Beautiful is ugly and ugly is beautiful.

Beautiful is ugly and ugly is beautiful.
From Robert Peccioli
(posted on on August 6, 2023)

Many times in our reflections we have spoken about the reversal, the overthrow of values ​​and principles. We have reversed time. This is Macbeth’s victory over the witches, Shakespeare’s tragedy of power, ambition and darkness. The three witches are its engine, with obscure prophecies and the phrase with which they open the drama: honest is dirty, dirty is fair. Beautiful is ugly and ugly is beautiful,” they shout with sardonic laughter before leaving the stage “into fog and greasy air.” There is something unhealthy, sick in a statement that overturns all meaning and all reason: beauty is ugly, and vice versa. Good becomes evil, and falsehood prevails over truth.

In the tragedy of the English bard, the world, on the contrary, is defeated at the end of the final battle, revealing the gloomy prophecies of the witches, but in the present it becomes daily bread, poisonous food, intoxicating and overturning the scale of values. We see it everywhere: on dirty streets, on walls stained with inscriptions and graffiti that are not at all artistic, with all due respect to the bards of street art; in the slovenliness of clothing, posture, behavior, which becomes vulgarity, passed off as comfort, spontaneity, transgression, the grotesque duty of prisoners of liberation; in indifference to beauty and art reduced to the background, locations – as they say now – for selfies, in which the protagonist is our boundless and at the same time minimal ego; in elementary language – rude, obscene; in indifference to truth, overcome by falsehood through compulsion to repeat; in repetitive music that mimics the hubbub of the capital, accompanying tides and addictions; in a skin occupied with meaningless, ugly, often bizarre, meaningless tattoos, on the one hand, a sign of the desire for self-creation and the will to stand out in the crowd, on the other hand, evidence of embarrassing aesthetics combined with a predilection for fashion. It seems that everyone behaves in the same way, in the usual negligence, in clothes, in behavior, in preferences: it is difficult to distinguish “the rich rabble from the poor rabble” (Nicolas Gomez Davila). First of all, it is difficult to trace the beauty: ugliness shimmers from all sides, becoming the hallmark of modernity’s own offspring. Beautiful landscapes are disfigured by miles of terrifying boxes, cubes and shapeless buildings, and non-places visited by generations have become ignorant, insensitive, ugly and rough, despite makeup, rouge and designer clothes. Shopping malls, soon to be empty warehouses, advertising signs, crossroads become a meeting place, a life scenario, a meeting, a self-recognition of the same mass desire for vulgar pastimes, pursuits and passions. Architecture that has completed the game of ornament no longer has the ambition of beauty and longevity, unlike in the past, when building seemed the best way for people to leave a trace of themselves, a fragment of eternity, a sign of non-existence. -accidental passage, the desire to convey a model of civilization.
First of all, the system of mass communication, advertising and entertainment dominates, which – unlike even the recent past – imposes models and characters characterized by ugliness, demonstrative abnormality, ostentatious demonstration of any eccentricity and even deformity. Obviously this is all intentional and is the centerpiece of the powerful work of animal de-identification, regression, reduction of animals that we are undergoing. Since everything must serve a purpose, be useful in maintaining the circuit of consumption and profit, postmodern man would laugh—a phlegmatic, husky laugh full of satisfied mediocrity—if he happened to be able to read a passage from John Ruskin’s “The Stones of Venice” by chance or mistake: Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are also the most useless: peacocks and lilies, for example.
It is useless if it were true that a person is only what he eats (Ludwig Feuerbach). Everything that is “useful” in the instrumental sense is programmatically ugly today, but it was not so before, and even the farmer’s tools corresponded to the idea of ​​beauty, taste. The gaze was directed upward. Today, everything is aimed at making us bow.
Advertising that has become a vision of the world leads the march of regression: Zara, the cheap fashion multinational corporation (sorry, fashion …), received a new review – or rather *, a magic asterisk that denies nature: yes, call Seval Omar, he is a transgender (hero of our time) an immigrant *and not*, as well as fat *and frankly ugly*. Obviously, the choice does not meet market criteria – no one buys a product out of envy or imitation of a reference model – but in order to get used to the ugliness, confusion, multiculturalism and transhuman pimping to which we are reduced. The spread of degradation and ugliness helps to reconfigure the postman who is no longer sentient.
Therefore, beauty should be protected not from a simple aesthetic feeling, but because everything is at stake in this trench: being and non-being, beauty and truth. Beauty lies in the mystery that excites the imagination, which in turn creates nature and art and connects them with nature. Romantic poet John Keats wrote:beauty is truth, truth is beauty. This is all you know in the world and all you need to know.“. And he said this in a song dedicated to the eternal beauty of an artistic artifact, an urn, an amphora from Ancient Greece, a sublime, perfect manifestation of beauty that does not need justification.
The one who throws us into the ocean of ugliness deprives us of wisdom along with the sense of beauty, the gateway to transcendence. The enemies of man, our enemies, know this well. Those who, in a time of slippery, soft and egalitarian nihilism, intend to do away with truth and beauty, with civilization and its flags. Ceval Omar presents Barbie for Inditex, yesterday an icon of female beauty, today adapted, say enthusiasts of a new aesthetic (and painkiller) course towards the fabulous world of inclusion, that is, homologation, equality below, knowing no boundaries. .
