Saturday, December 30, 2006

On Instantaneity

Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds recommends several quotes for bloggers. Among them this one: "There is no inherent virtue to instantaneity."--Joseph Rago.

This reminds me of Richard Weaver's discussion of what he calls the "quest for immediacy" in modern life and thought in the introduction of Ideas Have Consequences:
It is characteristic of the barbarian, whether he appears in a pre-cultural stage or emerges from below into the waning day of a civilization, to insist upon seeing a thing "as it is." The desire testifies that he has nothing in himself with which to spiritualize it; the relation is one of thing to thing without the intercession of the imagination. Impatient of the veiling with which the man of higher type gives the world imaginative meaning, the barbarian and the Philistine, who is the barbarian living amid culture, demand the access of mmediacy.

The most apparent form of the "quest for immediacy" is the lack of patience with formality of any kind. You'll know what I mean if you have attended a church service lately. About the last place you can be formal anymore is at weddings and funerals. But now even those ceremonies are being fast deconstructed and evacuated of ritual--and, consequently, of meaning.

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