Thursday, November 19, 2015

The world is too much with us, Part XXIV.

As I get older, and unlike those be-whiskered denizens of Brooklyn who wear shorts and sandals in November and woolen knit caps in August, I am getting older, I find more and more comfort in those things that still contain a vestige of the way things used to be.

That's a round-about way of saying, I guess, that the world I grew up in, that I am accustomed to, that I've accepted as my reality, is all but dead. However, I find comfort in the traces that remain.

I'm taking the day off today to get away from a world that is too much with us.  

(For the Wordsworth-deficient, I give you a hors d'oeuvres:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!)

The modern world makes demands on humans like humans make demands on machines. In fact, to go all Capek on you, or Elmer Rice, or Fritz Lang, or Charlie Chaplin, the modern world has fairly and essentially turned us into machines.

Things that took weeks, we do in days, days we do in hours, hours we do in minutes. The Bernbachian agency model of art and copy working together has been all but abandoned. Craft has succumbed to Ikea-ization. Everything is modular now. Nuance has been replaced by the Allen wrench.

I try to hold on.

I go to a butcher shop where there is still sawdust on the floor.

I prefer Buster Keaton to Adam Sandler.

And I read at least one classic a year. Don Quixote. Gilgamesh. The Green Knight.

You can't resist the passing of time, especially as my time is running out.

But you can take your dog for a walk, read in your leather arm chair, and listen to Ravel and try.

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