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  #151  
Old 02-04-2010, 03:13 PM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

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Originally Posted by Ries View Post
We were also Wise enough to have slavery, prevent women from voting, and sell Laudnum over the counter.
Maybe your ancestors kept slaves, mine sure didn't. And I'm trying to stop allowing our government to turn us into wage slaves while the giddy choir sings praise to the "Hope and Change" Pied Piper of economic ruin.

Was giving the vote to grommet a wise idea? Not so sure.

Laudnum over the counter? Was that all you could come up with for a 3rd example?

The point being what, that people were and have been or done stupid things?
But only in this age could the aforementioned job qualification insanity exist, and it is symptomatic, not a unique example.
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  #152  
Old 02-04-2010, 04:52 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

My ancestors were draft dodging socialist Scandahoovian drunks, and proud of it.

But We, As a Society, had legalized slavery, legalized subjugation of women, legalized treatment of anyone but a white landowner as a second class citizen.

You tend to continually try to paint yourself as outside of society, but, as Grommet pointed out, its a convenient fiction to reinforce your world view, not the truth.

NO, 200 years ago they probably didnt have lawsuits against calling someone unreliable- but they had many many equally ridiculous laws- of which slavery, which was allowed by the major governments of most every asian, middle eastern, african, european, and, yes, american country, with a few exceptions, was certainly a LOT less "Wise" than job discrimination laws today.

And as for joking about giving Grommet the vote- well, you are not exactly going to be the next Bob Hope, with lines like that.

Again, you are confusing a minor rule, that is obviously not enforced in any systematic way even in England, with HUGE society wide policies that caused death, horrible injustice, and economic inequalities on mammoth scales for hundreds of years.

I still maintain that, 100, 200, or 500 years ago, people did MUCH stupider things daily, society allowed much more cruel and unfair conditions to prosper, people were less educated, more brutish and evil, and life was a lot worse for all but the richest of the rich- who still stood a good chance of dying from TB, or VD, in childbirth or from simple infections.

If you really think modern society is so bad, Somalia beckons- no taxes, no Obama, no health care, no gun laws, no government for almost 20 years- its a libertarian paradise...
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  #153  
Old 02-04-2010, 05:46 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

It is is easy to miss the point in the Theater of the Absurb.

I'm not a Libertarian, but pointing to Somolia as their ideal is rather silly, in as much as the absence of a few things does not presuppose the absence of everything. More to the point, you should consider America in 1790 as far as the seperation of powers between branches of government and between state and federal government as the proper model in that respect. And that does not mean that Libertarians want to go withour electricity and cars.

I do not try to paint myself as outside of society. I just don't accept or stand behind the things that go contrary to my values.

Your comparison with the past so far has been apples and oranges. Things done that are injust or evil are not necessarily by definition stupid, they are just wrong. Slavery was wrong, but it was not stupid. If slaveholders lost money in the process, it would have been wrong AND stupid.

The stupid I refer to today is a willing dismissal of common sense in order to embrace a "politically correct" utopian vision. It is also the easy and cavilier dismissal of wisdom from the past for that same purpose. For example, making equality of outcome a goal, rather than equality of opportunity.
Also, taking away the freedom to try and fail and to learn from that, and to ultimately try and succeeed, replacing it with handouts so that there is ulitmately no consequence or cause and effect relationship between what one does with their life and what one receives from their effort.

This does not mean that I think life was better in the past, or less cruel, or anything else other than lacking in wisdom and common sense.
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  #154  
Old 02-04-2010, 10:39 PM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

so many things wrong with your post, Glenn...
Here's your political poster boy http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_300367.html
He also didn't want to do anything contrary to his values.
So many things...
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  #155  
Old 02-04-2010, 11:05 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

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a willing dismissal of common sense in order to embrace a "politically correct" utopian vision.
To me, that would describe the 200 years or so that various minutely different sects of "christianity" slaughtered each other in Europe, over arcane "politically correct" distinctions that no one outside of that particular cult (oops, I mean religion) could even decipher...

Or, burning women at the stake, or drowning them, because you sincerely believed that "god" told you to...

Or not finding anything wrong with raping or killing people, and stealing their land, because they were Indians, Chinese, Black, Muslim, Jews, or otherwise not included in the "politically correct" utopian vision of your book of fairy tales...

Or dividing the entire planet, between the Spanish and the Portugese, regardless of the wishes of its inhabitants, because, again, "god" told you to...

Or believing the earth was flat, or the sun revolved around the earth, and killing people who disagreed...
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  #156  
Old 02-05-2010, 12:22 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

I gotta admit, I have been sitting here stunned for the last half hour or so, by your statement
"Slavery was wrong, but it was not stupid. If slaveholders lost money in the process, it would have been wrong AND stupid."

