Tagged: art

Reflections: Crises of Faith, Smallness of Mind, Discomfort

Faith vs. Convenience.– A student recently wrote to me about the diary of a well-known Korean author, written for a Catholic magazine, describing her emotional journey following the death of her son. At the heart of the diary is the author’s struggle, quite typical of such stories, whether public or private, to find an answer to such questions as, “Why would God do...

Musings to Begin the New Year

Lost in the Cloud.— We are all, today, in all our endeavors, at the mercy of everything we ever did, everything we ever said, and everyone with whom we ever interacted in any way, at any time, under any circumstances. In practice, this means that standing apart from others, or disagreeing in any way with current moral or political orthodoxies, no longer merely...

Movie of the Year

Martin Scorsese, the most critically acclaimed American film director of the past fifty years, has released his latest Oscar-baiting three-hour epic of slow-motion violence and depravity, Killers of the Flower Moon, which is supposed to represent — as all of his movies are supposed to do — the horrible truth about America that no one (read everyone) has the courage to face. I...

Two Reflections: Art, Abnormality

The purpose of art is to reveal truth. Not facts, not slogans, not trendy attitudes, and certainly not the ephemeral feelings or passions of the artist himself. Truth, meaning something unchanging and essential to a proper understanding of some element of reality, whether regarding human nature, the structures of civil order, or the ordering principles of the cosmos. Anything, therefore, which purports to...

Cancel Culture, Top to Bottom

Xi Jinping, at the G20 summit — why a communist murderer is even allowed to attend an international economic conference in the first place is one of those questions that can only be answered by adopting a resigned “Such are the times we live in” frame of mind — expresses anger that his private chastisement of Justin Trudeau, whose country’s political system China...

“What is worth more, art or activism?”

Recently, two radicalized children threw tomato soup on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at London’s National Gallery. They supposedly did this to protest the continued reliance on fossil fuels. Perhaps their reasoning was that Van Gogh painted in oil, which means he too contributed to global warming in some way. Otherwise, their defining “statement” as they glued themselves to the wall beneath the famous painting...

Martin Scorsese

One of the inevitable consequences of nihilism is that even people of talent, who might have made something worthwhile in a world in which societies were united by beliefs and aspirations of substance, end up producing nothing but clever variations on the prevailing nothingness — not commentaries on that nothingness, or critiques of it, but merely the nothingness itself, disguised in various excesses....

Political Quandaries

If all the simpletons and halfwits magically disappeared from the Earth, society would be infinitely more rational; but then who would do the menial jobs, such as practicing modern medicine, banking, leading our largest churches, and inventing the internet? Plato’s great political insight, the founding wisdom of political philosophy itself: The only men intellectually and temperamentally suited to rule are precisely the ones...

An Energy Crisis

The world’s current fidgeting over rising energy prices amid the Russian war of attrition in Ukraine, as though our daily convenience is reason enough to let a rabid tyrant go ahead and blow out the doors of his cage, got me to thinking what a wonderful metaphor this impending “energy crisis” has become for so much of what has gone miserably wrong with...

Passing Thoughts on Passing Life

Life imitates art.– When fiction is transformed by circumstances and attentive subjectivity into the reader’s own self-revelation, it effectively ceases to be fiction, and becomes something more like figurative memoir. Hence, I may say without any hint of hubris or exaggeration that as of this moment, Brave New World is my autobiography, The Trial my last few diary entries, and Invasion of the...