No, Evola is not a good source to learn about Hermeticism. Or anything. Stop asking.

It’s annoyingly how often he comes up in the circles I run in, but let’s just cut to the chase: by Julius Evola‘s own admission in his introduction to La tradizione ermetica (The Hermetic Tradition), the book has nothing to do with Hermeticism as it actually is. When he uses the term “Hermetic tradition”, he refers to his own take on medieval and Renaissance alchemical symbolism informed by Theosophically-influenced Vedic and Hindu spirituality.  From his own preface (in English translation):

In the present work we shall use the expression “hermetic tradition” in a special sense that the Middle Ages and the Renaissance gave it.  It will not refer to the ancient Greco-Egyptian cult of Hermes, nor will it refer solely to the teachings comprising the Alexandrian texts of the Corpus Hermeticum.  In the particular sense that we shall use it, hermetism is directly concerned with the alchemical tradition, and it is the hermetico-alchemical tradition that will be the object of our study.

If you want to learn about Hermeticism proper, Evola ain’t it.  To be sure, the term “Hermeticism” has a very twisted, twisting, twisty history, but Evola does the equivalent of appropriating it and detaching it from any sense beyond a strictly post-classical alchemical tradition.

But, to be fair, Evola is someone to completely avoid regardless. On top of his fascism—he literally described himself as superfascista and thought the Nazis didn’t go far enough because they only focused on physical race and neglected spiritual race as well—the practical thing about Evola that modern occultists really need to know is that he founded a magic society (the UR Group) based on a series of solar rituals that were grossly unbalanced, turning all its members into egotistical megalomaniacs who couldn’t get along or organize for a common purpose. They all became convinced that they were, each of them, the Only True Source of Light, and so the organization exploded. Naturally, having completely failed at designing effective magic, they turned to politics that gave them permission to murder anyone who disagreed with them.

As a result, there is nothing (nothing!) that meaningful or worthwhile that you can learn from Evola’s (or the Ur Group’s) texts that you can’t learn from some other, less obnoxious, less odious, less overweening, and overall better source in the century since or the many centuries before.  I mean, heck, even John Michael Greer talked once upon a time about how bad Evola was, not just politically but also magically, especially in “Introduction to Magic” but also touching on how short-lived and paltry Evola’s magical career was:

The fact of the matter is that Evola’s UR Group was a wretched flop, and the inadequacy of its system of training is a very large part of the reason why. The Group was founded in early 1927 and blew itself apart in late 1929, having achieved none of the goals Evola so confidently set out for it; the cause of death was a series of internal crises that will be wearily familiar to those who know their way around the more dysfunctional ends of today’s Neopagan scene.  Furthermore, according to the useful preface contributed to the book by Renato del Ponte, two later groups of occultists who attempted to revive the UR Group’s teachings crashed and burned in exactly the same way. Part of that is a phenomenon occultists call the “tainted sphere,” which we’ll discuss in a later post, but there’s another factor at work: the practical instructions for training given in Introduction to Magic are mediocre at their best moments and seriously problematic at their worst.

[…] Turn the pages of Introduction to Magic and it’s not hard to see why. Setting aside the philosophical and symbolic essays—which again are generally of high quality—and the turgid rhetoric that seems to have been de rigueur for occult authors in that era, what you get, in terms of practical work, consists of: (a) standard advice on developing consciousness and will in everyday life, mostly cribbed from Eliphas Lévi; (b) an assortment of exercises in meditation and visualization, not well integrated with one another; (c) a few exercises with a magical mirror, for one or two persons; and (d) a simple ritual centering on Pietro d’Abano’s invocation of the archangel of the Sun, without any of the preliminary training needed to make rituals work.  As a set of basic practices, that has serious problems: it leaves out a number of things essential to the novice in operative magic, and it’s imbalanced in ways that will produce (and in fact did produce) predictable problems.

[…] Evola, for his part, responded to the parallel failure of the UR Group by turning from magic to politics. His entire involvement with magic began and ended in the three years the UR Group functioned, and these were very early in his life—when the UR Group was founded, he was only twenty-six years old. His decision to turn to political action, and from there to cultural politics, was a sensible one. Since he was not the sort of person who could submit to another’s guidance and instruction, he was never going to get the kind of systematic education in magic he needed to accomplish his goals—and the lack of a systematic education in magic lay at the heart of his failure as a teacher of that art.

