Novel method of consuming cultural artefacts deprecated

A new method of consuming cultural artefacts is deprecated by the writer. It is admitted that the new method grants several advantages to the consumer, and the danger of the writer appearing to be merely hidebound, or afraid of novelty in and of itself, is explicitly canvassed. However, and despite the risk of making the aforesaid admissions appear to be a tactic used to forestall potential criticism, the writer is clearly of the opinion that these advantages, pertaining as they do to convenience, portability and ease of use, are not of the highest importance and may, in fact, distract from or occlude the proper appreciation of cultural artifacts.

Using a rhetorical tactic which would seem bold were this the first occasion of its use, the writer argues that the inconveniences which the novel method of consumption circumvents or removes are not themselves an obstacle to appreciation of the cultural artefacts under discussion. On the contrary, these very inconveniences, it is argued, are an essential requirement of partaking to the fullest extent in these cultural activities, particularly in terms of their social and historical context. An implicit analogy is drawn between this context (objective, shared, mutually understood among the cognoscenti) and the personal vicissitudes of the writer’s own collection of culture artefacts and, by extension, to any such personal collection, the contents of which have been the result of a long, partially unreflective process involving gifts from friends and family members, chance acquisitions, remnants of past relationships, projects for self-education embarked on and abandoned, the obsolescence of previous forms of cultural consumption, bequests from deceased ancestors and the shifting refinements of one’s own tastes and personality. Explicit mention is made of the inflection of this process during the writer’s passage through adolescence.

The aim of this implicit analogy is to show that the writer’s objection to novel methods of cultural consumption is the result of his or her commitment to the integrity of his or her own personality. In a seeming paradox, a fixation on the outward trappings of cultural objects is in fact a guarantee of a truly authentic appreciation of their unchanged essence. If this paradox is acknowledged, it may serve to allow the writer, with rueful or self-deprecating wit, to demonstrate the rich attachment to cultural processes to which he or she seeks to lay claim.

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