
1. We use the terms Revolutionary and Counter-Revolutionaries as Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira did in his book Revolution and Counter-Revolution.