- November 15, 2018
- By Admin: mrbauld
Links to Things Literary
“Too much of a good thing” describes not only the internet but the conditions under which we live in modern life. This site is filled with old fashioned print in the belief that it will reward the reader willing to make the effort. The internet on which it resides, however, makes every effort to have you avoid any kind of sustained focus. The mark of an educated person has always been the taste he has developed through sustained and honestly conducted study. The arrival of forty-five television channels works against the chance that meaningful tv (there surely is such a thing)will be viewed by more than a handful of accidental visitors to that channel. The internet drastically minimizes this chance of meaningful encounter.
The internet, of course, is dominated by the postmodern attitude that sneers at meaning, and, if you are of this tribe, you should be off surfing, not listening to this old time rant. But, if you’re not, you might see that the real challenge for you is to devote your energies to things of quality (as Robert Pirsig tried to do in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). “What is worth teaching?” is the essential question which education departments never consider, lacking, it would seem, the requirements needed to pursue such a question. “What is worth knowing?” is the question students should be asking (and do ask) of themselves and their teachers. Have you heard the common complaint: I wasted hours surfing on the net and in the end didn’t find much of value? The things of real value, I suspect, don’t change. When the only book in town was The Bible, it was hard to avoid things of quality. Now we are directed to websites replete with flashing gizmos and gimmicks which are as empty as the imaginations which created them.
Who are the wisemen of our age, now that saints have been negated? Which few poets and writers are worth our limited time? How do we go about learning to read them? How do I resist a culture that sneers at my “elitism” and need for “meaning”? It is there, but today’s seeker needs to practice extraordinary selectivity and focus. It is there to be found, if you don’t get lost.
The following links are far from unpolluted, but they are capable of providing useful support for this English course.