Friday, July 19, 2013

* Beauty and the Beast

Outing the Unacknowledged 
Aristocracy of Good Looks 
in American Democracy

It is ironic that this  Los Angeles Times video about the controversy surrounding  The Rolling Stone magzine's  Tsarnaev cover, begins with an advertisement when it is opened on YouTube, an advertisement  for a Hollywood movie called Wolverine.

Apparently the  movie company has no compunctions about associating itself with the controversy.

If the photo of Tsarnaev had been unflattering, or if he himself had been homely, this controversy would not exist.  

What is happening here is that the unacknowledged aristocracy of good looks in our egalitarian society  is being outed by The Rolling Stone article and  its cover.

We want to believe ever so earnestly in the illusion of beauty as character, the mercantile assumption that the packaging is more important than, and actually revelatory of,  the quality of its contents.

At  the left, the alleged
craigslist killer,
   a Boston med student

What The Rolling Stone article and cover confront us with is our own false worship of beauty, whether it be male rock-star beauty or female movie-star beauty.  

We consider attaining the mercantile status of a cover photo on that magazine as analogous to being anointed as a knight or dame by the Queen of England.

We want ever so desperately to reward beauty and ever so subtly to ignore or even punish its absence.

We are idolators.

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