The logic system that could produce such a belief is, frankly, just beyond me.

It makes me wonder if the "Glenn" persona is just a ConservaTroll, something that a teenager has created for maximum shock value...


Slavery was, unquestionably, stupid, on every level.
Slavery was in a few instances, short term profitable- but compared to what?
Harnessing the intellectual and free market economic power of African Americans, as opposed to using them as farm animals til they died, has been immensely MORE profitable to the USA.

Slavery has destroyed virtually every society that allowed it- Certainly it contributed in a major way to the fall of the Roman Empire, was involved heavily in the English Civil War, was responsible for the American Civil War, which came closest to destroying the United States of any event before or after- its history of ripping societies apart, of creating an environment of hypocrisy, moral corruption, and inhuman greed has caused revolutions and wars for 500 years.

If the only thing that makes something "smart" is short term profit, at the expense of all humanity and human life itself, then surely, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Hitler must have been geniuses.
After all, Hitler even made soap and lampshades out of the corpses of the Jews, Gays, and Gypsies he killed, after enslaving them to build his weapons of destruction...

You have said a lot of offensive things over the years here, but that one really takes the cake.
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  #157  
Old 02-05-2010, 08:55 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Ries, before turning smug righteous indignation cartwheels over a perceived "gotcha" moment, a review of what I said and what that meant might help.

It is a sentence like this:

"If the only thing that makes something "smart" is short term profit, at the expense of all humanity and human life itself, then surely, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Hitler must have been geniuses."

that make me question your integrity as someone interested in a serious discussion. I used the economic benefits of slavery as one example of why, at that time, 'stupid' would not be the correct term to define slavery. So, how "short term profit" gets translated into being "the only thing that makes something smart" is just an attempt to demonize someone you disagree with by a nonsensical extrapolation, not an attempt to understand or respond to the actual thought process of that person.

I have defined stupid, in terms of a specific era, as the abandonment of wisdom and common sense. These qualities are often relinquished in order to embrace "whatever feels good".

If you define stupid by looking back in history from the standpoint of what we know today, that is entirely different. In the era of slavery, it was an accepted practise for milenium, and it was not an issue of race. Prior to the arrive of the European white man, indigenous people captured and turned to slaves the victims of warfare. In the context of historical wisdom, slavery was an accepted practise, not a matter of lacking wisdom from experience.

If the economics of slavery only worked in the short term, why was it not abolished in ancient cultures who may have learned from experience? What of the claim the that the economic growth and success of early America was accomplished on the backs of slaves? You can't have it both ways- if it worked, however morally reprehensible, calling it stupid in the context of its time is false. Itis stupid in retrospect from our experience today, where we have the benefit of wisdom from the experience of Freedom and opportunity, which was an entirely new concept and governmental construct in the 18th century.

I don't know what your historical evidence is regarding slavery destroying every society that allowed it. It seems like wishful thinking, but in fact the fall of civilizations is rather complex, and often including an over-extension of power, taxation to the point of choking economic growth or sustainability, rampant disease, natural droughts and other circumstances that wipe out food supply contribute, and general corruption in government.

You are always quick to point out the evils of religion, but never seem to acknowledge the good side. It was the moral pressure of Christians, not atheists, who stood up against slavery, fought and died to abolish it. It was athesists who caused the greatest mass executions in modern history, through Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

A true religion has a code of moral values that if followed brings one to act in an honorable and respectful way. That people are fallible, and often use religion as a cloak to disquise their evil nature and doings is an implication of evil people, not of a religious teaching. If you want to criticize Christianity, for example, be honest and look at the lives of people like St. Francis, Mother Theresa, Oscar Schindler, Harriet Beecher Stowe, etc., who lived as the gospels intended. Find fault if you will with those who express the faith, not those who have shamed it.
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  #158  
Old 02-05-2010, 09:51 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Booshwah.

You used economic benefits as your ONLY example of why slavery was not stupid.

The economics of slavery never "worked", unless you look at them from the selfish, and self centered, right wing me first viewpoint of the individual's profit, and not at the impact on society as a whole.

Let us examine, for example, the way America was built on slavery- add up all the profits of the slave owners, but then subtract the cost, in lives and dollars of the Civil War, Reconstruction, the economic backwardness of the American South due to its continued racism and brutality, the affects of an institutional attitude towards former slaves and their descendents that was only beaten back by Federal Court decisions in the 1950's and 1960's- and we have a huge net loss due to slavery, both monetarily and morally, to our country.

