Wanderers In Our Midst

The Forgetting and the Deliberate Erosion of Tradition

There are trespassers in the Ivory Tower; wanderers who have taken up residence where they do not belong. These maleficent wanderers have cast a spell of somnambulistic Forgetting on the kingdom whose inhabitants forget day by day and bit by bit who they are and where they came from, thus becoming ever more malleable as serfs unaware that they exist in service to these wailing wanderers.

This is no fairy tale; this is really happening even as our fairy tales are slowly forgotten. Likewise pushed into forgetfulness is myth, fable, tradition; anything that reminds the serfs that they are more than what the wanderers want them to be. This forgetfulness begins early for the serfs when they are sent to schools controlled by the wanderers who label tradition and culture as backward, irrelevant, even racist.

That word and its equivalents ~ racist, racism, bigot, phobic ~ is one of their most powerful spells; shutting down any protests the serfs may have otherwise proposed, shutting down even friendly conversation. As a serf looks to his own past as a matter of pride, a wanderer or another serf will scream racist, and the seeker searches no more. Piece by piece and tale by tale, the serfs’ past is lost. His roots are severed. He is homeless and thus easily controlled by the wanderers who hold fast their tales and traditions wherever they may roam. In fact, these wanderers gradually supplant the serfs’ culture with their own, teaching their tall tales to the masses who are trained not to question the accepted narrative lest they be branded as hateful, phobic or anti~. In some parts of this vast kingdom, those who’d dare ask questions are thrown into dungeons for their daring, all at the will of the wanderers whose message must be accepted or else.

The wanderers residing in the Tower teach a carefully selected handful of serfs to promulgate their message to those students who can pay the price and learn their Newspeak. Those who continue to use the vernacular and speak to the average serf are not selected for this task, rather they are burned at the stake of scholarly opinion whilst their would-be colleagues whisper amongst themselves as if a fun-house mirror image of medieval ecclesiasts holding tight their Vulgates even as Tyndal* writhes in flames and the varied tales of the serfs’ are labeled superstitious, out-dated, dead on the desk.

Forget the past! It’s all about progress, and progress is the wanderers’ word of choice, pushed daily in one classroom after another until the next generations’ students ~ you, me, finally our children ~ know nothing of the old gods, the witch in the wood, or the hero on a white horse. No, these are forgotten, pushed aside for something new, as is the entire literary and philosophical tradition of the West. The serfs’ classics are deemed racist, irrelevant, and best forgotten.

In just a few generations, the serfs’ most cherished tales pass into oblivion.

“The effective loss of cultural traditions on such a scale makes talk of a new Dark Ages far from frivolous,” **

and book burnings an event we should come to expect. When the highest echelons of education cry that they do not want to read English literature in an English literature class ~ and only because the once celebrated authors are all white males ~ tradition is rendered null and void. When philosophy students cry that Plato and Aristotle are old-fashioned and irrelevant, even too European, culture is rendered null and void. When standards are lowered to accommodate the crying serfs of another class, the value of an education is rendered null and void.

This is precisely the goal of the wanderers who, of course, never call us serfs for they don’t want us to know what we have slowly become. They don’t want us to hear the old meanings of our words when they twist the definitions. They don’t want us to see the erosion of our own values. They don’t want us to speak about our own past and its rich heritage. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil? Yes, but most significantly, they do not want us to know that there is indeed a man behind the proverbial curtain, pulling our strings. He is there; we can see him clearly for he has become far too confident. We know that he and the majority of his comrades are wanderers and we know what they are doing. The question is, what will we do about it? The wanderer will not know the answer until it hits him in the face.

 

 

* The Vulgate is the Latin translation of the bible used in the Catholic Church throughout most of the Middle Ages.  Tyndal was an English scholar burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English so that the common folk could read it themselves.

**  Lasch, Christopher.  The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations.  Norton and CO., 1991, p.150-151.

 

Rachel Summers