Aesthetics, Endeavors, Life

Unified Theory of Aesthetics

For a very long time I’ve intended to write out my unified theory of aesthetics. Perhaps one day I’ll have time to refine it further, but at least the basic idea remains as a permanent reference on my other site, Beyond the Silver Glass. I learned so much in the discovery of this principle that I can’t even begin to express what it has opened up for me. Its premise could probably be reworked for so many fields besides aesthetics and making the world a more beautiful place. I think of health, mechanics, engineering, physics, who knows. . . But for me, it is a huge “pearl” of discovery. It is a way of organizing one’s thoughts, staying on track, not getting discouraged in the face of obstacles, and not staying in a frozen mindset.

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Arts, Culture, Endeavors, Life

A Life Worth Studying

Chicago philanthropist Richard Driehaus (1942-March 9, 2021) has passed and the praises of his life coming from so many circles leave me convinced that his was a life well lived. By sheer happenstance, I learned of his existence, of his interests, his influence, and the compatibility of all that he stood for with the things that I also stand for. Sadly, I never met him, for we would have found tremendous common ground. In my estimation, Driehaus stands shoulder to shoulder with two others whose philosophies have stood tall against the present degradations of modernity: Dana Gioia (who I have met) and Sir Roger Scruton (who my other half briefly corresponded with). Such personages are not to be taken lightly. Their lives are worth studying.

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Arts, Culture, Literature

Bringing Sacredness Back to Art

While I am currently tied up finishing a nine-year-old book draft, there has been no time to post fresh material here. But I ran across something this morning that struck me as so outstanding, I knew it had to stand in for me today.

Mark Jackson recently published an outstanding critique of a resurrected 10-year-old film, The Black Swan (2010), which starred Natalie Portman. I know people who loved that film; I personally detested it. In his article, “Rewind, Review, and Re-rate ‘Black Swan’: Making a Case for Bringing Back Sacredness to Art,” Jackson admits that the performances were all sterling. (Portman won an Oscar, by the way.) In fact, even I admit it is a literary masterpiece. But does that redeem its darkness?

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