To build a comment fully on my friend’s comment — comment, subsume it and then add to it, requires all discipline and creativity. Nothing is more difficult. We either subsume or we evade.
Tradition is just a long conversation, and a conversation is a microcosmic picture of how tradition works — by a canonical respect for the previous comment of my friend.
Tradition is simply the conversation that was going on before we entered the room, and manners toward tradition is simply the recognition that I didn’t start the conversation.
Traditions convey excellence and are therefore difficult. Defying tradition is usually an evasion of the tradition’s discipline. Impatience with tradition is the ego demanding cheap praise. Such impatience is often dressed up in high-sounding talk about the self, which means it is unable to talk about the art. The “rebel without a cause” is a spoiled child, who poses the false dichotomy of “tradition versus creativity”. Once this false fork in the road is passed, any step is a loss. The culture that glorifies him has the leisure to be self-indulgent, for it is a parasite. Such leisure usually reclines on the blood and tears of the heroic generations now past.
There will always be oppressive traditions, but our culture is so propagandized against tradition our very judgments about oppression should be presumed adolescent until proven otherwise. We spit on health and tout the vile. The modern artist not only rebels, he glorifies rebellion.
Chesterton said tradition was giving your ancestors a vote, but if all we give them is a vote they can be cancelled out in an instant.