Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"no rules, only practices"; "all clocks are erotic" (and encourage worship of Clergy/ Chronos)

Of course, a study of time suggests it is ineveitably related to sexuality/pornography/elevation, clergyolatry, simulacra, and anti-Semitism.

Is that only pushing towards the obvious?

Of course this all ties to:
the corporate singing on U2's No Line (see part 2 here
and Beth here),

and the nursery rhyme Frere Jacques.

Of course.

In his classic,

"Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World,"

Landes is amazing.

The book is now updated to include studies on computers/cell phone..

Isn't it inevitable that clocks, and now cell phones, are embedded with porn?
Colbert was right again; pornography always drives technology:

Costliest of all were the erotic watches...[with] explicit representations of sexual activity, often showing priest and nuns, by way of anticlericalism...The rhythmic oscillation of the balance wheel was particularly suited to these simulacra....the kind of timepieces that would sell


And in one sense this chronolatry is all the fault of praying Christians.

As we discovered earlier post, clocks were born in a monastery.

The clock did not create an interest in time measurement; the interest in time management led to the invention of the clock. Where did this demand come from? Not from the mass of the population.

No, not from the mass of the populuation, but the population of the mass.

Or the monastery, more technically:

The Christian church, particularly the Roman branch...has not been adequately examined in the literature on time management..monastic Christianity, differs from The setting of prayer times by the clock was no small matter. It represented a first step toward a liturgy independent of the natural cycle....For hundreds of years, there were no rules, only practices. Rules came with monasticism--with the formulation of a regular clergy..

Why was punctuality so important? One reason was the lateness--'God forbid!'--might make it necessary to abridge an office, in particular a matins..Another, I think, was that simultaneity was though to enhance the potency of prayer That would explain the requirement that devotions be chanted aloud: to sing along is to sing together. [note; the U2 connection} That indeede was the point of community; the whole as greater than the sum of the parts.

Multiplication of simultaneous devotions--this was the way of salvation for all..

The religious convcern for punctuality may seem foolish to rationalists of the twentieth century {sic: I am quoting the first edition}, but it was no small matter to a monk of the Middle Ages.
..Time mattered to the ordinary monk, for whom getting up in the dark of the night was perhaps the hardest aspect of momastic disciplines...

Time consciousness and discuoline had become internalized. Missing matins was a serious matter, so serious that it has been immortalized for us by perhaps the best known of children's songs..

Frere Jacques:
Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
Din, dan, don. Din, dan, don.
{The song is traditionally translated into English as:
Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping
Brother John, brother John?
Morning bells are ringing! Morning bells are ringing!
Ding, dong, ding. Ding, dong, ding.
A literal translation of the French lyrics is:
Brother James, Brother James
Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Ring the morning bells! Ring the morning bells!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.}

'Idleness,' wrote Benedict, 'is the enemy of the soul.' ..Note, at this stage, it was not the clock that worked the big bells. As Frere Jaques tell us, the clock merely rang loud enough to get the bell ringer out of bed.

All this of course, in Hegelian synthesis, yields the powerful prayer movenment.. and the pathetic porn industry...of today.

Why can't we return to Sabbathicals, as such is time travel?

Oh, i forgot, chronosolatary breeds anti-Semiticism: "in the search for a scapegoat, much was made of the malpractice of Jewish makers and traders."(Landes, 278)

