Our destructiveness is a truth about us just as basic as our capacity for love. Our loves are always going to be checked, complicated, limited, compromised, corrupted, undermined, reversed by the rest of what we are. If you accept this, the refusal to admit it in contemporary culture starts to look silly, and worse than silly. It locks us collectively into a cycle of indulgence and surprise. Most of the time, there’s the fingers-in-ears denial that anything could ever be wrong, periodically interrupted by stagy astonishment when something goes so wrong it can’t be ignored. We have to keep numbing ourselves up with nonsense. St Augustine’s ‘cruel optimism’ rules, cynically abetted by the sharp minds in the marketing department, who know that nothing stimulates anxiety and unhappiness and therefore spending like images of perfection.
— Francis Spufford, Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense, 210. (via thirstygargoyle)