As the two university professors approached the gates of the school, the visiting Englishman doffed his hat. The American asked why he'd done so. The Englishman said: "In Britain it's a tradition that e take off our hats as we enter the gate to the university." The American paused briefly and then said: "As of today it is now a tradition here too."
I don't come to the thought of tradition via the cautious wisdom of Edmund Burke. Rather, I see in tradition images of tiny coffins. Burke confuses me, but the sight of dead children is starkly clear. I think I'm not alone or even in the minority in seeing tradition as reaction, as hide-bound repetition of entrenched privilege, as entitlement, as exploitation of the ignorant by the elites, of misoneism, as, for example, the Taliban. Tradition is a hatred of and destruction of innovation, of creativity, of exploration, of questioning, of individualism, of personal choice. In tradition I see the endless repetition of ignorance that leads to the total closing of the Human mind to improvement, to progress, to betterment, to continued existence of Human life itself. In tradition I see a desperate clinging to power by the corrupt, the savage, the insane. I see "traditional cultures" so beloved of the Left as the worst of Human experience and possibility. I see dead children dead due to their mothers not knowing and not being able to know of germs, mothers who fetch water from streams chocked with shit, mothers cooking with water bobbing with turds, women washing their clothes, themselves, their children in sewage; and I see tiny coffins. One doesn't interrupt the ways of a traditional culture unless one is a horrible neo-colonialist such as myself, a racist Yanqui imperialist. That children die because parents are too incapable of thinking in sequence is not of import to the philobarbarist Westerner. No, what matters to them is the fetish of "tradition." It is the philobarbarist whose head I would remove and shrink on a stone in the name of my own tradition had I my evil way. Tradition is whimmitude, is slavery, is sadism, enslavement, torture, murder, and ritual murder. Tradition is revenge, is fury, is Irrationalism, arbitrariness, and rote. I have no liking of tradition.
Tradition is more than what I see it as, though the definition of tradition in terms of Judaic rites is arcane to me, removed from my grasp of living, and not to be bothered with other than to be accepted as the way of friends in their privacies. Tradition is something only a 21 year old should be allowed to accept.
I see tradition as a mental and emotional slavery. There are some, perhaps many, who see revolution as Che Guevara, as wild-eyed lunatic killers bent on imposing on the people dystopian nightmares and mass pogroms. I see revolution as household cleaning products. I see revolution as germ theory. I see revolution as flush toilets. I see the banalities of a clean floor as the ultimate in revolutionary victory over reaction.
Allow me to stop here briefly to indulge myself in some rather fine poetizing;
"Ode due Toilet"
A fine man of History and dapper
Is our universal friend John Crapper.
Crapper is a hero without vanity;
He put back the needed sanity
We can now continue with my understanding of Modernist revolution, at least until I am again caught up in this passion for cleaning products that makes me versify so profoundly.
Like most people, I use Mop and Glo as hair tonic, toothpaste, and shoe polish. But by chance I have discovered a use for it that exceeds all others: I don't actually like the taste of Mop and Glo at all, finding it enough to make me gag in the morning when I brush my teeth with it, which lead once to me gagging it up all over my floor. I bent down and swabbed it up only to find it made my floor both clean and shiny. A miracle! I love the stuff.
I also love Windex. I used to wash my dishes with it, it leaving my wine glasses absolutely spotless. Now I also I spray it on my windows and wipe them with a sheet of newspaper. The glass comes out clear and shiny too. Life really is good!
And it gets even better, friend. I discovered Tidy Bowl. I clean my toilet with it. Oh, yeah. Life. It's the best thing going that I know of. Much of the reason for it is cleaning products. I'm a fan.
Floors, windows, toilets. There are so many places on Earth that I've lived where such things don't exist that when I moved to Canada and could take them for granted I nearly fell over from shock. I sometimes forgot about the ordinariness of doors and windows and floors. And cleanliness? Live in a jungle for a few years to come to fully appreciate it. I love Tidy Bowl. Flush toilets turn me on so badly I want to remarry just to have someone to share the joy with. In fact, I want everyone on the whole planet to have a flush toilet, windows, and a floor one can mop clean. Hardly anyone has such things, and there are many in our Modern world who think that's a good thing. That wouldn't be me. I am a nut for household cleaning products. Call me a revolutionary if you will, and you'll find I say "Yeah, baby."
Having clean water to wash a tile floor is revolutionary in our world. Having a flush toilet is a profoundly moving experience. Having windows that keep out bugs and snakes and filth blowing in the air is supremely challenging to the traditionalists who would have people living like an anthropologist's wet-dream phantasy. Clean people are healthy people, and healthy people can and do ask "Why?" That is the end of tradition.
The Left fascist move to an imaginary pre-lapsarian Eden of equality and mindless bliss is a move to tradition, in my understanding of the term. It is communitarianism, slavery of mind and body, of violence, of disease and death. Tidy Bowl, Windex, Mop and Glo. It is so trivial that only when you live without knowledge of such things is it revolutionary. And it is revolutionary. It is Modernity itself. Long live this revolution and the people who are clean and healthy because of it.
In deference to those who are traditionalists still, I offer this prayer to the gods of my life:
Our man who art Oats, Quaker be thy name.
Hail Aunt Jemima, full of nutrition.
Blessed is Betty Crocker among women.
Thank you God for the extra strength of Mr. Clean.
And amen to vivisectionists who wantonly murder lab rats.
For truly we are blessed to live in our beautiful Modernity.