But yes, if you look at the world from the John Galt viewpoint, the pull up the gangplank cause I am aboard way of thinking, a few did "profit" from slaves, for a short time.
Somehow, however, Canada, with similar location, history, ethnic makeup, and culture, managed to build their economy without slavery- proving it was neither necessary nor inevitable.

And of course, it has ALWAYS been about taking advantage of race, sex, and culture. Not JUST black versus white, although that would probably account for 80% or so of slavery historically, but also about the wealthy taking advantage of whoever they can. To say race did not play into it, because a few native american tribes took slaves in warfare is ridiculous. In the worldwide slavery trade that lasted hundreds of years, financed by Western Europe and the USA, race was always a main factor.

Even at the time, slavery was not, as you say, universally accepted- it cause huge schisms all along in western civilisation, including wars, internal pogroms, and a lot of death.

I am still befuddled as to how you can proclaim slavery "wise", at any time.

It does, however fit the general mindset of "conservatives" in america today, the same ones who place their own profit and well being above that of the commons- the healthy guys who therefore refuse to pay for health care for all, because, hey, they dont need it.
Hypocrites like John McCain, who consistently vote against health care reform, knowing he is safely covered by not one, but 4 different socialist single payer plans- Social Security, the VA, Federal Employee Coverage, and the Congressional Medical Clinic.

This attitude, of ME FIRST, screw the rest of you, is exactly what you are describing as "wisdom" in slave owners, and is still a cancer in our society today.
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  #159  
Old 02-05-2010, 10:31 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

More throwing out ridiculous ideas and hoping they stick on me. I'm only responding because this is a public forum, clearly Ries you don't want to discuss ideas or learn anything.

I did not say that slavery was wise. My only claim is that in the context of its time, those who practised it were not stupid in the sense of ignoring the wisdom of their experience. That does not make them wise, it merley fails by itself to prove that they were stupid. Their experience was of a world in which slavery was a profitable venture, in a world where slavery had been going on for thousands of years. So, in 1822, for example, a slave owner did not have the events of the 1860's to look back on and count the destructive costs of that on America.

I'm trying to get you to look outside of your head and see the world from the perspective of someone back then. Not because there is anything whatsoever about slavery that I think is good, wise, laudable, or positive in any way. I am merely and entirely trying to make the point that "stupid" is not the correct term to apply to someone whom in their own era does something based on the knowledge and standards of their time. It may be ignorant, wrong, terrible, etc., but "stupid" as I have tried again and again here to explain, in regards this our era being "the age of stupidity" has to do with willfully ignoring the evidence of history, and of common sense. What example of that could be clearer than eliminating "realiable and hardworking" from a job description because it discriminates against the unreliable and lazy?" So, when you brought up slavery as an example of stupidity in earlier eras, I tried to point out that in the context of those eras, it was not so clear cut a case. Only in our current retrospective view is it so.

This sentence about slavery : "Not JUST black versus white, although that would probably account for 80% or so of slavery historically" is just ignorant. Black versus white slavery is a relatively modern phenomena. Most of history occured prior to the modern era, where you had Jews as slaves to Egyptians, slaves in ancient India and China, Summeria, Babylonia, , various Greeks as slaves to other Greeks, Greeks as slaves to Persians, Gauls as slaves to Romans, etc, etc, etc, read your history, etc, etc, etc.

Are we done on that point, or do you still want to try and tell me that I'm an evil republican slave-loving bigot? ( BTW, it was a Republican president who freed the slaves, and the last member of the KKK to be a US senator was a Democrat, but don't let things like facts trouble you.)

And, to be clear that I understand another point of yours, I'm being selfish if I don't want to pay for your health care? Because, suddenly, in the year 2010, that has become an entitlement? What next, I'm supposed to pay for your house in 2015? Your car in 2018? The fact that I'm responsible for my own life is being selfish, but you, who want to force others to pay for your life, are not being selfish? And it matters not if the government wrecks rather than fixes a good system, and destroys our economy in the process, as long as you get to feel like you are compassionate by spending other peoples money?

Like your other bogus tripe, "Me first, screw you" is not a motto you can apply to my life. Although not as easy to say as 3rd grader sloganizing, try these; " I take responsibility for my own life, let me show you how to do so for yours if you would like". or, "I don't give hand-outs and keep you forever dependant on them, I give you a way to find value in your life and be independant of ever needing another hand-out." And for those special cases, "Rather than letting an impersonal government bureacracy get rich pretending to help the poor, I support private charities who walk with those in need and directly help them as individuals and tailor that help to their specific needs."

