What to Do When There is Perfection in Collapse

Long ago in graduate school, I somehow fell in with a set of students from the College of Visual and Performing Arts.  This set was not entirely composed of drunken British posers, but was very nearly so.  I do remember one exception, a young American woman, acquainted with soap, who aspired to design wallpaper, and who once rather abashedly showed me her portfolio of handsome patterns.  But most of that set were greasy drunks cut along the lines of a Dylan Thomas or a Malcolm Lowry.

Without the talent, of course.  Continue reading

Roger Scruton – Why Beauty Matters

In “Why Beauty Matters,” Roger Scruton argues that a cult of beauty that dominated Western civilization for two thousand years was replaced by a cult of ugliness in the twentieth century. Originality came to be considered key, and ugliness came to dominate language, music, manners and architecture.

For anyone interested in a transcript of the video which I have made for educational purposes, write a “comment” telling me you would like one. Since comments are moderated, I’ll catch it and write to you using your email address that editors, but not anyone else, can see.

Continue reading

Between the Death Wish and the Great Nausea

Bonald has a new post on what he calls particularism, or the beliefs that “it is right for a person to be attached to the particular cultural group into which he is born,” that such a group should “control and inform some public space,” and that such a group should “seek its own perpetuation.”  He admits that particularism can take illicit forms and make use of illicit means, but denies that particularism itself is wrong.

He’s in good company.  Here’s Plato, writing in the Laws (book v) Continue reading

Under Grievous Provocation

Last Friday, the manager of Vintage Apartments called the College Station police to report that “a couple” was “squatting in an otherwise unoccupied apartment.” If the couple had been squatting in an occupied apartment, we must suppose that ejecting them would have been the tenant’s problem; but as this unit was for rent, the manager did the manly thing and picked up the telephone.

Prospective renters are notoriously narrow-minded when it comes to squatters in the second bedroom. Continue reading

An Altogether Different Burden

Imagine yourself on vacation. Imagine yourself, say, reclined in a hammock beside a blue mountain lake, a satisfying book resting face down on your chest, your mind sinking gratefully into the twilight of a nap. Under these circumstances, would you think, “How irrelevant all of this is?” Would you scorn the irrelevance of the hammock and the lake to next week’s meeting of the Assessment Evaluation Committee? Would your somnolent mind protest that it does not see the relevance of the book and the nap to the urgent and annoying problem of that leaking drain-hose behind the dishwasher? Continue reading

Woke Wet Dreams

The course in Hip Hop Philosophy is fully enrolled this semester, and who knows how many disappointed Aggies were left enviously eyeing the thirty-two lucky scholars who will convene in the YMCA building (that is to say the building built by the Young Men’s Christian Association, now home to the Department of Philosophy), to sit at the feet (although frequently only the “virtual” feet) of our semi-notorious Professor Woke (some background here and here). Continue reading

Divide and Conquer

You’re walking down a corridor at work. Maybe you’re on your way to a critical meeting of the Annual Picnic Planning Committee, but you nevertheless notice a new poster on the wall. Or at least you think it’s new. Maybe it has always been there.

Diversity is Our Strength!

The words appear under a group shot of people who don’t look at all alike, except for the smiles. In fact, they look a lot like the Annual Picnic Planning Committee, except for the smiles. Continue reading