Rockwell’s “Thanksgiving”

Deconstructionism dismisses the value of anything it touches–in literature or culture. It dismantles, even splinters the structure itself, questioning the blueprint of the framework in the first place.

Ken, in a recent post of mine, Narcissism, on the death of ceremony, made an astute comment that the philosophy of deconstructionism is one of the root causes of the rejection of tradition in American society.

I had always considered the ceremony of life or traditions of our society to be the “salt” and “sugar.” That is the way we dress for church or Temple, the way we conduct our holidays, the way we remember the dead or congratulate the bride and groom, the way we observe and honor tradition, etc., as being the “spices” of life rather than the foundation of life. That is “salt” and “sugar” are delightful condiments–nice to have for added flavor but not essential.

In the Jewish culture, tradition is not the condiment. It is the table on which the condiment is served. It  is essential and has been what has held them together as a people group for thousands of year. If those traditions became obsolete, I believe the Jewish people would disappear from society.

Perhaps this is true in our American society as well. All the traditions or ceremony that we are dismissing, dismantling piece by piece, may be the table and not the “salt” and “sugar.”

If so, will we eventually eat our Thanksgiving meals without salt and sugar on the floor like barbaric cavemen?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. lamar says:

    This is a difficult concept and what is even more difficult is to objectively measure our own behavior as it relates to our cultural values. I am a proponent of ceremony, done in a dramatic moment when I can capture my audience’s attention. Words or actions used to memorialize or sanctify an event must act as a does a camera, but the lens is the soul whose aperture opens and closes almost imperceptively. But this moment in time must affect the participants like — as you said, a strong spice — in order to be remembered.
    This was a thought-provoking piece, one that must be read again and again. I feel such sorrow to see life’s important meaning draining out through the sink of superficial relationships.

  2. bchboy1 says:

    great post…the world is getting smaller. Cultures collide at a breakneck pace. We want keep tradition yet we want to develop the new. My vision weould be to create both

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