4 min read

Weimar Republic + Interstellar + Dune

The art of the Weimar Republic, much like the society in which we find ourselves today, aims to glorify 'every day' common ideas and images. While this approach to art can be interpreted and defended as serving to reflect the age in which it is being created... it presents several ethical dilemmas.

Some quotes from the week

Quote 1

On this path effort never goes to waste and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear ~ Bhagavad Gita 2:40 (Translated by Eknath Easwaran)
Bg. 2.40

Quote 2

The great philosophies on living are not great because they are complicated. They are great because anyone can live by them. Yet people fear this simplicity. Live simply: be kind and work hard ~ Damien (A friend from the gym; not transcribed verbatim)

I wanted to include this quote because it highlights the fact that eloquence and goodness can be gleaned from anyone or anywhere.

Quote 3

The new age—i.e., the age of the middle classes—wants monogamy, but at the same time wants to enjoy all the pleasures of libertinage, in an even more concentrated form if possible. They are thus not content to raise the monogamous sexual act to the stars; the stars, and everything else that is eternal, are obliged to come down to earth to concern themselves with men’s sexual lives and enable them to reach the highest pitch of pleasure ~ Herman Broch from 'Notes on the Problem of Kitsch' lecture at Yale University

My friend Jeremy Tingle, a music student at the University of Toronto, shared the above-mentioned quote with me. It was presented as part of a larger critique of Kitsch, the 'trash' art popular during the Weimar Republic.

I think that it is important to preface my thoughts by noting that I am not in any way an expert of the history of Germany in between the two World Wars. But I wanted to bring this period to your attention because it bears direct relevance to our current time.

I think that beauty should be celebrated. But what is beautiful? While I don't think that beauty falls entirely within the conforms of a definition, Jeremy notes that things which are beautiful do not draw attention to themselves, they do not self advertise. Additionally, that which is truly beautiful is simple to experience and does not try to conform. Beauty raises our minds to higher things, at least in traditional thought.

The art of the Weimar Republic, much like the society in which we find ourselves today, aims to glorify 'every day' common ideas and images. While this approach to art can be interpreted and defended as serving to reflect the age in which it is being created, almost as a tool of documentation, it presents several ethical dilemmas.

For one, by emphasizing human normal-ness, which comprises our base desires, art can serve to depict these ideas and images in the same light as things that are truly beautiful. And through this celebration, art can catalyze societal degeneration.

Secondly, by choosing to depict normal-ness, art raises a mirror to society. At most, by looking at such work we are forced to look at ourselves. By choosing not to look higher, art prevents us from assessing ourselves in relation to an ideal or at least another idea.

How the film Interstellar accurately depicted a black hole 5 years before the first image of one was captured

Read the following two articles to find out. This was brought to my knowledge by Erik Gillis, a physics student and friend at the University of Toronto.

How Building a Black Hole for ‘Interstellar’ Led to an Amazing Scientific Discovery
Kip Thorne looks into the black hole he helped create and thinks, “Why, of course. That’s what it would do.”This particular black hole is a simulation of unprecedented accuracy. It appears to spin at nearly the speed of light, dragging bits of the universe along with it. (That’s gravity for you; re…
First Image of a Black Hole | NASA Solar System Exploration
This is the first picture of a black hole.

Dune - another amazing soundtrack by Hans Zimmer

I really enjoy Hans' music due to his curiosity in instrumentation

As many of you know, I do have a penchant for movie soundtracks. One soundtrack that I have been listening to quite a bit today has been that of Dune, a 2021 sci-fi release (that you have probably already heard of) based on the novel of the same title by American author Frank Herbert (a book that is now on my 'Want to Read'  Goodreads list).

Below are some interesting videos on the making of the film and its soundtrack done by Vanity Fair.

If you haven't already, please follow Aurora - Hans Zimmer, my playlist on Spotify.

The Green Line


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The Green Line is a local Toronto news outlet that investigates the way we live to help young Torontonians survive and thrive in a rapidly changing city.

The Green Line stems from the vision of Anita Li a professor at the Ryerson School of Journalism. I heard about it through my friend Aloysius Wong who currently works at the publication.

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