The Beauty of Ugliness!

Preface:

WordPress does not have any way to format actual footnotes, so I had to invent my own way of doing it.  Keep in mind that this entry is complete satire.  I wrote it trying to be silly.  I hope you think it is funny!  Enjoy!

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“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Right? To a degree, I would say. Really this only applies to subjective beauty versus objective beauty. By Subjective Beauty I mean that Person A might find attractive qualities in a certain painting that Person B would not. Or perhaps B likes a different painting altogether. This is also true in what I broadly term “Mate-Seeking.” This is something most of us have experienced- both male and female humans alike have probably dated someone of the opposite sex which our closest friends, and/ or family members did not find attractive in the least and sooner or later excused the match by saying “Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder (1).

Subjective beauty applies to things like Other People (2), Works of Art, a Cityscape, One Person’s View of A Particular Species of Animal, and such like this. What we should say is “Subjective beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” We don’t say this though, because it’s redundant. When the qualities of a thing are interdependent upon the person interacting with it, it is subjectively qualitative, no matter what the quality is, be it beauty, largeness, smallness, even color to a degree.

The sky might be blue but ask one guy he‘ll say “What a light shade of blue.” and ask another and he might say “What a wonderful blue that is.” The thing is that they agree it is blue, just hold to different ideas as to what constitutes the “blueness” of a thing.  That’s really what subjective means- it depends on who’s looking at it. What this phrase has come to mean is “All beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

This is most obvious in terms of animals, specifically the excrement of animals. Some people (3) will look at the waste of a particular animal and utter that vague phrase “How cute!” The male counterpart, whether it be Dad or Boyfriend, Husband or Grandfather, will merely nod in agreement. Their thoughts will proceed something like this: “It looks like shit to me.” As near as I am able to discern, the following animals produce a potty endeared by women the world over: kittens, rabbits. Apparently the cuteness of the animal is directly proportional to the cuteness of what comes out of the animal. A large mastiff named “Killer” does not have a cute toilet. A baby rabbit named “Mr. Thumpers” most certainly does. His toiletry habits would be referred to as darling and precious while the act of relieving himself would be called “potty-wotty.” Killer the mastiff, on the other hand, would have toiletry habits referred to as annoying and immense whilst the act of relief would be referred to as “a mudslide” or “the great deluge.” To reduce the idea to its lowest denominators: Big potty bad, small potty cute.

So would it follow that, if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, ugliness must be as well. If you don’t agree with your buddy that his girlfriend is the prettiest in the galaxy, say to him “Well, ugliness is in the eye of the beholder.” Then, to extract yourself from the predicament you’ve caused by saying the word “ugliness” in what he mistakenly believes to be a reference to his girlfriend, explain how you’re actually saying this phrase to reference yourself, not her. He’ll probably punch you in the eye anyway, just because he’s that kind of person.

See, when we say “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” we’re always talking about the other person’s eye. If you say “Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder,” (at least in the same context that you would normally say “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,”) you’re talking about your own eye. In the first, the beholder isn’t you. In the second, it is.

Most notable of this phrase is the predilection of those who utter it to only use it in reference to other people. No one says “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” in reference to a natural landscape, or a particular monument created by man. Neither does anyone (4) look at themselves in the mirror and think “I wonder if anyone looks at my girlfriend, then looks at me, then back and her and says ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. I must embark on a quest to avoid having this phrase uttered by anyone in reference to me or in reference to anyone I know.”

The next time you go to Colorado to see the Rocky Mountains and as you stand on a scenic overlook someone nearby says “What a glorious view” counter this proposition by responding, “Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I would not be surprised to hear that you were pushed over the side of the mountain. But don’t worry, no one will look at your pulpy remains and utter, “Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

No one says it about car crashes, or a person who dies of a drug overdose. It isn’t said in reference to an episode of war, or a bloody battlefield. But if beauty really, truly is in the eye of the beholder, it would, could and should be said about all these things.

