I was trying to think of a funny way to talk about John C. Wright’s latest meth-and-thesaurus-fueled word-vomit, but honestly I’m at a loss. So I’m just going to share a few passages with you and try to riff on them, knowing that my riffage cannot in any way compete with the florid pomposity and TimeCube-level insanity of John C. Wright’s prose.
The jist of this “The Wright Perspective” (god, that name) is that people on the Left like ugly art, demand that people see the beauty in ugly art, and also we’re creating ugly art so that people will be more amenable to peeing in cups. If this sounds insane to you, then good. I’m conveying what I want to convey to you in a concise manner. (Wright, please take note!)
To be a man means to seek a truth that satisfies the mind, a virtue that sates the conscience, and a beauty that breaks the heart. Deprive a man of any of these things, and he will find neither happiness nor rest.
And we’re off!
The most precious, profound and important of the great ideas which the Left has raped from us is beauty.
Suck it, Breitbart. It’s “Stop raping beauty from the people! Stop raping beauty from the people!” you’re supposed to drunkenly
blog scream at Lefties. You did it all wrong.
Have you, dear reader, read anything discussing beauty, putting forth a coherent theory of beauty, or even extolling beauty’s central importance of the human soul in a year? In 10 years? Ever? This may be the only essay you will read on the topic this decade, and yet the topic is one of paramount importance. It is a matter of life and death not for the body but for the spirit
AND did you know that John C. Wright has many leather-bound books?
There is no discussion of it because by convincing the public that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the Left has placed it beyond the realm of discussion. According to the Left, beauty is a matter of taste, and arbitrary taste at that. There is no discussion of taste because to give reasons to prefer tasteful to tasteless things is elitist, nasty, uncouth and inappropriate. To have taste implies that some cultures produce more works of art and better than others, and this raises the uncomfortable possibility that love of beauty is Eurocentric, or even racist. To admire beauty has become a hate crime.
I got nothin’.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then anything, anything at all, can be declared to be beautiful merely by the artist. Like God creating light from nothing by the power of His word, the artist creates beauty not by any genius nor craftsmanship, but by his naked fiat. It is beautiful not because he actually created anything, but only because he says so.
By this logic, a urinal is beautiful, a light going off and on, a decapitated cow’s head covered in blood, flies and maggots, a glass of water on a shelf, a crucifix dunked in urine, a can of excrement, or an unmade bed. The argument given by the Left is that your inability to see the beauty in these things is due to your limitations, your untrained soul, your dullness. The argument merely ignores the fact that training the tastes to be dull, philistine and coarse is the opposite of training the tastes to be sensitive to beauty.
Here’s the thing: aside from this literary abortion being bugfuck INSANE, the premise of is is just wrong on its face. Yes, people create controversial, “ugly”art. That’s because the purpose of art isn’t always to soothe. Sometimes people create art to shock or provoke thought. But nobody is forcing you to look at “Piss Christ” and declare it’s beautiful. Nobody’s expecting you look at a urinal and say “I want to hang that above my sofa.” In fact, I’d venture to say that most of the artists who create “ugly” art don’t want you to think it’s beautiful. When people make ugly art, the intent is not to desensitize; in fact, most often the intent is to jolt.
And, ya know, let’s not forget that for every lefty out there making ugly art, there’s a lefty out there making mundane, goofy, whimsical, innocent, bad, kitschy and, yes, beautiful art. The idea that there are armies of left-leaning people out there cranking out art that’s raping John C. Wright of his god-given right to beauty is just…I feel like I’m going to over-use this word…insane.
In that timeless moment of sublime rapture, the heart knows even if the head cannot put it into words that the dull and quotidian world of betrayal, pain, disappointment and sorrow is not the only world there is. Beauty points to a world beyond this world, a higher realm, a country of joy where there is no death. Beauty points to the divine.
Horseshit. Beauty points to the miraculousness of nature. If you need to look to the supernatural to feel awe, you are a broken person.
The Left hates this argument, because if beauty is not merely in the eye of the beholder, then beauty tells us what is a truth, a real truth, a truth from a world beyond the world of petty propaganda, a beauty beyond the world of pornography. The Left hates this argument, because if beauty is not merely in the eye of the beholder, then beauty is meant to be served, not used for your selfish pleasures. Beauty humbles the proud, for it shows them something beyond themselves and their appetites. And the left hates that.
If you’ve never felt wonderfully small while looking at the ocean, you haven’t lived. No divinity needed. And the idea of being lectured by the World’s Most Pompous Idiot on the virtue of humility is head-desking in its absurdity.
Do you think I am exaggerating? Do you think what we are dealing with is merely distaste or polite disagreement, and not hatred? Go into a modern art museum: look at the urinal, the severed cow head, the can of shit, the soiled bed. These are not the expressions of one or two aberrant individuals with psychological problems: this is the condition of our culture for nearly a century, an industry involving endless amounts of money public and private. This is the leadership of the artistic vision controlling our civilization, and the thing future archeologists will point to as the defining spiritual images of our times.
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?
Right. We want John C. Wright to like ugly art so he’ll become a slave to the State. He’s figured us out. It’s at this point when I start to think that even he knows he’s as full of shit as “The Holy Virgin Mary.” John C. Wrong? He’s just trolling. And it ain’t beautiful.
I’ll leave you with this:
If you see a sunset clothed in scarlet like a king descending to his empurpled pyre…
Bless his heart.