Gérald Darmanin, who serves as France’s Minister of the Interior, has announced that he aims to create 3,000 posts for new “green police” officials, a move that he has deemed necessary in the face to tackle climate change. I’m sure that the Brandon regime is paying close attention. Maybe another billion or so needs to be earmarked in the next appropriation bill for Green Police (armed to the teeth against climate deniers). Maybe some of the FBI special agents will badge over? I’m sure that they’d feel right at home going through people’s trash to insure that recyclable items are all in the recycling bin. You just can’t be too careful.
News of the potential creation of these new posts in France follows calls from European Union bigwigs for the creation of a bloc-wide “Civil Protection Force” to fight the effects of climate change under the control of Brussels, a move slammed by some as an attempt by Eurocrats to hoard even more power.
“He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.” Proverbs 12:11
JP Sears offers an opinion – How to repel the FBI.
Claudio & Family arrive in America from Italy
Claudio follows this blog and it’s nice to have him here in the States for a few years. His job brought him here – for now, and I wish him, his wife, and their sons the very best.
* “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” ~John Muir.
* Remember that when Congress enacted Obamacare, they exempted themselves from it. The laws are for the great unwashed, not for the elite.
* “Deadline reported that billionaire investor John Malone — who is one of the largest investors in CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery — said earlier in the year during an interview that he wanted CNN to “evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists.”
* I have no problem with people owning electric cars, but the infrastructure to make them work on trips outside the home charge radius is troubling.
* Spielburg is fearful of global warming but his private jet has burned $116,000 worth of jet fuel in two months. “You know when you’re not mindful of something that could pose a danger to your children and grandchildren?” Spielberg remarked. “Then you just go blithely through life with aerosol cans and doing all sorts of things that are depleting the ozone.”
* “Russian forces have achieved only minimal advances, and in some cases, we have advanced, since last month,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video message. “What we are seeing is a ‘strategic deadlock.'”
* Some things don’t change even in dynamic times of rapid change. It’s good to see that actor Gary Busey is still being himself.
The Aesthetic vs. The Profane (art philosophy)
In aesthetics, we learn that a person’s opinion of beauty reveals their judgments of value. In other words, what we consider to be beautiful we also consider being of great value. Furthermore, our value judgments are derived from our ethics, which simply put is a system of beliefs or rules that we use to determine whether or not something is good or bad, and to what degree. When we apply these personal and social rules to things that are not intended for sustaining life but to improve the quality of it, we are creating or participating in Aesthetics, or art.
I started thinking about this after many discussions with our fellow blogger and my co-author and friend, Jules Smith. Jules characterizes herself as an art philosopher. Today she’s banging around Switzerland with her watercolors – philosophizing. Back to my point. When we make these value judgments and determine something to be good we set it apart from the rest of the world to emphasize the fact that we value it more than other things. This action of setting apart can be done through language and writing or by actions, such as framing and displaying a painting. While this setting apart can be done in many ways, it is always what we value most we set apart, and call art.
With this understanding, we can look at what people call art in order to understand their system of values. This idea is not new and can be expressed in many ways, such as “You can learn a lot about a man based on art he buys.” or “You can tell what someone is like by looking at what songs they have on their iPod.” It is precisely for this reason the contents of President Trump’s iPod became national news. People were interested because they considered it a “window to his soul”, or a way of finding out about what he values the most. I don’t think that Brandon has a playlist – and that would make sense.
When this special separation takes place between art and the rest of the world, the rest of the world, by definition becomes common and is purposefully excluded from “art”. Also, to go to the other extreme, if something is considered “bad” and in our value judgment is deemed to have a negative value (as opposed to merely neutral value) then that thing is considered to be vulgar or profane. Again this goes back to our ethics and what we consider to have positive value, no value, or negative value. If something has positive value in our system of ethics, or morals, then it is singled out as having aesthetic value or is called art. If it has a neutral value then it is called common and is largely ignored. If it has negative value then it is labeled as vulgar or profane.
This idea becomes particularly interesting when we observe works of “art” on display. This idea is not lost on artists and as a matter of fact, they frequently use it to make their art more powerful. If an artist exhibits something that has high moral or ethical worth to a viewer then the viewer will respond positively and will express their appreciation or consent to the art. If the object of art has little or no value then the viewer will ignore the art, and finally, if it has negative value then the viewer will exhibit a negative reaction and the “art” will be considered offensive.
Again this idea is frequently used by the media when they display pictures in news stories or show footage of events. If a media organization wants to show the effects of war, they would rather show a picture of someone crying after having their home destroyed than show a picture of someone passively looking on as neighbors clean up a destroyed home. The reason why they choose to show certain pictures is that they want to maximize the moral or ethical response from their readers or viewers. The reason why this works is that in our common moral system someone crying has greater negative moral or ethical value than someone passively standing by. So while it may not produce the same effect on everyone, it will produce a strong effect on more people, thus they use it.
If we continue along this line of thought we can discover a lot about the moral and ethical system that people operate under by observing how they respond to artistic or aesthetic objects. One example that I came across recently was in a newspaper article. The article dealt with a piece of performance art where the performer used “explicit language”. One audience member who was interviewed by a reporter responded to the performance by saying, “because she didn’t use [explicit language] throughout the entire presentation–only the performance–it really was art.” Herein lies an interesting phenomenon prevalent in our modern society. Something usually considered vulgar or profane is inserted into a “work of art” and rather than be rejected because of the mixing of the profane with the aesthetic, the “art” is accepted and applauded for its “brilliance”. This example demonstrates a facet of the moral or ethical rules that some people live by. This concept which I am about to explain is in no way new and has been used many times throughout history, in many different ways, but it is important to point out so that we may understand what some people value which forms a basis of their “moral system”.
As I mentioned above about the devices used by the media, there is a school of artistic and ethical thought that wants to maximize the emotional response of the participants. They have found that the easiest way to do this is to insert something with negative moral or ethical value into something that should have positive, or even just neutral, value. The media uses this device to “shock” their readers or viewers so that they experience an emotional response. In modern art, this is frequently used to justify the insertion or displaying of some rather vulgar, crude, and offensive objects. The “artists” realize that some of their audience will be offended by these things and thus for them that offense has high moral and ethical value. In other words, the artists value the fact that they are offending someone. In segregating their works of art from the rest of the world and displaying them, the greatest value does not come from the object in and of itself, as it was with Ron considering a tour bus to be beautiful, but rather in the fact that they are shocking and offending someone.
Their object in all of this is to take something that is morally offensive and try to convince their audience that what they consider vulgar or profane should be classed as artistic or of great worth. When these artists get enough people to agree with them then they can change the common set of rules that we use to determine what is good and what is bad. They change, or in some cases remove altogether, the moral systems of our society. At this point, I should say that changing one’s moral system, in and of itself is not bad, any more than walking is inherently bad. But when this change leads us away from a stable, secure, and peaceful life to one filled with confusion, doubt, and despair, then these changes are destructive and in the truest sense of the word cannot be considered moral.
When we apply a self-consistent moral system to our daily lives, where we work to sustain life, we can then increase the quality of our lives, by introducing truly aesthetic art into our lives so that we can appreciate that which we value the most.