The Aesthetics of Knocking it Back

The pleasure of knocking back Bourbon lies in the plain of the aesthetic but at an opposite pole from connoisseurship. My preference for the former is or is not deplorable depending on one’s value system–that is to say, how one balances out the Epicurean virtues of cultivating one’s sensory end organs with the greatest discrimination and at least cost to one’s health, against the virtue of evocation of time and memory and of the recovery of self and the past from the fogged-in disoriented Western world. In Kierkegaardian terms, the use of Bourbon to such an end is a kind of aestheticized religious mode of existence, whereas connoisseurship, the discriminating but single-minded stimulation of sensory end organs, is the aesthetic of damnation.

– Walker Percy

Read the entire article here.

Hat Tip: remshot


This Administration Brought to You by Pepsi

Two days before the election, I spent the day in Washington D.C. with some friends, and I noticed something odd: At first, I assumed that the metro stations were just decorated for the upcoming inauguration. A number of the lighted pillar-things had a simple tri-coloured design on them that looked a little something like this:


And I thought “Hey, isn’t that they Obama campaign logo? Odd.” This opinion was bolstered by several posters that had the symbol and a single word or phrase “Hope”, “Change”, “Pop”. Wait: “pop”? Something wasn’ right (there was also one that said “soul”, which, honestly, why didn’t they just say “fried chicken”? I mean, good grief.):


Turns out, it was a pepsi add campaign, but the confusion was (and is) understandable and dare I say intentional:


To be fair, maybe the Obama camp stole Pepsi’s idea:


All of which sparked a memory of a propaganda poster I came across a few years ago:


For HS: Judging by Appearances

Contrary to popular opinion, appearances do not generally deceive. Instead, they are an indispensable feature of the way things are and serve as our first contact with the world. The world reveals itself first through the way it can be sensed and felt, by means of our eyes or ears or by touch or taste. Art helps us see, sense and feel the world in novel ways by revealing new angles and fresh perspectives.

– Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin

More Cardus coming at you. Q & A with Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin, aesthetic philosopher extrodinaire.

Water runs downhill because it is Bewitched

The ordinary scientific man is strictly a sentimentalist. He is a sentimentalist in this essential sense, that he is soaked and swept away by mere associations. He has so often seen birds fly and lay eggs that he feels as if there must be some dreamy, tender connection between the two ideas, whereas there is none. A forlorn lover might be unable to dissociate the moon from lost love; so the materialist is unable to dissociate the moon from the tide. In both cases there is no connection, except that one has seen them together. A sentimentalist might shed tears at the smell of apple-blossom, because, by dark association of his own, it reminded him of his boyhood. So the materialist professor (though he conceals his tears) is yet a sentimentalist, because, by dark association of his own, apple-blossoms remind him of apples. But the cool rationalist from fairyland does not see why, in the abstract, the apple tree should not grow crimson tulips; it sometimes does in his country…

Just as we all like love tales because there is an instinct of sex, we all like astonishing tales because they touch the nerve of the ancient instinct of astonishment. This is proved by the fact that when we are very young children we do not need fairy tales: we only need tales…Boys like romantic tales; but babies like realistic tales, because they find them romantic…

Nursery tales only echo an almost pre-natal leap of interest and amazement. These tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.

– G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, pp. 58-59.

The Death of Triangles

All the will-worshippers…always talk of will as something that expands and breaks out. But it is quite the opposite – Every act of will is an act of self-limitation. To desire action is to desire limitation. In that sense every act is an act of self-sacrifice. When you choose anything, you reject everything else…”Thou shalt not” is only one of the necessary corollaries of “I will”…

Anarchism adjures us to be bold creative artists, and care for no laws or limits. But it is impossible to be an artist and not care for laws or limits. Art is limitation…If you draw a giraffe, you must draw him with a long neck. If, in your bold creative way, you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a short neck, you will really find that you are not free to draw a giraffe…

Do not go about as a demagogue, encouraging triangles to break out of the prison of their three sides. If a triangle breaks out of its three sides, its life comes to a lamentable end. Somebody wrote a work called “The Loves of Triangles”; I never read it, but I am sure that if triangles ever were loved, they were loved for being triangular. This is certainly the case with all artistic creation…The artist loves his limitations: They constitute the thing he is doing.

– G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, pp. 45 – 46.