Thursday, August 16, 2007

Undignified Modern Hoodooism

Chesterton, I think, wrote something about pride in antiquated creeds, hoary superstition, and something like that. While I cannot at this moment find the quote, and mean not to try further, I acknowledge the debt.
It has come to my ears that a certain one dear to me has said that there is, among popular Catholic devotions, Mediaeval Superstition.
Without conceding the point, I ask, what of it? What sort of superstition are we to prefer?
At least Mediaeval Superstition is dignified.

Newfangled People will say they are not superstitious. They are. They will say they are rational. They are not.
Having abandoned dignified mediaeval superstition, they prefer instead silly and undignified Hoodooism, only provided it is up-to-the-minute.

They happily ascribe coincident events to Karma or to Fate but if you should say it was Providence they will look at you as if you had an unapproved apparition for a head.

The Newfangled People don't like irony. Not without buying a Carbon Offset to make up for it. The honey bees are depopulating. This is no time for irony.

If the Newfangled Person says to you "Feng Shui", you should say, with your face scrunched up as if confused, "Do you mean Fang Shoo-ee?". "No, no" he will say "It's Fung Sh-way".

This can go on.

Unaware that how you pronounce a non-thing is really not important, if he is a benevolent Newfangled Person, he will try to help you. The more you Shoo-ee, the more he will Sh-way. If you can get him to say something like "okay, watch my mouth" before he slowly and carefully Sh-ways at you, you will have won.
If he becomes agitated with your pretended ignorance, say "Easy Buster! I have tender Chakra".
Of course, none of this is activity becoming a gentleman.

These Shwaying Newfanglers will even position their coffee tables in such a way as to render the reaching of one's tumbler of brown liquor entirely impractical, and in a final act of uncaring stupidity will tell you this has to do with the free flowing of Chi.

Chi, despite it's reputation as the life-force of the whole big universe, apparently cannot make it's way around conveniently placed furniture.

This makes no sense, so Newfangled People accept it.

4 comments:

Raindear said...

Newman makes a similar sort of observation (in the Apologia maybe?).

I paraphrase:
Even if all of the outrageous, Golden Legend sort of miracles are not entirely true, they might as well be because the miraculous power of the Faith is undoubtedly real.

paramedicgirl said...

It's not possible to have superstitious Catholic devotions. It's an oxymoron.

LJ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
crusader88 said...

Fang shoo-ee? I'll try that some time. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm pretty sure 95% of the Orientalists who use it don't understand it either. When I worked at Big Lots, there was some delicious snackfood named Feng Shui; don't ask me why.