My latest is up at EveryJoe:
I usually write about trivial things. This is perhaps the most important column I have ever written, because it explains the central mystery of our time: why our age alone of all ages of Christendom has no fine arts, no public effort to create and retain beauty.
Unfortunately, I sent in my first draft which was accidentally misfiled in my ready-to-send folder, and so the published copy left out the conclusion. (I sent this in today, too late, hoping the publisher would update the publication, but it was a tyro’s mistake on my part, very unprofessional. Alas.)
Here for my readers is the version of the column as it was originally meant:
Why do they adore such imagery? That answer is not difficult: the desolation of
ugliness aids the Leftist cause in a very real and very subtle way.
Imagine two men: one stands in a bright house, tall with marble columns adorned
with lavish art, splendid with shining glass images of saints and heroes,
mementos of great sorrow and great victories both past and promised. A
polyphonic choir raises their voices in golden song, singing an ode to joy. The
other stands in a slum with peeling wallpaper, or a roofless ruin infested with
rats, hemmed by feces-splashed gray concrete walls lurid with jagged graffiti,
chalked with swearwords and flickering neon signs advertising strip joints. Rap
music thuds nearby, ear-splitting, yowling obscenities. A bureaucrat approaches
each man and orders him to do some routine and routinely humiliating task, such
as pee in a cup to be drug tested, or be fingerprinted, or suffer an anal cavity
search, or surrender his weapons, or his money, or his name. Which of the two
men is more likely to take a stand on principle not to submit?
Which one will automatically and unconsciously assume that human life is sacred,
human rights are sacrosanct, and that Man is made in the image and likeness of
God? The man surrounded by godlike images? Or the man surrounded by mocking filth?
Which one, in other words, is more likely to fall prey to the worldview of a
dark world cosmos without meaning, without truth, without virtue?
The point of nearly a century of aggressive ugliness in the fine arts is to
produce disgust. (etc)
UPDATE: without a minute’s hesitation, the publisher updated the text. Wow. Things move quickly in the modern, electronic world — it is much more forgiving than the print world.