These are interesting/amazing/weird/great/fascinating days. Alas, these are also days when everything, even or perhaps especially stupid Internet things, is “epic” or “awesome.” And, to avoid the hyperbolic, this is kind of a little bit lame. Not because of what this misuse/abuse of “epic” and “awesome” does to the English language—by now, we should be used to our words literally getting a beating every couple years or so—but what it does to us and our sense of the world.
There was a time when we were really dumb; dumb, but also curious and full of wonder. We figured there were lands populated by men with faces on their chest; we were terrified of sailing off the planet or sailing into parts of the map where dragons be; we assumed that God caused earthquakes and hurricanes. Even the smartest people of the age, like Leonardo da Vinci or Galileo or Newton, were dumber than the average dumb person today. Or maybe especially, because in order for them to get anything right, they had to get a bunch of stuff really wrong. They had to approach the world around them with so much curiosity and terror and wonderment and awe, so much childlike excitement and amusement, that they had to do what they did.
We’ve moved from the childlike to the childish. There are a lot of amazing things science and culture give us every day, but instead, your Average Dumb Person Today watches some Tosh.0 fodder on YouTube and looks at some QuickMeme’d macro on Reddit, and thinks that’s “epic” or “awesome.” Issac Newton, the “last of the magicians,” would hate you and your cat .gif crap.