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"It's absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." -- Oscar Wilde in Lady Windemere's Fan

Should art have a social function or should it be art for art's sake?

Frontispiece to an early social hygiene 20th century book.

Detail of the above.

Like Mark Dery, my inner Walter Benjamin is trying to make peace with my inner Georges Bataille:

Aesthetically, however, I'm interested in the unlit, unfrequented corners of society, the nethermost regions of the self: freaks, forensic pathology, true crime, conspiracy theory, cannibalism, madness, medical museums, Art Brut, weird science, sexual deviance, soft tissue modification (by tribal peoples and postmodern primitives), creature features, alien abductions, insects, Situationism, Surrealism, science fiction, the gothic, the grotesque, the carnivalesque -- in short, extremes and excess of every sort. I want to induce, in my reader, the vertigo that comes from leaning too far over the edge of the cultural abyss. -- Mark Dery http://www.levity.com/markdery/inform.html


Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character. --AHD [2004]

Morality refers to the concept of human ethics which pertains to matters of good and evil —also referred to as "right or wrong", used within three contexts: individual conscience; systems of principles and judgments — sometimes called moral values —shared within a cultural, religious, secular, Humanist, or philosophical community; and codes of behavior or conduct.

Personal morality defines and distinguishes among right and wrong intentions, motivations or actions, as these have been learned, engendered, or otherwise developed within each individual. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality [Nov 2006]

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