As noted above, JMG’s article also points out something really neat: Evola was literally just involved in magic for, like, three years. That’s it. In those few years, magic failed him because he failed at magic.  Sure, he kept writing about it from time to time, as in La tradizione ermetica or Maschera e volto dello spiritualismo contemporaneo, but (as Gianfranco de Turris’ Julius Evola: The Philosopher and Magician in War: 1943—1945 notes) he did so only to continue further his repulsive views without actually doing anything more than writing what amounts to bad fanfiction of esotericism:

The issue of esotericism was also relevant in the context of Evola’s collaboration with the German Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service) and Abwehr (Military Intelligence Service) because his relationship with the German military secret services took place in view of the preparation of a model of man and society that was not intended for everyone but rather only for the “initiates” who were capable of demonstrating an inner equilibrium and knowledge superior to others. Evola’s logic in this regard was also clearly antimodern, since all the principles and values that were born of the French Revolution concerning equality and the rights of man were totally alien to him and his thinking. Esotericism represented a way to stress an inequality of men and, consequently, a different valuation of rights. Moreover, the historicist notion that the modern “surpasses” the ancient and thereby constitutes an advancement of progress was foreign to the philosopher.

[…] In reality, all of Evola’s projects during this time period—which ranged from those conceived in the final years of the war to those intended for the young militants of the Italian postwar radical Right—were not so much political as they were cultural and existential projects to develop aspects of resistance, especially on a personal level, against that modernity, which for Evola represented the source for all the evils of contemporary society.

And against modernity, sure, Evola has plenty to say, notably in his Rivolta contro il mondo moderno (Revolt Against the Modern World)Wouter J. Hanegraaff put out an excellent article about this text with his own sharp critique noting that what Evola has to say about modernity and about tradition is worth less than used single-ply toilet paper:

Let me begin on the positive side. Impressive about Evola’s book is the remarkable degree of internal logic and consistency of vision with which he deconstructs every imaginable belief or assumption that modern people tend to take for granted, exposing the whole of it as one long series of errors and perversions of the universal metaphysical truth on which all Traditional societies were based. He manages to strike a tone of “academic” authority that gives the impression that he knows what he is talking about, and it is not so hard to understand that a book like this can make a deep impression on readers who feel alienated from contemporary global consumer culture and would like to see it destroyed. With a radicalism reminiscent of contemporary Islamic Jihadists, Evola tells his readers that modernity is the very negation of everything valid and true.

So what is his alternative? This is where it quickly gets problematic. First of all, while Evola’s modern Right-wing admirers like to claim “historical consciousness” for themselves while blaming their “Liberal” enemies for having no sense of history, Evola himself makes perfectly clear that any attempt to find evidence for his historical narrative will be an utter waste of time. He claims that “Traditional man” had a “supratemporal” sense of time, and therefore the reality in which he lived cannot be grasped by modern historical methods at all. […] any critical objection, any disagreement, any reference to historical evidence that might possible undermine Evola’s narrative, and indeed any reference to historical sources at all, will have no impact whatsoever. And this fits perfectly with the extreme authoritarianism that is typical of Evola’s attitude: the reader is given to understand that it is not really Julius Evola who is speaking to us in these pages – no, he is speaking on behalf of the supreme source of superhuman metaphysical truth itself (the nature of which, by the way, remains very vague). Disagreement is therefore synonymous with spiritual ignorance: one is not supposed to ask questions but to listen and accept.

[…] So are we simply dealing here with the typical naïvety of an amateur historian? I don’t think so. I am convinced that Evola’s highhanded statements about the total irrelevance of historical scholarship reflect an acute awareness on his part that these methods and technical tools had the power to undermine and destroy everything he wanted to say. If he dismisses textual criticism or philological analysis ex cathedra, describing them as the feeble props of deluded ignorants, this is because he knows that in reality they are deadly weapons against which his claims would be utterly helpless. Better discredit your critics in advance so that your readers will not even bother taking their arguments seriously. Better make use of the popular and populist resentment of “academics” in their ivory tower, of all those “specialists” who are making everything so difficult instead of telling a clear and simple story that normal people can understand. We find a similar strategy in the current conservative and rightwing campaigns of denying climate change (Trump: “just look out the window!”), undermining the credibility of science and academic research, attempting to defund Humanities programs, and spreading the trope of “alternative facts”. Science and scholarship are inconvenient to these antimodernists because they hinder them in saying what they want to say and doing what they want to do. Never let evidence stand in the way of a good story. We find the same approach in Evola. In sum, I do not think he doesn’t take historians seriously, on the contrary: he is afraid of them. He knows that his weapons are no match for theirs, and so he seeks to avoid a direct confrontation.

