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Lesson Plans


re: my response to your response to my response to your response...

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry (taylorh)
Mon, 12 May 1997 19:29:07 -0700 (MST)


MW,

It's interesting tho, many of the same issues and peoples are of deep
concern to both of us. In some ways we are both trying to be helpful and
caring. That what we would propose in terms of what we believe would
constitute help and caring are so very different seems causer for reflection.

I don't imagine that we are the only caring people so polarly different.
There seem to be any number of axies (sp) to social conundrums and the
sometimes violently differing solutions proposed. Likewise, our chosen
scapegoats wear radically differing faces.

History has a nasty way of turning on heroic ideologs and transforming
scapegoates into martyrs. This Timothy McVey fellow evidently and allegedly
indicated that the his target was chosen because it was where the decision
was made to as to how to solve or end the Branch Davidian event. Asked
about employees in the building who were not involved in the agency
targeted, McVey is supposed to have opined something along the lines that
like the Stormtroopers in StarWars those more or less innocent individuals
had made a bad choice and were facing the consequences.

For these reasons I'd rather (when I must) point a finger at specific
nameable individuals rather than at vague classes of people who may or may
not share some allegedly significant quality. Perhaps the most tragic
decision Marx ever made was to focus on "class" struggles. But Marx is
largely a creature of the nineteenth century, and his philosophy, for
better or worse, a rapidly fading part of the twentieth. "Whitebread" is a
class slur and fails to signify as anything more than a discriminatory
comment on a par with other characterizations based upon undiscerned
appearances.

Appearances. It keeps coming back to appearances and perceptions. It
keeps returning to aesthetic qualities and evaluations. Elements of art
as life-or-death turning points. There is indeed a world of difference
between the aesthetics used to evaluate a painting, a school of art, an
individual or an entire class of people. Still, it could be arguably
termed an "artworld". Does your community or administration wonder what
value there is in such things as aesthetics and art?

What kinds of things do artists consider in an aesthetic light? Is there
anything that cannot be examined or explored in terms of its differences
or in comparison with some other entity, material or conceptual? Is there
a difference in the way an artist distinguishes things and a shopkeepers
methodology? Where, or in what, does the difference lie? Do we analyse or
perceive a political or economic movement in a different way from that in
which we analyse an artistic movement? Do we truly believe that somehow
we rely more on reason and logic in one case than another? ...in emotion,
feeling and in spirituality in one can't than in the other? Are "facts"
more solid here than there?

I can't help but believe that most people, in most areas of their lives,
"like what they know" more than "they know what they like". I can't help
but suspect that analysis is for most of us more cumbersome than we'd
like it to be and that if the differences in terms of "appearances" is
great enough we will forgo deeper analysis, turning to it only in the
last resort where discernment proves devilishly difficult or unfamiliar.
I can't help but believe that our skill in the broader usages of aesthetics
determines much in the way of our experiences in life.

But, to be honest, more of my belief rests on my aesthetic perceptions
and understandingsthan on the reasoning I have gone through; largely after
the fact.

-henry