Informalities and Frivolties

My dad used Old Spice. He also grew up in WW2 Germany and emigrated to Canada alone when he was sixteen. He started up his own business after dropping out of high school, got married, and had kids.

He grew up in a time when the formal and the informal had their proper places. The informal stems from the formal, and the formal is foundational. We don’t always want to live in formal mode — life would be too serious then. We want to be able to lighten things up a bit in our day to day lives. I don’t want to call my dad “father” all the time; I want to call him dad or papa most of the time. However, my ability to call my dad “dad” rests on the fact that first I call him “father”.

These days in the west, informality, and thus frivolity, have taken over. The foundation of the formal is crumbling and no one takes life seriously enough. (No one, that is, except the revolutionaries we see yelling and screaming at the universities. But they too have no formal foundation to build upon.) Even a product like Old Spice has to embrace the shallow video game culture in order to sell….

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Old Spice deodorant

I suppose the West will have to create a new formal foundation before it can mature to its next stage of development.

Further reading: Fatherlessness and the Rise of the Shaving Industry

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #13

“A wounded heart does not recover in the spiritual world without a change in the visible world. Resurrection never does enthrone the spirit in the same place where it left one body, as though nothing had happened. Something has happened; death has intervened. When I experienced an infinitesimal fraction of resurrection, I learned to my amazement how severe the law was which made it impossible for me to continue among the same people in the same place.”

~from The Christian Future, page 145

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #12

“[E]very boy or girl in this country learns the three R’s. Now, perhaps they would have better minds if they learned the Greek letters and language instead, but they have no choice. This English is their heritage. Long before they could choose, their elders have moulded their minds and made them into English speakers, English readers, English writers, and accountants. The young depend on the choices made for them by their elders. An heir is not somebody who can choose what he shall inherit; if he could make his choice, he would be self-made. But, in so far as his inheritance is determined, he is an heir, and under the laws of heredity. And to his heredity a man may say either yes or no, but he is caught in this one alternative which is not creative. He does, however, determine the background of the next generation.

“Hence, one’s generation’s background is due to the previous generation’s foreground. My father’s values determined my education. And by no action of mine can I cancel out the fact that his education preceded my own judgements. I am more the product of his intent or his omissions than his own life was. I am his heir. Only my own son or students may fully reflect my own choices.”

~from The Christian Future, page 221