Also, I note as a historical point of interest, he apparently had a habit of walking around Vienna during bombing raids during World War II to “ponder his destiny”, and during one such raid in 1945, was hit by shrapnel that damaged his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down for the rest of his life.  He was, to put it plainly, an astounding idiot with little sense of self-preservation on top of his horrific and banal “philosophy”.

Why, then, do people consider this rubbish to be some sort of grand luminary? I mean, I can guess: the man was an egotistical, hyperfascist, woman-hating, violent abuser of not just other human beings but of human dignity itself.  He was barely even an armchair magician (who literally failed at becoming anything more) and was more interested in romanticizing his own ahistorical, easily-wrecked notion of “tradition” that acclaimed the superiority of white men more than anything and anyone else, and such a view is replete throughout all his writings.  As a result of that and his sick self-aggrandizing desire to get people riled up in the usual ways bigotry likes to do, his influence continues to dominate in neo-fascist occult circles and in modern far-right political circles as well.  The sooner everyone drops his shit and leaves him to be swallowed by the sands of time in favor of literally anyone better (and it’s genuinely easy to find anyone better, and I do mean anyone), the better off we’ll all be.

To impress how severe my stance on him is: Evola and his ilk is one of the extremely few blights I take upon Hermetic studies/spirituality (and humanity in general) more seriously and more vitriolically than the Kybalion.  Remember that the only thing fascists deserve is immolation and drowning, not any sort of space or platform within our communities.  (This is not a call to violence, I should note, but merely a call to defense against those whose ideologies promise nothing but violence already.  The cure for this is simple: don’t be fascist.)

The above was posted in a shorter form on the /r/Hermeticism subreddit, which itself was a comment in reply to a now-deleted thread, which itself was an adaptation from an earlier Twitter thread of mine, which was yet earlier a series of comments from an older discussion in the Hermetic House of Life Discord server. Still, given how often it crops up in any number Hermetic communities, I wanted to share this more widely and publicly for other people to see as well. In my own Hermetic community on Discord, I’ve noticed a strong correlation between those who stan or otherwise unflaggingly support Evola and those who show their whole ass with rancidly fascist takes in short order. It’s not a good look, and such people tend to not last long in the communities I run in.  To that end, I am powerfully disinterested in debating the merit of Evola’s writings at any length.

EDIT: I couldn’t not share this on my blog from a good friend:

 

“Unlocking the Observatory” PDF ebook now ready for free download! (Also on Ko-fi!)

I hope y’all have been enjoying my Unlocking the Observatory post series I recently finished posting!  It was a really fun project, once I got into the swing of it, and although the post series took like two months to go online in total, truthfully it only took like two weeks to write it all.  (You know how it goes with me and writing: it’s either feast or famine.)

As promised at the end of the summary post, and taking into my account of the desires and conveniences of my readers based on my earlier Reviewing the Trithemian Conjuration post series, I went ahead, compiled, and edited my ZT post analysis into a PDF as well.  It’s 167 pages on US Letter-sized paper, which is…well, more than I had anticipated, I suppose, but then, it was a fairly large project.  As with my other ebooks, I’ve put it up under the Books page of my website, but just like a small number of other projects and unlike most of my ebooks, this one is entirely free of charge.  You can download the compiled PDF of these posts, all nice and formatted as you might expect, here at this link.

Also, as a little bonus, I went ahead and uploaded all three of my free ebooks (Unlocking the Observatory, Reviewing the Trithemian Conjuration, and the Grammatēmerologion Calendar for March 2015—March 2053) to my Ko-fi shop as well!  Here as well as there, the se three ebooks are free to download, although I have marked these books specifically on Ko-fi as “pay what you want” rather than having any fixed price.  It’s just something nice for those who like using Ko-fi and want to support it and the platform, I suppose, but it is a convenience I haven’t made use of quite yet until now.

