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Acceptable Beauty

8 November 2010
Does the above phrase offend you?  It riles me too, but there’s a case for it.  Not an ism-related one, thank you — people who try to make art behave according to political or religious dictates should be culled.  No, my argument is simply that I can only wholeheartedly embrace beauty if it is accompanied by anger, despair or absurdity.  Those are appropriate responses to the World of Man.  That’s why I like the films of Charlie Chaplin, the writing of Samuel Beckett, and the music of Mar de Grises, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tom Waits and the latter John Coltrane, to mention a few.

In very rare cases, perhaps, artistic integrity can trump the abovementioned kind of appropriateness. Louis Armstrong, perhaps. And Jacques Tati’s Mr Hulot. Add yours in a comment; perhaps we can learn from one another.

 Tom Waits concert, July 2008, Prague.

Tom Waits, Glitter and Doom concert, Prague, 2008. Image via Wikipedia

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