Songs About Nothing: Rachel Platten and Postmodern Art

2015-10-12 Platten img01What do Rachel Platten, Marianas Trench, and avant-garde sculpture have in common?  Postmodernist tendencies to self-referential exposition.

One of GoodTrueBeautiful’s authors exposes the dangers of postmodern art and its hidden moral claims in an article published recently by The Federalist:

[“Fight Song”] is [Rachel Platten’s] “take back my life song” and “prove I’m alright song,” but the song does not do these things. It only claims it is doing them. As much as I enjoy “Fight Song,” I have to recognize it for what it is: not a song, but the idea of a song.

Read more: Like All Postmodern Artists, Rachel Platten Makes A ‘Fight Song’ About Nothing

The Morality of Translating

2015-7-2 Translate img01Translations of great works are commonplace. We can go the bookstore and pick up a translation of anything, from Plato’s Republic to The Brothers Karamazov, but we rarely think about the moral and practical difficulties of translation.

We generally purchase translations because we cannot read the work in the original language. We therefore put our faith in the translator, trusting that they know both the original and translation language well enough to communicate accurately the meaning of the original text.

We are implicitly trusting in both a translator’s skill and sense of moral obligation or reverence towards a text.

This had never occurred to me until one of my Latin professors brought it up. 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

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

A Review of Battlestar Galactica

Of the many works of sci-fi present in the growing archives of human fiction, few are more deserving of the term “space opera” than the 2004 remake of Battlestar Galactica. Space opera is popularly defined as a work placed in a space-faring setting of an epic character, “where technology is ubiquitous and entirely secondary to the story.” All well and good for those searching for a meaningful tale unburdened by technobabble and the monster/phenomenon of the week formula. And yet, BSG manages to surpass even this level of story- and character-focus implied by its genre. Indeed, the sci-fi setting of the show is easily forgotten for a deceptively simple yet compelling reason: Battlestar Galactica is a real human drama, which transcends both the audience’s expectations and its recent experiences, and further explores territory which has been left uncharted in the public mind for far too long. Continue reading