I hope y’all enjoy the read, whether on my website or in the offline ebook!  By all means, feel free to post comments on the associated blog posts, too, because Zoroaster’s Telescope is a really nifty form of divination and my analysis is by no means exhaustive.  Feedback and further investigation from those who know more French than I do or who apply such a form of divination would be great to hear about!

Interested in Greek alphabet magic and mysticism? Check out the 2020 talk I did on it!

Back in 2020, I participated in the Salem Witchcraft and Folklore Festival, which was a great time, even if was held online.  During the course of that, as I mentioned way back when, I offered my lecture Spelling by Spelling: Greek Alphabet Divination and Magic:

A variety of divination systems were used in ancient and classical Greece, ranging from oracles and prophets to common forms of sortilege. One of the more fascinating kinds of divination that was used in the ancient Hellenic world was that of grammatomancy, divination through the individual letters of the Greek alphabet. This lecture will cover the history of this useful and direct form of divination, and how it can build into an overarching spiritual practice of devotion to the Greek gods, theurgy, contemplation, and magic.

It was a great lecture (even if it had to be postponed from Saturday to Monday due to unfortunate internet/power outage issues), and I’m glad I was able to offer it.

And yes, you should definitely keep up on this year’s SWFF, too, because this summer will be its fourth year running and there is, as usual, a great lineup of presenters and talks being slated!  Jacqui Allouise at The Cauldron Black and Matthew Venus of Spiritus Arcanum (both of whom offer their own events and products the whole year round) do great work, and I definitely encourage checking them out in general on top of the yearly festivities planned.

Anyway, one of the neat things about being a presenter is that I get a recording of my own presentation, and I was finally able to get around to uploading my talk to YouTube!  If you’re interested in grammatomancy (Greek alphabet divination), the grammatēmerologion (Greek letter lunisolar calendar), and other ways to use the Greek alphabet in magic and mysticism for all sorts of ends, check out the talk I did!

In the lecture, I mention a handout for people to study and take home.  You can access the 12-page handout (with reference information and citations for further reading) here on Google Drive.  Likewise, if you just want to check out the slides for your own study, you can also access them at this link.

I thought this was a great talk to give, and a few of my friends thought it went well enough to offer some pleasant thoughts on it.  Hopefully you’ll also find it interesting, dear reader, and this might persuade you to look into this alphabetic system of magic and mysticism!  I’ve written plenty about it, not just as an ebook on the divinatory system of grammatomancy (De Grammatomanteia, available for US$10 through Etsy or through Ko-fi) but also on countless posts on my blog; just search “grammatomancy” or “grammatemerologion”, or just browse the Mathesis category of posts for more.

Now, obviously, while at the time there was a registration fee for the talk since it was a paid event, it being almost two years later, I see no reason to insist on further charging for this sort of stuff.  If you feel moved to contribute anything to my Ko-fi as a donation, I certainly wouldn’t stop you, but much like with my online video course Geomancy in the Reign of the Lady of Crowns, I would instead encourage you to consider donating to a humanitarian charity of your choice that can make a difference in the world, whether locally or globally.  Alternatively, even if I’m not presenting this year, you might also consider spending some of that money towards attending a lecture or five for this year’s Salem event!

On Memes and Maturity

Welp, I guess you can’t please everyone.  Still, of those I can, I’d rather not indulge immaturity in the process.

Over the past week and a half, the Hermetic House of Life Discord server (HHoL) has basically recovered half the membership of the old Hermetic Agora Discord server (HA), adding in a few new faces to the bunch in the process.   I talked about the debacle shortly after it happened here, and in the following days, while I’ve had my hands full with my good colleagues both on the modteam and off, it’s been a great time getting back to this collective, communal work we’ve been doing.  Still, amidst the high points, it has also been…enlightening in a number of other unfortunate ways.  I’ve had some time to mull together my own thoughts, and while I can’t promise a five-star analysis or response, I figure having something out is better than nothing in this case, especially to clarify a few stances of my own in the process for anyone who is still left wondering.

