Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Tragically enough, our world does not even know that it is ugly"

What does it mean and why is it that our society can no longer produce an artist like Michelangelo, or even Winslow Homer? That we can no longer produce a musician like Bach, or even Duke Ellington? That we cannot produce a poet like Dante or even T.S. Eliot?

There is a good essay by Fr. Robert J. Brankin "The Cult of Ugliness in America" in America Needs Fatima." Fr. Brankin addresses what the embrace of ugliness really indicates.

"Now you might be thinking: 'My goodness, the world is falling apart and he’s talking about drawings. More than a million babies a year are being sucked out of the wombs of their mothers and he wants to discuss pretty pictures. Seventy per-cent of Catholics don’t even go to church anymore and he’s giving us lessons on the philosophy of art. If we wanted Sister Wendy we could have turned on PBS./

This goes much deeper than aesthetic philosophy. It refers to the way we think about and deal with life itself — all of life, all of nature, all of being. All human activity is meant by means of beauty to provide us with an access to God, Who is All-Beautiful....

This discussion is hardly about pretty pictures. It is about the ever-ancient assault on His beauty — the original affront to His very existence and to the nature and the life that He created. The cult of ugliness in our land is no less than Satan’s rage against God.

It is no less than the gleaming spear-point of the culture of death.

Moreover, the cult of ugliness is so utterly pervasive and thorough in its celebration of the fruitless, the sterile, the weird, and the ugly that it pushes to the margins all other faiths — above all the True Faith.

The subliminal message in every confused and misshapen piece of modern architecture, art, music, or drama is that there is no God. The subliminal message in every deliberate mutilation of natural forms, in every tribute to physical and personal perversion, is that there is no God. The subliminal message in every celebration of the weird and deathly is that there is no God.

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