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October 02, 2006

Our Ugly Age

Frederica Mathewes-Green has an interesting observation about the lack of aesthetical sense in our age. Her point goes beyond the skin deep. The ugliness that is reflected in our media reflects a more fundamental ugliness. That her example is a children’s' movie is also not a coincidence. Much that is targeted at children, whether cartoons, clothes or toys (particularly dolls), is drawn intentionally as an absurd and gross caricature. "Life," this predominant theme seems to say, "is not to be taken seriously, and it is ugly in any event. Accordingly, let us seek out new and grotesque frontiers to avoid dealing with our reality." It's not pretty aesthetically nor morally.

Well, it doesn’t solve the underlying ugliness of our age (particularly our Culture of Death) to simply say, “Let’s only buy that which is beautiful.” Nonetheless, it would not hurt to give it a try. This could particularly be true in the realm of children. We parents fund this ugly stuff. We simply ought to stop. If you think the stuff your kids want is yucky--don't buy it. Don't fund this junk. It's ok to be culturally chauvinistic with respect to the goods you buy for your kids. You do not have to say, "well that's not for me but if that's what's cool with the kids . . ." We parents all need to show a little spine. We run our kids lives, not these purveyors of crap. Let's put them out of business. In doing so, perhaps we will be taking a small step forward on other cultural issues.

Update: Subscribers to the Mars Hill Audio Journal know that the subject of beauty comes up with some frequency in that publication. Ken Myers has a nice essay that delves into this subject a bit and ties the idea of beauty into the larger theme of the imago Dei. (Note that this is also a fundraising letter.)

Posted by Mark at October 2, 2006 12:52 AM

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