Last edited by GlennT : 02-05-2010 at 10:48 AM.
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  #160  
Old 02-05-2010, 10:51 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

I also note, Glenn, you are quick to claim the successes, and even quicker to shove the failures off. "Not mine"
Thank goodness we are capable of learning if we acknowledge error.
I found this book a good place to start.
Especially in a global age, where it's easy to dehumanize those you can't see, it's time to start treating all people like they are "your people", the successes as well as the failures.

that and other thoughts...

Glenn, there are too many gaps where private charities aren't enough. Yes, it would be great if the programs that were in place to help educate the working poor on how to save for necessities and larger purchases hadn't been defunded but... Are you going to let people suffer "for their own good", or can you see your way clear to make sure that the "least of your brothers" don't freeze on the sidewalk?
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  #161  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:03 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

You indict yourself and your beliefs far better than I can.

At least you are consistent in your selfishness...
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  #162  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:07 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

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I am merely and entirely trying to make the point that "stupid" is not the correct term to apply to someone whom in their own era does something based on the knowledge and standards of their time. It may be ignorant, wrong, terrible, etc., but "stupid" as I have tried again and again here to explain, in regards this our era being "the age of stupidity" has to do with willfully ignoring the evidence of history, and of common sense.
Brilliant! You very astutely summarized all the key points of your position. You are saying that slave owners were not stupid because they did did not "willfully ignore the evidence of history, and of common sense." By this reasoning I would conclude that the Nazi too were not stupid. They and slavers didn't ignore the evidence of history. They used it to justify there control over other humans. But the common sense thing blows me out of the water! They did not ignore common sense??? There were a lot of people that had the common sense to oppose slavery and too, the Nazi. The Opposition folk differed in that their common sense told them that life and death powers of human beings was wrong. You are saying that murders used common sense. So what is really going on here is that Glenn is hung up on the stupid label. Imagine that one of my posts was censored by the mods because I called Glenn stupid. But what word would you use to label an illogical defense of a point of view that allows justification of the ultimate immoral act on common sense. The killers used common sense.
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  #163  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:28 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

A good observation, that common sense depends largely on what is in a given body of knowledge. Do you consider that the forefathers of this nation were stupid or lacking in common sense? They created a system that helped pave the way for the elimination of slavery, yet some were slave owners or were enablers of slavery. Why, because common sense led them to know that one does not go from the status quo to a utopia overnight, but comes in stages of human progress. What they developed as a system of government was revolutionary and epic.

Common sense is not what opposed slavery back then. What opposed slavery was morality and human decencey. These have come in large measure from Christian thought, and have had to fight against the "common sense" of their times, overcoming a mountain of entrenched thought that had made slavery an "acceptable" practise.
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  #164  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:40 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

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These have come in large measure from Christian thought, and have had to fight against the "common sense" of their times,
So, Christian thought always trumps the "common sense" of the times. Cool, God always knows better...cause you folks gotta struggle real hard so as to not be tempted by sin. Now matter what the time, your common sense don't measure up. I can not argue against a believer. Go with your feeling. That's what I'm doing when I argue with you.
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  #165  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:49 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

could it be that you walked into this one glenn? becuse somewhere in the bible it says it was alright to have slaves.
so you, being the bible thumper you are, you might have made a stupid comment about something stupid.
now rather then admit you might have said something dumb, your going to argue it to death. that seems kinda dumb, why arent you working on a new sculpture or painting instead of all this.
if i was a slave this is what i would do as well as smash some heads
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhEmwgzmMsM
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  #166  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:55 AM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Chris 71, to think of that link, right on man!
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  #167  
Old 02-05-2010, 12:20 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Chris, even though I'm not the bible thumper you think , I am willing to claim that the teachings of Jesus do not advocate or support the institution of slavery. Do you have anything other than "somewhere in the bible" that says otherwise?

And good question, why am I wasting time, risking the possibility that I may actually say something "dumb", trying to make a point that no respondant is willing to consider on its merits, preferring instead to twist meanings in order to make the other person look bad?

For example, this:

"So, Christian thought always trumps the "common sense" of the times"

This is taking one line of thought and from it, extrapolating an "always" dictum, which I never said, but is put out there like a tar baby to see if I get stuck having to defend something ridiculous. Same technique that Ries used.

