Saturday, January 24, 2004

Esthetics as Ethics.
Astaire v. Kelly: A study in classical rhetoric and communication.
The one a performer of popular dance, brought to perfection on its own terms and thus to a level of art.
The other a trained artist working in a popular medium, engaged in a process of esthetic 'elevation.'
The first interested in issues of formal value, non formal issues being taken as given, the second in intellectual value under the assumption that givens are such are no longer applicable.
The former 'conservative'
the latter 'liberal.'
The one restrained/ The other free.
The one Early, the other Late.

"Political emancipation is the reduction of man, on the one hand, to a member of civil society, to an egoistic, independent individual, and, on the other hand, to a citizen, a juridical person."

I could argue with much of what Scott Martens says here. For one thing I have no fear of Islam at all. As I've said more than once, Islam is the only religion at this point for which I have any respect, because it is the only modern religion that still exists as an 'order' of language. When religion becomes a hobby it becomes meaningless.

As I wrote in an email to Riverbend a while ago, Islam is becoming the new Judaism in that it's returning to us a sort of scholastic rigor born of religious debate. But this happens only as Islamic thought becomes secularized, as Germanic culture was transformed by Jewish assimilation.

The quote from Marx is lovely. Legal argument is the only form of reasoning in secular society which is acknowleged to allow, indeed to demand, a sense both of absurdity and of formal intellectual rigor. Again and again I return to the notion of 'imperfect justice' not as the product of a philosophy but its manifestation.

I used to work with a sheetrock taper who had a few phrases he used to mumble or yell on occasion apropos of nothing, while we were on the job. We'd be working in silence and suddenly I'd hear a shout: "I see!! said the blind man!" followed often, as if roared from a pulpit by: "Members...of the Jury." And a chorus of women would reply in song: Yeeeeeaaaaaahhs!!!

Say 'Amen,' somebody.

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