A Link Miscellany 6

Darkness in North Korea; a call to arms for beauty; singing about the journey back to the Garden, through the cleansing fire of Dante’s Purgatory; being a poet; thinking about Facebook.

The dark…

Gulags in North Korea. Starvation. Torture. These are concentration camps. Why is the rest of the world complacent? Just as with the Soviet gulags, it’s easier for the West to look away.

Now go read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago.

Our art and literature is full of darkness and destruction, but perhaps we have trouble dealing with sadness. Could it be because sadness requires an acknowledgement of real beauty, real love, real meaning? Things we can’t just shrug off? The Rumpus asks “Does Sad Sell?”

Our disintigrating schools are a pointer to moral failure, not academic failure.

The shadowy..

Are people leaving real community in favor of shallow online communities? Maybe. Or maybe too many of the real communities are shallow, so people ditch them in favor of richer online communities. (Hmmm. Or maybe people aren’t willing to do the work of having rich real communities?)

The New York Times dares to print a piece that notices the obvious: “Anywhere in the world that social psychologists see women or minorities underrepresented by a factor of two or three, our minds jump to discrimination as the explanation,” said Dr. Haidt, who called himself a longtime liberal turned centrist. “But when we find out that conservatives are underrepresented among [psychologists] by a factor of more than 100, suddenly everyone finds it quite easy to generate alternate explanations.”

And the light…

Roger Scruton writes that “We must rescue art from the modern intoxication with ugliness.” Yes yes and yes.

An interesting piece on how literature can help us think through the idea of justification.

“I’m a poet. Yes, that’s a real job.”

Speaking of poetry… Dancing through the fire: a sudden illumination of Dante:

“…you followed all the best roads / tried to read the signs and learn / there’s an easy road goes down ward / but the true road’s climbing higher…”  Now go read the whole poem, and listen to the song played & sung by the poet, Malcolm Guite.

Peace be with you.