Monday, 17 September 2012

Evil Genius


For a long while we have been living in a world where most instances of Genius, and indeed most of the most talented people, are evil in their net effect.

By evil I mean quite precisely destructive of virtue, beauty and truth - as these transcendental values are traditionally conceptualized.

This applies almost wherever you look: philosophy, prose, poetry, music, science - and in more modern areas like journalism and comedy.

I am particularly impressed by the extent to which so much of comedy has been an agent of evil - especially satire. And I mean the most accomplished, most creative and innovative comedy - the funniest comedy: how it has culmulatively and almost sytematically attacked meaning, purpose, hope.

At any rate, this is one of the biggest problems of Western culture - the extent to which its greatest exemplars were evil; hence destructive of the basis of their own pre-eminence.

Indeed, this seems the norm: there are exceptions, but the evil Genius is the usual kind of Genius.