You are right, Chris, this is a waste of my time. Thanks for that. Over and out.
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  #168  
Old 02-05-2010, 12:27 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Soundgarden was damned good...but they shouldn't have let Johnny Cash get hold of that song...because now its HIS.
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  #169  
Old 02-05-2010, 12:49 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

I still feel that it is consideration on behalf of the artist that makes beauty. I can't come up with anything better.. Johnny cash tore that song up and made it work, just like he always did.. i play that one at least 2-3 times per week.. That and Cocaine Blues..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq344ks1ieg
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  #170  
Old 02-05-2010, 01:08 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Sometimes having a music player in the pocket with all your best tunes mainlined into your ears and central nervous system makes you think there ain't too much missing in life at the moment. But then us hedonists start thinking...well... if this feels so good, what about trying...
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  #171  
Old 02-05-2010, 02:10 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

I suspect that we have two distinct selves. One is the self that Evaldart rails against (that food-grubber and conformist) who cannot commit to better things because he/she cannot conceive of what that might be, other than a higher level of grubbing. The other self is one that artists aspire to, as do writers, ceramicists and most REFLECTIVE people: a finer, better self and a finer better life. Those with only an ordinary self see this better life in more STUFF, more of the same or in all the other junk that society peddles us, while those who are artists are seeking MORE and BETTER. Now, I haven't tried to follow the twists and turns of this slavery debate because I have to presume that slavery was a function of the ordinary self, so I reject it. Grub, grub.

Thoreau got something very right about society in 'Walden' when he spoke of all those people 'living lives of quiet despair'. Slavery - such nonsense.

Glenn - you now seem to have a problem with the Brits as well as the French. And this intellectual and cultural barracade you have at your front door: how do you patrol that exactly?
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  #172  
Old 02-05-2010, 03:02 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Despite obvious continuing advancings, we are all still - most of the time - brutes, savages and barbarians responding en-masse to survival stimuli and the provocations of sustenance. It was Art that has permitted us to consider ourselves civilized...NOT love or truth or "beauty". Love truth and "beauty" existed for the brutes too. Thank the Father Sky and Mother Earth for that gat-damned Willendorf and all those other little good-luck charms. Because without them we would have NO respite from the savagery. Art is our only hope, the creative impulse applied AWAY from the problems of another hard human day. Rest is not respite. A proper respite (an energetically and enthusiastically pursued aside) will involve more difficulty than the regular survival meanderings.

So dont worry; all the clock-punching, stock-trading, sales-managing, backhoe operating, number-crunching, gallery-directing, lecture-dispensing savages will eventually learn to apply themselves...their personality...against culture, and all will be well. A long time ago the personality was surrendered to culture for even-ness and stability. And it has been slowly pleading its case in the subconscious ever since. More and more folks will pay attention to this pleading...you'll see; we are less brutish each day - better than we were in our history. "Better, stronger, faster" just like Colonel Steve Austin.

Last edited by evaldart : 02-05-2010 at 03:12 PM.
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  #173  
Old 02-05-2010, 03:14 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

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Originally Posted by Portoro View Post
Glenn - you now seem to have a problem with the Brits as well as the French. And this intellectual and cultural barracade you have at your front door: how do you patrol that exactly?
If a specific example of idiocy happens to come from French or British people, does that mean I have a problem with an entire nationality?

Here is an example of patrolling a cultural barricade: After this post, I'm going away from this forum for a bit, to see if it is possible for this thread to go back on topic and not be a means to badger me with exaggurations and false accusations. I try clarify a workable definition and the next thing I know some people think I defended slavery. All because I took some time, foolishly, to be more precise about language. Now I alledgedly have a problem with Brits because of one specific example of idiocy involving Brits, that would have been just as idiotic had it occured in Sicily. (And I love Sicily, so don't loose your head with another tangent based on that statement!)

Beauty matters a lot more than misinterpreting whatever utterences I happen to make here. For the sake of beauty.........


.......bye bye........
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  #174  
Old 02-05-2010, 03:23 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Portoro

Quote:
I suspect that we have two distinct selves.
Fess up man. I bet ya got more than two. Its one of those universal laws. If more than one, then its many.

Quote:
The other self is one that artists aspire to, as do writers, ceramicists and most REFLECTIVE people: a finer, better self and a finer better life
dude, did you miss out on the hippie daze?

GlennT:
Quote:
Beauty matters a lot more than misinterpreting whatever utterences I happen to make here. For the sake of beauty.........


.......bye bye.......
. You're committing suicide over beauty?
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  #175  
Old 02-06-2010, 02:56 PM
Portoro Portoro is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 342
Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Sorry, Glenn. I can't get myself to write with any sense of balance on forums - I'm really quite amenable in real life.

Joe - yes, I do miss the hippie daze. In fact I often suspect that an awful lot of what I like about art was picked up in my adolescence ala 1960s and is now a well-settled, personality-size neurosis. Still, keeps me of the streets and away from BRUTISH (Evaldart) behaviour....

Beauty? Yes, it matters if the thin veil of civilisation matters. Otherwise, no.
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