Too Beautiful for You

"You can't handle the truth," an exasperated Colonel Jessep (Jack Nicholson) yells out at Lieutenant J.G. Kaffee (Tom Cruise) in a famous courtroom speech of A Few Good Men (written by Aaron Sorkin).  Cross-examination reveals, however, that the colonel couldn't handle justice: he admits he had ordered a "code red" that resulted in the wrongful death of a Marine under his command at Guantánamo. "Truth" and "justice" are not easily defined, but it's hard to disagree that truth and justice are fundamental to social and political stability -- indeed, to civilization itself.  A very long time ago, a very different third concept was declared to be fundamental as well.  That concept is beauty, and it was the ancient Greeks (no relation to today's deadbeats) who argued that this triad was essential to civilization.  Truth and justice they kept secular, however, paving the way for science and democracy.  But beauty -- ah, beauty -- it was sacred, protected in the...(Read Full Article)

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