Home is Where

2015-4-30 Home img01Have you ever longed for adventure? How about for home? Do you ever feel unsatisfied with the ordinary, as though your lifestyle can’t contain you? Or do you wonder if you’ve ever really known what it’s like to have roots – to have a place that’s yours, utterly and indisputably yours, to identify with it, and to prize it more highly than any possession? I have had and do have these feelings, often. Usually it’s a paradoxical mix of all them at once, combined with an irrational urge to adopt the Pacific-Northwestern aesthetic. For lo, I am hipster. But I’m sure I’m not unique in these feelings: the themes of wandering and home have run through songs in all ages, from Homer’s Odyssey to John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High.”

The American folk singer-songwriter genre especially lends itself to these themes. Continue reading

Contra Cartesiana: An Original Translation of Some Scholastic Criticisms of René Descartes, c. 1643

2015-4-23 Translation img02The world remembers René Descartes for his two major seminal philosophical works, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, published in 1637 and 1641, respectively. In addition to this, he accomplished the world-changing marriage of algebra and geometry with his Cartesian coordinate system, allowing any function or equation to be expressed in terms of lines and curves twining around his x and y axes.

Descartes’ philosophy, born in the midst of the bloody Thirty Years’ War – the heart-breaking religious wars (1618-1648) between Catholics and Protestants – sought to establish absolute certainty. Continue reading

Love Lessons from Game of Thrones

2015-4-20 Tthrones img01How does the notoriously promiscuous “Game of Thrones” uphold the importance of chastity? Last week, two of GoodTrueBeautiful’s authors discussed the show’s moral messages in an article published by The Federalist:

Some have gone so far as to say the show is inherently immoral, and strikes out on the transcendental virtues—the good, true, and beautiful.

Yet despite the numerous shades of moral gray and sexual gratuity, the show also stands out for being able to unite fans squarely behind certain characters, and squarely against others. And how those fans align tells us something about the inherent sense of right and wrong even our post-sexual revolution culture attaches to sex.

Read more: Despite Gratuity, Game of Thrones Still Moralizes Sex

Redefining Art

BRITAIN-ENTERTAINMENT-ART-AUCTION-EMINBefore modern art, critics understood that the best art is the most beautiful. This traditional idea of art has given way to a relativistic definition that grounds artwork’s value in the claim of the artist and the reception of the audience. “The first thing that makes it art is that I say that it is…” asserts modern artist Tracey Emin, referring to the rumpled, trash-strewn bed she exhibited at the Tate Gallery in 1999. She would argue that there is no objective distinction between her work and Romantic artist Eugene Delacroix’s 19th century oil painting of disheveled bed covers. Both required an idea, creative energy, and physical expression, after all. Continue reading

What is Wrong with Feminism: The Movie, Part I

2015-4-9 Maleficent img01

Movie critics want to you why Maleficent, Disney’s 2014 retelling of their classic Sleeping Beauty, is magnificent. “[T]he film surprises,” Kate Taylor of The Globe and Mail gushes, “for the thematic richness of its story gloriously personified by Angelina Jolie in the title role.” What’s rich about it? The “feminist revisionist backstory.” What’s wrong with that? Look at how the movie treats its two major male characters, King Stefan and Diaval the raven. Continue reading

A Reasoned Defense of the Irrational

2015-4-2 Irrationality img01Is it logical to enjoy irrational things?

The terms of the question seem to necessitate “No” as an answer. The logical and the irrational appear immiscible.

On closer inspection, however, the question asks whether “it” is logical to enjoy irrational things. So then, this asks not about the things themselves, but about the enjoyment of them. Is that actually illogical? Continue reading