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11.25.2008

forgetfulness

I need to work on capitalizing in my blog posts. When and why this started to slip, I don't know. But I correlate the disappearance of capitalization with an increasing self-consciousness about my own words. A sort of 'please don't take this seriously or hold me accountable for my words' approach to blogging. Rather like my actual speech - when I start thinking that I'm not saying anything important or interesting, or if I think my words might be easily contested or disapproved of, I let them mumble away into silence. Let's not do that here.

I know I'm always hyperlinking over to firstthings, which is silly since anyone actually interested in their articles would just read them regularly all by themselves. But yesterday, Reno was discussing this British band Show of Hands and he said something that seemed to clarify what I was frustrated about in previous post. (Removing random articles is not the same as uncapitalizing. It's more cute than careless. At least, that's my contention.)

He writes this about the direction of their lyrics: 'The minor premise is implied: England now encourages cultural forgetfulness rather than memory.' And that's just what irks me about our time. Intentional forgetfulness. We look back at the past and see only the mistakes of our parents and ancestors and nations and churches. And we condemn the whole of history for what we perceive as unredeemable error - then have the audacity to assume we can do better! Audacity is just another way of saying 'boldfaced arrogance' and there's nothing hopeful in it. I've never once seen arrogance produce anything beautiful or true. Arrogance and ignorance about the past has, as far as I can see, never produced any kind of wisdom.

It is another symptom (or is it the cause?) of our youth-centered society. We think of old age as a shame rather than a glory, and old age gets younger every year! despite our desperate attempts to cheat death with more and more years. This seems directly related to our contempt for our grandparents' ethics, our great-grandparents' traditions, our great-great-grandparents' faith. Nothing old can stay. We have forgotten that the test of time is the most reliable of all filters - because we are impatient - because it is an old test - because we are audacious. and foolish.

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