St. Thomas Aquinas said regarding art and beauty that it should create a "stillness", or a freezing of our consciousness.
I wonder what he would think of people like porn stars and the executives on Madison Avenue who believe they are pedalling their own forms of art and beauty. Not to say that porn and commercials can't be pleasant to look at (feel free to disagree with this), but certainly these things are not designed to create a "stillness". In fact, they are supposed to do the exact opposite- to get us moving. Either to the store. Or to the bedside table to grab the Astroglide. Or whatever brand works best for you.
"So what's your fuckin point, Allie??" Yes, I can tell you are thinking this.
I suppose it's a mere reflection on how impatient we have become as a society. We rush. Everywhere. We lack patience. Hell, I know I do, and there is no disputing this. Last night in film class we began watching a French film called Diva (an in-depth critique is still pending, although I will say the film is very... French- make of that what you will), and was struck by how the hero of the film was so awe-inspired by the beauty of this opera singer that he wept. I have experienced the same thing- being moved to tears by something so beautiful that it makes me grateful for being a human being with a brain capable of processing such stimuli on a higher level.
I live in the capitol city of Washington, and I am lucky enough to get daily views of a very beautiful, ornate capitol building, a perfect symbol of what great works we as human beings are capable of doing, and even though I've seen this structure enough to not feel as deeply moved by it, when I come around the bend on I-5 and I see that perfectly lit dome peeking out from the lush evergreens and the tranquil lake surrounding it all, I feel that "stillness" Aquinas spoke of, and I feel lucky to live here.
And then I turn on the TV for my kids and see the bombardment of colors, characters, and music that force them to jump up and down on the floor screaming "Can we buy that, Mommy! I want to get that thing, Mommy!!" No stillness there. And then I wonder if I would see their eyes glazing over during a trip to an art museum and think: "Great job, Allison, you're sending two more victims of the idiot box out into the world. Proctor and Gamble thanks you!"
We human beings are capable of so much mediocrity. So much destruction. Yet, so much beauty. But I'm thankful for it all, for if it were not for the first two, how could we ever come to appreciate the last?