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kottke.org posts about aesthetics

Aesthetics has been at the heart of

posted by Deron Bauman   Mar 07, 2008

Aesthetics has been at the heart of a lot of political discussions this season. Whether it’s Obama’s choice of font or McCain’s logo, the design web has been full of observations.

Which is why Tyler Cowen’s thoughts about the relative aesthetics of Clinton and Obama caught my eye. He starts by questioning how there can be such animosity between two campaigns when both candidates share such similar views.

Any fan of Dr. Seuss will know that policy similarity hardly matters. The two candidates represent two diametrically opposed portraits of the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Should we expect beauty, grace and universality, or should we derive our feel-good sentiments about politics from righteousness, confrontation, and sheer dogged persistence and feelings of ultimate desert?

At the end, Tyler shifts the conversation away from aesthetics toward the relationship of power and politics, but of course, power has a relationship to aesthetics. It’s simply a question of how it is wrapped.