The present age is demented. It is possessed by a sense of dislocation, a loss of personal identity, an alternating sentimentality and rage which, in an individual patient, could be characterized as dementia.
As the century draws to a close, it does not yet have a name, but it can be described.
It is the most scientifically advanced, savage, democratic, inhuman, sentimental, murderous century in human history.
I will give it a name which at least describes what it does. I would call it the age of the theorist-consumer. All denizens of the age tend to be one or the other or both….
In the old Christendom, everyone was a Christian and hardly anyone thought twice about it. But in the present age the survivor of theory and consumption becomes a wayfarer in the desert, like St. Anthony; which is to say, open to signs.
— Walker Percy, “Why Are You a Catholic?” (1990)