Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder

beauty, punk, graffiti, disciples, nation, alliance, goth
The title of this post is a phrase that has been around so long it is a tattered cliche at this point, but it's so very true. What is beautiful to me may not at all be beautiful to you, and vice versa.

Case in point: the third bedroom in my house was decorated for a very small girl, with pale lavender walls and what I consider to be the most amazingly hideous curtains I have ever seen. I hate that room. I haven't redecorated it yet mostly because I don't use it, but also because my niece thinks it the most beautiful, wondrous room she has ever seen. She actually gasped with pure joy when she saw the curtains.

Is she right, and I'm wrong? Am I right, and she is wrong? No, and no. We're both right. Beauty is like that.

Most people understand this, but it seems a few do not.

Darrow L. Miller, in The Aesthetic: The Universe is Ultimately Beautiful proves that he doesn't understand the very personal nature of beauty at all.

We see ugliness manifest in the drabness of the buildings and cities build in the Soviet empire and in the decaying buildings, graffiti walls and streets of America’s inner cities. We see it in the dark, sometimes morbid, eroticized gothic fashion, in the lyrics of punk-rock and rap music, and the drug subculture of modern and postmodern youth.

I understand that not everyone sees graffiti as art, or dresses up goth or enjoys "punk-rock", but I can tell you that many people do see the beauty possible in graffiti, find goth fashion beautiful and attractive and would pontificate for hours on the beautiful nonperfection of punk.

When you envision a world that includes only your vision of beauty, you envision a world with no beauty at all for others. Why anyone would wish that world to be a reality is beyond me.

I guess, however, it must make sense to someone whose stated goal is:

In Discipling Nations, Darrow Miller builds a powerful and convincing thesis that God's truth not only breaks the spiritual bonds of sin and death but can free whole societies from deception and poverty.

The deception of personal notions of beauty, I guess.


  1. He can go to hell and die. How anyone can say "London Calling" by the Clash is an ugly song is retarded.

    I admit I may be motivated by emotion on this post.

  2. how sad is it that i saw that title for the post and my first thought was "Damnit, is there *nothing* that 4th edition D&D didn't mess with? and seriously, which eyestalk on a beholder would cast "beauty"? what are the effects of this spell?

    at which point i realized that you were quoting the cliche, and i stopped dialing the guy who runs our weekly D&D game :)

  3. This remainded me of a news story I saw this morning, which illustrates your point perfectly.

  4. hello................all
    I think people judge beauty just in relationship to themselves. If I wear casual clothes to my job, the people who like wearing formal clothes might say that I look ugly.....thanks

  5. You are right laserlipo. That each people judge beauty based on themselves and their preconceived notions. What Mr. Miller is saying is that everyone should agree with his standard of beauty and anyone that thinks what he is deeming as ugly is wrong. He is trying to force his ideals on others.

    Mind you, I don't understand how someone doesn't like punk music. It is gritty and real and speaks out for people who are forgotten and can't speak out for themselves. I don't tell people they are wrong for not liking it though, I understand that everyone has differences of opinions and that is awesome by me. If everyone thought the same, yes there would be less violence more than likely, but the world would be bland and uninteresting. Also we all have weaknesses that we count on people who are different that can compensate for our weaknesses and make us all stronger as a whole.


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