While I’m super thrilled that things have gone as well as they have regarding the HA/HHoL migration (I don’t think they could have gone better except if this didn’t have to happen at all), there’s a small but vocal minority who insists that I and the rest of the modteam are in the wrong for getting so upset over a cartoon frog emoji.  The arguments start innocuously enough:

  • “Memes are a way to express oneself”
  • “Memes are a way to build identity and community”
  • “Memes don’t have to be politicized”

Sure, I agree with all of that, 100%.  But consider: would you make a “yo momma” joke to someone whose mother just died and they’re still grieving over her? Would you make a racist joke to the face of someone of that race? Would you use a 9/11 meme with someone who was still going to therapy because they were there in NYC when the towers fell?

No?

Why not?

Because it’s an asshole move to make, and you know it.

Whether or not you’re aware of the conditions and situations of others, your sense of humor might just have some innately offensive quality about it that only barely skirts by public censure in the best of times, but in the worst, can cause actual emotional harm to others, regardless of your intent.  You might have thought it was funny, but that doesn’t mean others will agree with you.  We don’t always intend to do harm with our actions or words, but we sometimes still do all the same. Regardless of our intent, the result also matters, and it’s on us to own up to that.

HHoL—the community I help build and maintain—is full of people from a wide variety of walks of life from all over the world. And some people in that community have been harmed, directly or indirectly, by those who politicize/weaponize certain memes, and seeing those memes causes distress and discomfort.  Sure, some of those same memes are used innocuously enough in plenty of other places, but that doesn’t change the fact that they aren’t used innocuously everywhere.

I will be first to admit that it is profoundly unfortunate that a 20-year-old badly-drawn cartoon frog that never garnered any real media attention on its own has been politicized and weaponized by the alt-right and extremist political groups, centered in the USA but used similarly across the rest of the world for similar political movements.  I hate that that’s the case, and I hate that some memes, joke, art, and the like gets seen as political when it’s only been politicized.  But it is the case all the same.  To be sure, the use of a Pepe meme is not, I want to emphasize, an automatic indicator of being affiliated with the alt-right or other extremist political groups, and it’s used rather innocuously across vast swathes of the Internet—but it is used in a politicized alt-right way all too often for others to ignore, and thus it’s used that way enough for it to be a problem that I, as a moderator, have to make a judgment on in order to moderate HHoL.  This is not unlike the reason why too many women have to walk to their cars with their keys held between their fingers like claws, because while not all men have tried to accost or harm them in public, too many already have—enough for them to be rightfully suspicious of all men.  It’s the same reason why you wouldn’t reach into a bowl of candy when 1% of it has been laced with a deadly poison, because even though the majority of that candy is safe to eat, enough of that candy makes the whole bowl dangerous enough to avoid.

Besides all that, though, HHoL as a community and as a Discord server is just not the place to fight that kind of politicization.  That’s a fight for taking down the alt-right and other extremist, Nazi, Neonazi, and fascist organizations first, and then rehabilitating the meme and cartoon character after the threat from these organizations have passed and after the harm they have caused is healed.  Until then, the hands of the HHoL modteam and community are already full tending to those who have been harmed by that selfsame politicization, and the first thing you do when helping people heal is separate out the thing that caused them harm in the first place.  For that reason, we do not allow—and have never allowed—political content on the server because of how much of a tendency it has to go to really bad places really quickly, and that includes the use of political or politicized content, whether or not one uses things in such a way.

I mean, HHoL is just a glorified IRC server that just wants to focus on spirituality and mysticism, for crying out loud; indeed, why let bullshit like memes get in the way of that?  That very question is what’s leveled at me and the rest of the modteam for causing such a stink over a cartoon frog meme, but by that selfsame token, I have to level that same question back at those who seem to want to fight to the death over being entitled to use it whenever and wherever they please.  Let’s be blunt: if the use of memes can be said to build community, then by that same token, so too does the non-use of memes. It behooves everyone to learn how to read a room: if the community you’re in avoids the use of particular memes or jokes or statements or asks you to avoid using them, there’s probably a good reason why.  Moreover, to not say a thing or not do a thing—to not use a meme—costs nothing. In that light, when the use of a meme causes harm, regardless of one’s intent, that is a cost. To use such a meme costs more than to not use it.  Consider that oft-tired but ever-meaningful phrase “your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”, etc.

So, what about this is meaningful from a spiritual standpoint?  I’m not just bitching for the sake of bitching—warranted though that might be on my own blog—or merely complaining about detractors who complain that I’m somehow “too PC” or “too American”.  I think there’s a meaningful spiritual point to be made about all this that I want to call out in those who want to call me out.