In a sense, beauty is like truth. Some things are beautiful and some things are not. Some things are true and some things are not. Some things have elements of beauty to them but do not, on the whole, present a compelling picture of beauty. Some things have elements of truth to them but do not, on the whole, present a compelling picture of truth.

This is why a great response to someone who claims truth to be a non-thing is to sidle up next to them and loudly declare there is no such thing as beauty either. You’ll see them hastily build an argument for the existence of beauty and just as hastily build an argument for the nonexistence of truth.

Of course, the most expeditious way to dismantle the claim that truth is nonexistent is to merely tell the person making the claim how beautiful you think their claim is. If they respond with “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” you’ve got them right where you want them.

The real reason to produce a completely useless argument is, of course, merely for the sake of the arguer’s amusement. What I suggest as a starting point for such an argument is naturally the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

It is most vital to appropriate such information that the common person would not usually possess, namely about some country’s current attempt to eradicate one kind of ethnicity utilizing those of a nearly-impossible-to-distinguish-ethnicity.

Those with a natural predisposition to the casual art of subterfuge will find it an infinitely(5) easier task than those who are not given to such inane “talents.”

Regardless of which kind of person you are, what you should do is quickly establish yourself on such a topic as you have researched. It is important that the topic be rather horrific and that you have read enough material on the matter to recall from memory some specific instance of annihilation.

Once you have established your authority on the subject, pick an even more horrific abstraction from within the mangled maze of death and destruction and pontificate on it for the rest of the time anyone is willing to listen to you talk. Then, when you have reached the limit of their willingness to listen, continue blathering for at least another third of the time you’ve already blathered.

For example, you are talking about Dictator So-and-So, and his ability to encourage one group to kill another group. “Boy, that’s terrible that happened,” you say. “Such death and murderous rage exacted upon one people by another. Awful.” you say. At this point your audience is nodding in collective agreement. “Terrible,” you go on saying (6), “But it is really wonderful when mankind works together for one grand purpose.”

Now your audience begins the sacred art of looking at the trees and guessing which one has the strongest branch capable of holding your body as it swings at the end of a rope. But you’re just getting started: “I know, I know. Hah! No, seriously though, it is just too bad they killed all those people. I am just the kind of person who looks at a group of people who formerly had no direction at all and see what they are now able to do. If only we could redirect their efforts in a positive way where there isn’t so much genocide…”

Oh sure, they’ll lynch you, but you’re right to try to encourage dialogue. Forget about dying with dignity or nobility. Forget about asking them to show a shred of human decency or asking them not to commit “monocide (7).” Just die accurately and in dying accurately, you also die correctly because that is a synonym for accurately (8).

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Footnotes

1) Interesting side note here: by and large this phrase is uttered as a last resort, when all practical reasons for one person’s taking to another without any obvious physical beauty of a certain party has been exhausted.  We don’t start by saying this phrase- we finish with it.  Kind of like a throwing up of the hands in surrender to an ideology we realize we cannot fully comprehend.

2) We should see each other as objectively beautiful by virtue of our being created in the image of God and as such we are each bearers of an intrinsic dignity.  But with our being fallen this has tragically worked its way out of our instinct.

3) Women, usually.  My wife, even more usually.

4) Unless they are particularly given to pointless ramblings about the experiential ramifications of a certain phrase- me, for instance.

5) Well, ok, not infinite, but so near infinite that we might as well call it infinite, because the word “finite” would be terribly misleading and cause no small confusion. Maybe the best thing to do would be to intentionally mispronounce the word “infinite,” instead saying “in finite.” Thus, if you are challenged, you can safely play the card that you didn’t say “infinite,” you said “in finite” and as such are free from any obligations which might arise from using the word “infinite” in a totally inappropriate context.

6) Because you’re the kind of person who doesn’t know when to shut the hell up.

7) Monocide- the act of killing one person really thoroughly.  I made this up.

8) You also would have the pleasure of dying exactly, precisely, regularly, faultlessly and rightly.

About Jeremiah

My name is Jeremiah. I was born at a young age to parents who were older than me.
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