Let's now trace the tracks of John Whitehead (a writer I don't follow down all his trails..he can be too reductionist and reactionary for me), as he wonders aloud (or should based on his research) if it is religious institutions (NASA, denomimations, The Matrix, etc) that have been the primary bandit behind our current dilemma: a church that doesn't "get" time; let alone relationship.
Religion may be the most "secularizing force" in all history, Whitehead boldy allows; particularly the religious instiution that "baptized" clock time; at the great expense of the intended outcome (kairos and Kingdom): monasteries! Whitehead, in a section of "The End of Man," captioned: "The Time Machine" : "A tool or a machine (any form of technology) is a constituent of man's symbolic recreation of his world. Moreover, machines that have been owned and operated by only a few members of a society have often influenced the entire society. Movable type, for example, completely altered, within a relatively short time, the entire concept of medieval man and socoiety. As McLuhan notes in 'Gutenberg Galaxy.":
Printing from movable types created a quite unexpected new environment-it created the PUBLIC. Manuscript technology did not have the intesnity or power of extension necessary
o create publics on a national scale. What we have called "nations" in recent centuries did not, and could not, precede the advent of Gutenberg technology any more than they
can survive the advent of electric circuitry with its power of totally involving all people in all other people...The unique character of the 'public' created by the printed word was an intense and visually oriented self-consciousness, both of the individual and the group.
There is, however, probably no better illustration of technology altering Western culture (and eventually, the world) than the invention of the clock. Before the clock, and until darwin's theory of eveoilution began to sink into the stream of commly held ideas, peple knoew that the world about themm--the world of reproducing plants and animals...-has always exisited, and that its fundamental law was eternal periodicitry. Cosmolological time,a s well as the time perceived in daily life, was sort of a complex repeating and echoing of events. Howeber, with the emergence of the clock and its sudden position of dominance dutiong the Industrial revolution, a transformation in man occurred. Instead of merely living in the natural world he became, nautures alleged master. Lewin Mumford calls the clock, not the printi g press or steam engine 'the key machine of the moerrn industrial age.' In his 'Technics and Civilization,' he desribes how during the Middle Ages the ordred life of monasteries affected life in the communities adjacent to them: The monastery was the seat of a regular life...The habit of order itself and the earnest regulation
of time-sequences had become al,ost second nature in teh mosatery...The mosareries--at one time there were 40,000 under the Benedictine rule -helped to give human enterprise the regularcollective beat and rhythm of the machine; for the clock is not merely a means of keeping track of the hours, but of synchronizing the actions of men....By the thirteenth century there are definite records of mechanical clocks of mechanical clocks, and by 1370 a well-designed "modern" clock had been built by Heinrich von Wyck at Paris. Meanwhile, bell towers had come into existence, and the new clocks, if they did not have, till the fourteenth century, a dial and a hand that translated the movement of time into a movement through space, at all events struck the hours. The clouds that could paralyze the sundial...were no longer obstacles o time-keeping: summer or winter, day or night, one was aware of the measured clank of the clock. The instrument presently spread outside the monastery; and the regular striking of the bells brought a new regularity into the life of the workman and the merchant. The bells of the clock tower almost defined urban existence. Time-keeping passed into time-serving and time-accounting and time-rationing. As this took place, Eternity ceased gradually to serve as the measure and focus of human actions.

-John W. Whitehead, "The End of Man," pp. 112-13


The very sabbath keepers instititutionalized and secularized sabbath "on their clock," but now it's on ours. I will leave the appropriate analysis of the more recent analog to digital shift in culture, church, and consciousness to great thinkers like Phil Brewer and Jordon Cooper. And I am thrilled we have some budding "sons of Isachar" ("They knew the times; and this what God's people should do," 1 Chron 12:32) in our day: Shane Hipps and others in the line of Sts. McLuhan and Ong. May that tribe increase.
-link, "Time Travel: Sabbath Novels, Clockless Monasteries,Toyota Corollas and the Gospel of the Kingdom'


  1. Chronolotry is about worship of the modern, the latest, the most up-to-date, not about the obsessive keeping of time from day to day.
    In other words, people who believe that now is better than the past, and the future will be better than now because pof "progress" are chronolotors.

  2. Thanks..i didn't know that actually i thought i was coining a word...

    Here's the background (actually spelled chronolatry):

  3. Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place.. RoS Hack

  4. LOL, he says that to all the bloggers.
    See this:


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!