Sunday, September 21, 2014

Local culture vs. Universalization

The tendency of American culture is still readily situated within and geared towards industrialization: mass production, the lowest common denominator, selling to "everyone" by flattening the product enough to make it appealing to the average, the masses. This tendency is seen especially in the difference between musicians authentically rooted in the context of a genre, pursuing and perfecting their work here professionally and with technical precision vs. popular musicians, which takes all that is universal in each genre and flattens it to make it appealing to the masses.

Local—folk—culture is broadcast and universalized; this is the great angst of the hipster. Specific, local fashions become available at J.C. Penny.

Perhaps this tendency also has contributed to the so-called "desacralization of the sacred." For example, Gregorian chant exists for the liturgy. Now, it is available on Pandora, audio CDs (even among so-called "Traditionalist" religious who pride themselves on preserving Sacred Tradition and the sense of the sacred lost in Modernist culture, especially post-Vatican II Catholic culture), and YouTube for casual listening. It appears in a gimmicked form in movie soundtracks and documentaries. The desire to make this form of music popular comes at the price of its very purpose and soul.

On the other hand, there is a growing movement within Western culture to appreciate the unique, the niche, the specific. Businesses that insist on doing things a specific way even if it means that potential profit is lost—these attract attention and spread through word of mouth; these businesses thrive on connection and relation.

Perhaps, then, it is through relation, through connection, through the insistence on the unique soul of a particular thing that it will find its authentic vehicle for spreading and becoming appreciated for what it truly is. The sacred can hence remain as such without sacrificing itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments ad hominem or deemed offensive by the moderator will be subject to immediate deletion.