Sep 17, 2007

The Great Stereopticon

Title says it all, right?
I am reading "Ideas Have Consequences," by Richard Weaver. A philosophical rant on the decadence of Western culture in the 30s - 40s. It is really hard to read, I have learned at least 50 new words. Like decadence.
Weaver calls the mass media "The Great Stereopticon" for good reason. First of all, a stereopticon is a 3D projector, that layers or dissolves images, to make them appear life-like. What a great idea. He argues that radio, press, and television herald industrialism and therefore only promote what is ultimately materialistic and mundane, turning the public eye from what he calls "the metaphysical dream" and subjects them to "falsity born of technology and commercialism." Thus the 3D idea; fake. A great illustration of the media machine.

Oh, and earlier he went off on Jazz music. Here is a quote that will probably take me a minute to type...

"Jazz, by formally repudiating restraint by intellect, and by expressing contempt and hostility toward our traditional society and mores, has destroyed this equilibrium [of sentiment and reason in art]. That destruction is a triumph of grotesque, even hysterical, emotion over propriety and reasonableness. Jazz often sounds as if in a rage to divest itself of anything that suggests structure or confinement. (brackets mine)"

I wonder what he would think of Donald Miller...

That's all for now. Time to read.


Dan Hawkins said...

I don't agree with him about jazz at all. I can see some of the other stuff though. Didn't you recomend this book to Lance and I this morning?

Anonymous said...

A stereopticon is indeed a magic lantern projector (most people confuse that term with stereoscope), and it does project views that can dissolve from spring to summer to fall, etc, but it doesn't do 3D. The stereoscope views as 3D, the stereopticon projects 2D.