Just as there is no limit to the dominance of vulgarity, resentment and humiliation of the generation of the “last people”. Their time is ours – it is the time in which humanity “will no longer beget stars” (Friedrich Nietzsche). Human typology, according to the Sils-Maria solitaire, “is all the more contemptible because it no longer knows how to despise itself.” With his arrival, the earth “has become small, and the last man jumps on it, making everything smaller. “The battle for beauty, however incomprehensible it may be for a person who strives solely for success and growth, measured in money, is decisive, since it rejects the idea of ​​​​a purely animal, utilitarian being thrown to the ground for exchange and accumulation. things, only a guarantee of happiness. Beauty, among other things, is free. He continues to enjoy a certain authority in the museum environment. Let us recall the picturesque image of Simonetta Vespucci, the muse of Sandro Botticelli. Its dazzling beauty continues to captivate visitors, but remains locked indoors, a legacy of the past. The past, i.e. finished. No beauty is recognized today; there is no beauty that would be alive, in action, would be present. We can search everywhere in heaven and on earth: we will not find either Simonetta, or David, or Laocoön wrapped in snakes with his children, not a single palace or temple, not a Parthenon, not a cathedral. In their place, “installations” abound and all sorts of curiosities that can be bought and sold with the seal of conformity to the charlatan caste.
Culture is its opposite in all areas. The music celebrates the products imposed by the awakened market, such as Lizzo, a black, overweight singer, a symbol of the new world, who celebrates the beauty of diversity and the duty of accepting it, accompanied by equally clumsy and obese dancers, poor things who seem to be bullied and forced into humiliating sexual actions. Ugliness, built into a model, becomes degradation, and often disgust. If we fight for beauty, it means to survive. Exist. To make people understand what we can and should be. The end of the beautiful is the death of the spirit, the subjugation of the empire of the useful and the material, the prosaic and the banal, the disappearance of the ideal unity of the beautiful, goodness and truth. Even in Renaissance Florence, the home of beauty, the ugly, sad and even dirty came to power with the face of the sinister monk Girolamo Savonarola, in whose “bonfire of vanity” jewels, perfumes, clothes, books, manuscripts, paintings, including Botticelli, were burned, trapped ferrara monk. The misfortune did not last long: four years later, Savonarola was burned at the same stake where he tried to destroy life, beauty and art in the name of a gloomy and inhuman God, not at all Christian.
There has always been a downward, vulgar, dirty tendency in man. However, he never achieved such a victorious principle as he did in the West at that time. The writer recalls two shocks, two very strong and unforgettable movements of the soul. One, at the age of twenty, suddenly saw in the National Gallery in London Dinner at Emmaus works of Caravaggio. The astonishment, the revelation, the inexpressible moment of the humble disciples who recognized the resurrected Jesus. Another, many years later, an equally sudden appearance of clouds disappeared along with the rapidity of the mountain climate, the Pale di San Martino, a natural wonder that, together with a breathless sense of absolute beauty, evokes evidence of extraordinary beauty. creator of a higher principle that surpasses us. Torment of the soul, that time does not scratch, that the cruelty of the world will not spoil. Feelings that stop dirt, keep eyes clean, keep hope alive. It is the contemplation of beauty, natural or the fruit of human genius. Places, works that inflame feelings, mind and spirit, since there is no such beauty, the judge and arbiter of which would not be the soul, as Augustine of Hippo taught. The war of ideas, so necessary, risks leading to the fact that the immediate, superficial, everyday will make you forget about attachment to goodness, truth, beauty.
Sometimes you need to go beyond the present to go deeper where you can reach and hear the ideological pushes of the time that are pulling you down. However, to remain with open eyes and a warm heart in the world of ruins, steadfast in goodness and recognize evil. The good to drown out the bad. It is good that you do not make mistakes in doubts. The truth to be understood. True to live in reality. It is true to walk without the burden of an unclean conscience. Beauty, because it is pleasure, joy, knowledge, sight crossing the horizon. Beauty to share, because I am nobody unless I open up to “us.” The trinity of goodness, truth and beauty is the most hated by the prince of evil, the most exterminated by the dominant postmodernist thought, which no longer hides the cult of ugliness, estrangement from goodness, renunciation of truth. Beauty is also good, the Greeks, the fathers of wasteful inheritance, knew this. When the fog confuses everything, it’s time to return to the essential, to the unchanging, to the only important thing: goodness, truth, beauty. They are our duty and our salvation. Because if it is not clear how beauty will save the world (Fyodor Dostoevsky), then it is absolutely clear that ugliness destroys it. We don’t need too many questions: just what the German poet and mystic Angelo Silesio intuitively prompted: “A rose has no cause. It blooms because it blooms, does not draw attention to itself, does not ask to be looked at. “But if you watch it, you discover beauty and you can no longer separate yourself from it.


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