Consider: HHoL is an online community centered on Hermeticism and its related fields of spirituality, mysticism, religion, and the occult. We aspire to develop ourselves, reaching higher and deeper into divinity, and help each other to do the same.  We study texts ancient and modern, we exchange ideas for practice and implementation, we review methods and results all for the sake of bettering ourselves and, with each other and on our own, the world as a whole.  In that light, I have to ask: on what planet is slavish devotion to a meme, knowing that its use is hurtful to some because of its connotations due to long-standing developments outside this community, considered to be something helpful for these goals or aims of study and practice?

The very first community rule of HHoL is “be mature”.  (You can read all of our community rules and why we have them in this Google Doc we maintain for our server’s members.)  After all, HHoL is intended for a mature audience talking about topics that I consider demand a certain level of maturity: spirituality, mysticism, religion, the occult, union with the Divine, self-exploration, and so on.  If one is unable or unwilling to develop or dedicate the maturity these topics require, then I would think that HHoL is not a community for them.  It’s not about mere age or experience, but about giving enough gravity to these topics of discussion and a willingness to be, or at least become, mature enough to engage with these topics (and the other people who are already engaging with these topics) with the respect these topics (and these people) deserve.  Sure, we have fun and laughs in the process, but on the whole, these topics we talk about are indescribably profound and require much of us in the way of our development and progress.  Those who choose to be immature in HHoL are warned to learn how to properly behave; those who continue to behave immaturely are removed from the community because of the distractions they cause for everyone else.  After all, you don’t play chess with a pigeon.

But what about fighting for one’s “right” (for whatever that might mean) to use a cartoon frog meme wherever one pleases is mature?  What about that is indicative of prioritizing things of real spiritual or divine value over meaningless or inconsequential things like cartoons or memes?  What about that is indicative of supporting the essential dignity and real needs of other living, breathing human beings out of compassion and love for humanity, especially those who are telling you in no uncertain terms why certain behaviors hurt?

It’s not indicative of that at all, because it’s not mature at all.

It is not mature at all to disregard the warnings of the moderators of a community or to ignore the needs of members of that community, especially a community to which one joins freely but is neither obliged nor entitled to join, all for the sake of one’s own self-centered sense of humor.  It is, rather, a matter of recklessness, pride, arrogance, and vanity.  It is a matter of immaturity, and I will not tolerate it.  After all, I and the other moderators of HHoL are there to moderate discussions on the community, to uphold our community standards—to keep the peace.  I also note that certain politicized trends, memes, and the like have a strong tendency to upset peace to the point where it’s better to just not have them around. And then I see people who attach themselves to those same things, and we just ask people to choose: that, or this?

In the end, I can’t make that choice for them, but increasingly, it seems like I wouldn’t have to anyway: HHoL has had a small but loud number of people willingly choose to leave or loudly abstain from joining in the first place (though often in a huff or with some choice words for me and the rest of the modteam), and I have the sneaking suspicion that word is spreading about our enthusiasm for keeping out disruptions to our community (you know, the job of a moderator).  Sure, some of them are well-meaning, but I can’t overlook that their concerns are (at best) misplaced and misguided or (at worst) maliciously misdirecting.  While, as a moderator, I do take such events as people leaving and telling me why as an opportunity in reinspect and potentially refine my own aims and methods here, I also consider that this server has over 500 members but just shy of a dozen detractors.  In a sense, I suppose that my aims to ensure a base set community standards through reinforcing and upholding our rules (which have not changed since well before this whole debacle even started, despite what others might think) is doing little more than what they were intended to do: separating out wheat from chaff, or in this case, those mature enough to engage with a mature group of people intent on studying and practicing Hermeticism from those who aren’t.  We’re not running a daycare, nor are teachers in a middle school; we don’t have time to babysit people through childish, disrespectful, hurtful behavior.  W’ll do our due diligence to issue a warning when we see intolerable behavior, but if someone warned doesn’t catch the hint, then it’s not on us or the rest of this excellent community to personally remediate them.  It just falls to us to ensure the good order and safety of the rest of the community to remove what threats, disruptions, and distractions might arise.

To all those who choose to forego such a community in favor of a childish passion for memes or a misguided crusade for one’s “right” to self-expression at all costs: I hope you grow up a bit, and I look forward to seeing you again if—and hopefully when—you do.