By the Christmas Fire
So, in certain moods, we sit and grumble over our formidable fetiches. Like all idolaters, we sometimes turn iconoclasts. In a short-lived fit of anger we smash the Machine. Having accomplished this feat, we feel a little foolish, for we don't know what to do next.
Fortunately for the world there are those who are neither idolaters nor iconoclasts. They do not worship Things, nor fear them, nor despise them,--they simply use them.
In the Book of Baruch there is inserted a letter purporting to be from Jeremiah to the Hebrew captives in Babylon. The prophet discourses on the absurdity of the worship of inanimate things, and incidentally draws on his experience in gardening. An idol, he says, is "like to a white thorn in an orchard, that every bird sitteth upon." It is as powerless, he says, to take the initiative "as a scarecrow in a garden of cucumbers that keepeth nothing." In his opinion, one wide-awake man in the cucumber