I must admit that I don't like reading or listening to prayers in English that use the arcahic personal pronouns (thee, thou etc). I suspect that my reaction results from the artificality when reading or listening to such prayers and I become really annoyed. Given that English undergone a radical lingusitic transformation in the late 1600s, the thee and ye are genuinely obselete. The only time I want to hear them is in plays or movies not in contemporary prayers at an English language mass.
It's too bad but there something about contemporary English that has great difficulty in elevating discourse to a high rhetorical level. Perhaps that difficulty happily manifests the Anglophones good sense in not being easily seduced by clever discourse; still though, listening to Anglophones speak on TV or on the radio and I'm struck at how flat and boring they are. There's no playfulness of the language, no rhetorical devices, little wit; mostly banality.
I didn't have time yesterday to blog on this topic due to other committments. I've been reading and thinking about the Ontario court of appeals fiat that orders the federal government to recognize homosexual couplings immediately. Within the federal Liberal caucus there's a real split on whether or not to write legilsation that complies with the Ontario sentence. My view is what's the hurry?
It's rather exasperating to have a minority with the active aiding and abetting of the courts to impose soecietal changes without a proper public debate. Worse, the courts have usurped the legislative process due to their impatience. Well it's easy for the judges and the homosexual activists to be miffed at the pace but they don't have to face an electorate nor will the media question their activism (hell it's part of the elite and applauds the changes).
Indeed, I have some questions about the whole legalization of homosexual couplings:
1) Why the rush? To me it's to hide the bad faith of the homosexual activists. They've quite clear that their main goal is to destroy the traditional understanding of marriage in order to ratify their lifestyle. Even more insulting is that some male homosexual activitst wink and nod that their legalized couplings won't really tame their promiscuity. So why should the state extend recognition to a relationship type that's diametrically opposed to marriage?
Polls can say what they want but the social consesus is much more brittle than either the pollsters, the politicians presume.
I passed by Oswald Sobrino's blog and came across this post about the General instructions for the Roman mass- aka GRIM as it's known around the Catholic parts of the blogosphere. what caught my eye was the place of pride of Latin. I smiled a bit because you can bet that a lot of people will grumble about how stuffy it'll be.
Well not quite. The Latin that used to be spoken and sung at mass in the pre-Vatican II days is that of vulgar Latin; the Latin spoken by the common people. It's quite different from the classical Latin, that Cicero, Caesar and others wrote or spoke during their speeches before the Senate or the courts. In fact, if you read Platus, the playwright to the masses, you're struck at how as early as 200 BC, you see the linguitsic simplifications, phrasings, words and sentence structures that the Romance languages use. It's pretty amazing.
True the Middle ages there was a lot of vocabulary reversion from the classical Latin which brought about the learned words. So you have words which have different meanings but come from the same word(i.e. in French poison is the commoners' word from potion;while the latter is the learned word. They're idtenical to the English words)
I did ask Oswald if the GRIM had any specific provisions for the Eastern rite masses and they would substitute their liturgical languages instead of Latin.
Winds of Change posted an article about the death of France andI came across a fascinating comment about British, Spanish and French colonies. I must say that I'm becoming fed up with patronizing attitude that the Francophones, in particular, are lousy entrepreneurs; they aren't. It's just that the culture has never been enthusiastic about entrepreneurial capitalism. Some of that attitude comes from viewing the experiences of the British Industrial revolution as well as theirs.
One of the most irritating characteristics of the Anglophones is their triumphalism about their variant of capitalism forgetting that in its early days, it was quite brutal and callous particularly with respect to the workers. One example were the Poor Laws. For reasons, I've never quite grasped, there was a strong shrillness by the industralists who constantly hectored the poor for being moral degenerate and losers. No better way to humilate them than to stick them in the workhouse. Of course, the early industralist totally forgot that most of the poor weren't lazy or losers but rural inhabitants who were kicked off their lands and had nothing but their labour to sell.
England was luckier than most European countries because the former's society was relatively mobile and had escape valves. Those that really wanted a fresh start or were really entrepreneurial could always head off to one of the far off colonies like India or Africa, live there for some time to make a fortune and then come back. The hard core riff raff was sometimes shipped off to Australia not allowed to come back.
Europe, by contrast, has always been less societically mobile and has always been conflicted about entrepreneuralism. Europeans are as entrepreneural as the Anglosphere; however, the former have never been as awed by freewheeling, winner take all type capitalism that captivates Anglophones. The Europeans have always decried that form of capitalism as 'savage', 'jungle', 'neo-liberal.' and have opted for a more controlled type of market economy. The fact that it's not as productive or dynamic from a productive point of view is secondary; what matters is that the society is sufficently assuaged that the market forces have been tamed.
When industralization occured in Europe, there were a whole host of factors which intensitifed the process. Unlike in England where societal reform or changes preceded productive transformation; in Europe, everything was simultaneous: the reformers had to enact social reforms while encouraging the conditions for industrialization; fighting the vested interests of the old order; mollifying the intensity of the disputes between the workers and the industralists. Most of the time they failed; or alternatively, the reformers unleashed a redoubled force that they so feared.
It's rather easy to sneer at the Europeans and the French in particular. Yet Anglophones often overlook that in the years prior to the French revolution, France and England were neck in neck. If it hadn't been for the Revolution and the Napopelonic wars, there's a strong possibility that France would've leaped frog ahead. Further, it's often forgotten that in it's own peculair way, the Revolution and the Napeleonic wars were the French Liberal revolution exported to Europe by the bayonets of the Grand Armée. Napeleon and his bureaucrats attempted to transform the European Ancien régimes through liberalism but in the typically European fashion from the top down. So Europe was indeed transformed but the resulting trauma made the continent quite ambivalent towards modern society. The conflicts between the liberals and the conservatives; labour and the industrialists is testimony to that deep-seated ambivalence towards capitalism and entrepreneurialism.