Walden to Conantum
The Fab and the Prefab

Disconcord is the foundation of christian agape.  The awestruck slackjaw is God’s fool.  Thoreau was the Walden fool; Emerson the Conantum sophisticate.  But within the Conantum prefabs was the image of the laughing squaw: all agape.  Only to recall some childhood images along the Harvard-MIT corridor of Concord.

Futurism is the erotic sublimation of the other as represented in nature, to borrow from Desmond et al.  The fabulous is replaced by the prefabrications of scientific materialism.  Human nature is inflated before it is sublimated to the machine.  This is the adolescent fantasy future of science fiction.

The real future lies with agape.  Here there is the sacrifice of the self to the other.  This is no surrender; this is a giving upward.  This is the surrender not to the other, but to the ‘one knows not what.’  This is the fabulous awesomeness of the x-event.  This is the ultimate perplexity.  This is the only eschaton, the open ending of our delineated history.

We seem to have the choice of a prefabricated, technocratic future and the fabulous future, hardly a choice at all.  The bubble of scientism and futurism will be burst on the ultimate perplexity at the core of the eschaton.  The laughing squaw surely knows this.

The economy of the Millennium is witness to the sublimation of the eros of capitalism into the agape of communalism: no mean feat.  We surely know now how not to accomplish that.  This is the economy of giving upward.  The economic perplexities of the Internet are portentous in this regard.  This is our economic playpen.

Biotechnology poses other perplexities.  The prospect of prefabricated being will force us to contemplate the radical incompleteness of true being, wherein even God must forsake us.  That she doesn’t always is fab.


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rev. 6/25/00