Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

David Kanigan’s Monday Morning Wake-Up Call popped up this morning while pondering a reference to Jacques Ellul’s “meditation on inutility” cited in a footnote of Walter Brueggemann’s The Psalms and the Life of Faith. The sentence which leads the reader to the Ellul footnote on inutility reads, “In the end — not before, but in the end — praise is a useless act.” (p.122, footnote 21)

Thank you, David for drawing attention to this current meditation in praise of inutility by Kevin Roose in the New York Times.  Jacques Ellul and Walter Brueggemann would call it an act of praise.

Live & Learn

For the rest of the week, I became acutely aware of the bizarre phone habits I’d developed. I noticed that I reach for my phone every time I brush my teeth or step outside the front door of my apartment building, and that, for some pathological reason, I always check my email during the three-second window between when I insert my credit card into a chip reader at a store and when the card is accepted.

Mostly, I became aware of how profoundly uncomfortable I am with stillness. For years, I’ve used my phone every time I’ve had a spare moment in an elevator or a boring meeting. I listen to podcasts and write emails on the subway. I watch YouTube videos while folding laundry. I even use an app to pretend to meditate.

If I was going to repair my brain, I needed to practice doing nothing…

It’s an…

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1 thought on “Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

  1. Before once a day snail mail became the norm for the USPO, mail was actually delivered multiple times per day. In a way we are harking back to that desire to be in constant contact with our loved ones etal. Once we became a more modern mobile culture we became geographically disconnected thus mail was invented to deal with our loss of connectedness. Actually literacy was the activity that was an attempt to disconnect from too much togetherness. According to Marshall Mcluhan reading is a privatizing activity whereas watching the cool medium of TV is a communal action as families watch programming together in a lighted room while they multitask. Movies, a hot medium, are a privatizing process as we watch quietly together in a darkened room according to Mcluhan. So what? As capitalism colonizes our minds to further commodify our social reality we seem to be compensating, as a colonized people will do, to maintain a sense of independence through the use of social media. This obsession with instantaneous email delivery can be categorized as a pathological response by humans to Wall Street’s loss of any more land on the planet to occupy. Is this capital’s desperate attempt to preserve “empire” & we are the victims of the last stage of capitalism, i.e., imperialism? Imperialism needs to occupy cyberspace to survive. Whether Bill Gates knows it or not his recent alert to us to be beware of A.I.’s dark side is really about A.I. being the ultimate takeover by capital.


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