Crying (Softly) in the Wilderness?: Leon Wieseltier (Mildly) Channels John Ruskin

In the “Washington Diarist” column of the August 27 New Republic, Leon Wieseltier expresses angst at the direction of contemporary American culture, and is unimpressed by all of our contemporary whiz-bang technological advancement, asserting that things of real value have been dying—and are dying—before our very eyes:

A longing may contain an analysis. In a society whose watchword is “new and improved,” new and unimproved is heresy. But the religion of my homeless ancestors really was richer and deeper than the religion of my housed contemporaries. And I do not see that American life will be improved by the absence from it of second-hand bookstores, or large movie screens, or patience in journalism, or privacy. The view that everything is changing for the better is marketing propaganda—Google progressivism.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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