links for 2009-01-14

  • "And yet, it is beautiful in its purity. It is, in two sentences, everything that Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose is about. It’s why I read the book. Because every now and then, it gets so bad, so unrelentingly stupid, that is somehow loops back around to become brilliant for eleven words."
    (tags: Comics reviews)
  • "A monthly review of the arts and intellectual life, The New Criterion began as an experiment in critical audacity—a publication devoted to engaging, in Matthew Arnold’s famous phrase, with “the best that has been thought and said.” This also meant engaging with those forces dedicated to traducing genuine cultural and intellectual achievement, whether through obfuscation, politicization, or a commitment to nihilistic absurdity. "
  • "Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so; and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What we think and see in matters of moral and aesthetic judgment is to a large extent determined by our circumstances; for neither goodness nor beauty is out there in the world awaiting discovery, like the planet Pluto, by men armed with telescopes and mathematical equations.

    Now let us, for the sake of argument, grant that this is so: that we can not place any moral or aesthetic judgment on firm, which is to say indubitable, metaphysical foundations; and that as a matter of observable fact men have formed very different judgments about the good and beautiful over the ages and in different regions of the world. Does it follow that the only resort left to us is a kind of multiculturalism in which each ego is an entire culture of its own?"