The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

On Reality- Virtual and Otherwise

"An ugly man, if he is alive, is more beautiful than a man represented in a statue, however beautiful he may be."
-Plotinus, The Enneads, from Treatise 38

Your humble blogger makes money the old fashion way: he works a dead-end job for it. More specifically, I am a cashier at a Chevron station in a tourist resort close to Hollister. Like all disturbed people, I can get disgruntled at my job, particularly when people act like jerks. One of my main pet peeves is customers who talk on cell phones when they are paying at the front counter. They don't say "Hi" to you, sometimes they don't even look at you, and you are lucky if you get a "thank you" at the end of it all. For me, that is not just incredibly rude, but also very disturbing.

Yes, maybe they are talking to their sick mother on the other end or closing a business deal that will give them enough income to be able to send their kids to college. I just find it incredibly disordered that a little electronic voice from such a small device can cause them to ignore the human being in front of them, made in the image and likeness of God.

I talk about a lot of exalted subjects on this blog: philosophy, theology, history, politics, but if there is not the foundation of just being a human being, it is all in vain. And part of being a human being is giving attention to those you don't particularity care for but cross your path day in and day out. If you cannot look someone in the eye and just say, "Hello", then what is the point of anything at all? There is nothing more important than what is going on in the room you are in, and no one more important to you now than the person standing in front of you. If we can just escape into a screen, a little sound box, or any other gadget, then all that I have said means nothing at all.

I like blogging. It gives me a chance to put down things into written words, so I can read them, contemplate them, and correct them when I see that they are wrong. But my blogging is the fruit of my life of prayer, my life living with my family, reading books, and being a cashier at a Chevron. I do not participate in incestuous blogger wars, and I barely go on the Internet other than to write for this blog and a few other sites. Life is out there, so go live it.

And please, say "hello" to a cashier today, even if he or she has an ugly mug like yours truly. And turn your cell phone off before you do it. It will be greatly appreciated.


At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude welcome to the life as a commodity, you are to be seen and not heard. Serve you purpose and shut-up : )
Sorry I had to enforce the hegemony of bourgeois alienation that wage-slavery imposes. Just tolerate it for a few more weeks then you go to school and all you have to deal with is serving rich kids at a university. Yes, the life of the over-educated and poor is very hard. I should know I work in Indiana for $5.15 an hour and I have just finished my second Masters. I am use to be be sh&*^@
on. Unfortunately my alienation results in my looking at the opposite sex a little too hard at work. Yes, in this case it is probrably best to make eye contact because looking elsewhere may just get you in trouble unless you get subscription sun-glasses (I am too poor for this). Well, I will go surf the Net for some porn now since I said nothing constructive. I said my peace.--Aliented over-educated member of the proletariat.

At 6:11 AM, Blogger J. Gordon Anderson said...

I feel your pain...

We have lost the art of being human, in part because we interact with machines so much. Because of that we treat people, and maybe even ourselves as machines - inanimate objects to be controlled, used, ignored, and/or thrown away. Hence all of the violence and hatred in our "civilized" American society.

At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

American society is anything but civilized!!


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