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Kitsch is one of the main emotional dynamics of eternalism. In Milan Kundera’s memorable phrase, “kitsch is the denial of shit”. For “shit” we can substitute nebulosity, which eternalism finds unacceptable. Kitschy eternalism simply refuses to see meaninglessness, even where it is obvious.
This leads to a willfully idiotic sentimentality. We try to live in a pastel-colored Disneyfied world in which everything works out for the best in the end, everyone is well-intentioned (although sometimes confused), there is a silver lining in every cloud, everyone is beautiful inside, when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, and all the world needs is love. 1
Kitsch is a refusal to seriously engage with spiritual problems. Any anomalies are dismissed as being due to finite human understanding of God’s benevolent intent. Reasonable faith is replaced with credulousness.
False and exaggerated emotion is characteristic of eternalist kitsch.
- 1. According to the Talmud, every blade of grass has its own angel that watches over it and encourages it to grow. Isn’t that darling?