Voyou Désœuvré

Despite his reactionary politics, I have a bit of a soft spot for Roger Scruton. This  stems from taking an aesthetics course as an undergraduate, in which Scruton was the only analytic author who actually discussed aesthetics, who was interested in the sensory qualities of actual works of art. His genuine skill in explaining how the sensory qualities of music relate to its cognizable structure is, however, certainly used for evil in this viciously ignorant article on modern pop music. As Ian Mathers says, it’s a spectacular example of “erudition squandered on a man who refuses to actually engage with the things he wants to demonize; demonizing them because he doesn’t understand.” But it’s instructive to see Scruton going so wrong here, because it illustrates something interesting about aesthetics. Read more↴

One of the things I built in to the current design of this blog is that the layout for posts, and most especially for the front page, only really makes sense for long-ish posts. My thought here was that Twitter would take the strain of short comments and “hey look at this link” type posts, and indeed it has largely done so. But there’s a creamy middle of cases where I’d like to say a little more than can fit in 140 characters, but don’t have quite enough to say for a post here. I’ve finally got round to creating an extra blog for that purpose, and recent posts from that blog also show up in the “snippets” section on the front page here.

I’ve periodically added various other things to the front page, like my Flickr photos and Last.fm loved tracks. If you read this blog via RSS, you won’t see these, which I imagine you’re fine with, but if not, they all have feeds of their own, and I’ve but together a Google Reader “bundle” which will let you subscribe to everything that shows up on the front page.