|Does he look like he's laughing?|
The prism of æsthetics is not just an aspect of the struggle for national self-overbecoming, it is the struggle rarefied. To the ancients, there was no way to divorce their art from their cultural vantage.
You would not publish a scientific treatise on species of weeds and not consider the art of the actual object: the lavish woodcut illustrations, for instance, or Euclidian layout and typography, as well as esoteric symbolism splashed lavishly throughout. The binding would be hand-tooled, decorated and gilded, so that even to such a stark and (to a modernist viewpoint) seemingly artless subject, Form would remain as important as Function.
Amazingly, before the 20th century, there are virtually no examples of objects of any kind, no matter how commonplace or utilitarian (from housewares to clothing to tools) that did not have a consideration of the art or style, as well as a laborious crafting of traditional significance. Music and painting and architecture, in fact all disciplines. were thus meshed together in a cultural style that was solidly Roman or Imperial German or Napoleonic French or Tudor English, Baroque, Gothic Medieval, etc..
Today there is nothing but purposeful randomness, chaos, Abstract Expressionism, and the moronic Conceptualism. All is hidden narrative (almost always a liberal or egalitarian narrative at that) and beauty is not allowed to exist for its own sake. It is a snide ugliness that expresses eternally the democratic drive for homogeneity and equality by meeting at the base level. You can have no beauty or æsthetic hierarchy in the end-game of modernism.
This of course, is no laughing matter.
We are so immersed in post-modernism that most people are utterly broken, not just in terms of æsthetics, but in terms of true individual expression. Even otherwise tuned-in alt-righter types often fail to see what was plainly obvious to everyone not so very long ago. Watch a movie from the 1960's and witness (after dispatching an assailant violently), the enormous masculine thug Jack Palance fuss over the colour of his tie or the placement of of his hat upon his anvil-like head. Such behavior would be perceived as incredibly formal, even "fruity," if witnessed in public today.
But to men only fifty or so years back, wearing a suit as a matter of daily observance was necessary to be taken seriously as an adult member of Western society. It was a recognized tradition dating back to the beginnings or recorded history that we had a positively grave concern for æsthetics, indeed, our sartorial expression alone represented our natural nobleness and predomination as a group.
As Mark Twain writes of 'Native Americans' in The Noble Red Man:
"Still, when contact with the white man has given to the Noble Son of the Forest certain cloudy impressions of civilization, and aspirations after a nobler life, he presently appears in public with one boot on and one shoe—shirtless, and wearing ripped and patched and buttonless pants which he holds up with his left hand—his execrable rabbit-skin robe flowing from his shoulder—an old hoop-skirt on, outside of it—a necklace of battered sardine-boxes and oyster-cans reposing on his bare breast—a venerable flint-lock musket in his right hand—a weather-beaten stove-pipe hat on, canted "gallusly" to starboard, and the lid off and hanging by a thread or two; and when he thus appears, and waits patiently around a saloon till he gets a chance to strike a "swell" attitude before a looking-glass..."Sadly, compared to today's sweat pants and shirts with urban graphic-designed logos, the above actually sounds almost genteel. Indeed it seems a man today who considers for more than a moment the æsthetics of his clothing, or dons anything save the most casual rags, risks insinuation as an invert or 'peter puffer'. This plays into other anti-æsthetic modern cultural tricks, such as the popular myth that women are more naturally gifted at the creative or visual arts. Having experience as I do in the art world, I can assure the reader that such is not the case. In fact, the moment you see a female involved at a judiciary or management level in any art-related institution, you can rest absolutely assured she is an utterly tasteless modernist who has moved up the ranks expressing nothing but pure relativism with a distant threat of entitled victimhood.
As Oswald Spengler writes:
"Man makes history; woman is history. The reproduction of the species is feminine: it runs steadily and quietly through all species, animal or human, through all short-lived cultures. It is primary, unchanging, everlasting, maternal, plantlike, and cultureless."Plantlike. Natural, powerful, but inert.
Not to pick on women, but let us not be afraid to speak of group behaviour. Despite the valiant efforts of the very few Valkyries we have in our alternative midst, we all must admit as a group they are credulously prone to liberalism. Feminism itself being possibly the root problem of Western civilization, with its ever-expanding, emotion-based view of the world. The creative act is the same as a destructive one, and now as ever in the past, real art and culture are a man's domain. Women by and large adhere to norms, to cultural pressure, to what they were told by parents and teachers and the television. They are overwhelmingly concerned with what they perceive the majority of other women thinking or doing, regardless of the rationality. In this sense of plantlike or inert cultural staidness, they have been until now the real keepers of tradition. While they often can feel they are concerned with beauty and æsthetics, their emotional thinking and compassionate inclusiveness, while sweet, comes with a hangover of total cultural blandness and egalitarian art-destruction (eg: high heel sneakers, narcissistic novels, The X Factor, and other tasteless oddities).
To speak plainly in visual terms, things either look good, or they look bad. They are inspiring or they are degenerate. Subjectivity and relativism exist, however they need to be repressed where they are seen to weaken or subvert manly or adroit aesthetic style or cultural foundations. You can blur certain divisive lines subjectively, but by no means does that make the whole business of art and style too relative to delineate.
Pay careful attention to what you like, from the music you listen to and advocate, to the art you enjoy or make, to how you dress and present yourself. Make things for your own sake and not popular acceptance. Do not think of monetary value; do not be afraid of decoration or detail. Above all, choose Form over Function. Opting for function alone leads oddly to functionlessness, as without attention to Form the object is soon valueless, a liability, like a crumbling modernist strip mall or a towering landfill of disposable plastic objects endlessly churned out by emotionless celestials. The struggle for æsthetics is the base struggle, many prominent people I needn't mention in the past have understood this, and the modernist mindset of inclusiveness and abstraction in art is an invented weapon. A death knell.
Art is craft.