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Ed Driscoll

Theodore Dalrymple, Call Your Office

February 10th, 2013 - 12:36 pm

As Ed Morrissey writes, “Maybe we should define ‘progress:’”

I find it rather amazing that the Washington Post can decry the decline of feminism and in the same sentence complain that CBS wants to avoid having women displayed as sexual objects with their breasts and buttocks on display for entertainment.  Talk about clueless irony ….

After visiting a “modern”* “art” exhibition in 1998, Theodore Dalrymple wrote, “modern sophistication demands a sensibility that nothing can offend or even surprise, that is ironclad against shock or moral objection. To be a man of artistic taste now requires that you have no standards at all to be violated: which, as Ortega y Gasset said, is the beginning of barbarism.”

Though perhaps the headline on Dalrymple’s essay on DH Lawrence gets a bit too close to the mark to sum up the view of the worldview of the Washington Post: “What’s Wrong with Twinkling Buttocks?”

Dalrymple’s lede to that article also sums up the Post’s current enfeebled mental state rather well: “A crude culture makes a coarse people, and private refinement cannot long survive public excess. There is a Gresham’s law of culture as well as of money: the bad drives out the good, unless the good is defended.”

* By “modern,” I mean, “art” designed to achieve the 19th century concept of épater le bourgeois – that is, the shocking the members of bourgeoisie who are not specifically of the bourgeois artist class themselves, by employing concepts that are themselves almost a century old. (Speaking of “Progress.”)

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