Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Screwtape Letter for the Media Age

Erik Lokkesmoe imagines what kind of advice C. S. Lewis's Screwtape would give his neophyte nephew today:
Good news! The latest commendations have arrived from the Council of the Pit. You impress the lower-downs, my zealous Wormwood. They have heard of your schemes on the Noise Proliferation Committee (NPC). Indeed, places of solitude and moments of silence grow ever more scarce in the Enemy's vast and vulgar dominion. Oh, what euphoria to see his insufferable creatures rush to fill the dead air with a cacophony of cell phones and muzac, leaf blowers and manipulated car exhaust pipes, 24-hour news and I-Pods. Those nauseating humans cannot escape their self-made dungeon of din!

My pride bubbles like brimstone, Wormwood.

It is down-wrong delicious that you are able to entice your assignments into believing that quiet and solitude are a waste of time, even harmful to their pursuits. We must be the demon in the whirlwind, invading their private space, cluttering their innermost being with commotion.....
I trust you understand what is at stake. If allowed to contemplate the empty pursuits and hollow activity that often fill their days, there is no telling what horrific changes they may make in their lives. As long as the volume is high and the lights are flashing, there is little danger of this. But when allowed to face things as they really are, stripped of the comfort provided by our dizzying distractions, our subjects often choose against our ways.
Read the whole thing.

1 comment:

YnottonY said...

Thanks for the link!

I remember hearing one of the letters in Lewis' book where the senior demon shouts for joy at the chaotic noise. If you can, get the audio version of the Screwtape letters as read by John Cleese. He does a great job.