I invited a colleague to visit me at home, but warned her not to be shocked by the cluttery mess she would likely encounter there if she showed up unannounced. She laughed and told me of an old proverb:

"If you want to see me, just drop on by. If you want to see my house, you'll have to make an appointment!"

The words reminded me of an exchange in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, from the scene at the inn where Frodo says of the Enemy's minions, "I think one of his spies would --- well, seem fairer and feel fouler, if you understand." "I see," laughed Strider. "I look foul and feel fair. Is that it?" (And that in turn is reminiscent of the witches' chant near the beginning of Macbeth: "Fair is foul, and foul is fair.")

The punch line, of course, is that appearance doesn't matter nearly as much as people commonly think it does ... and that the almost-universal convention of movies and comic books (and, come to think of it, art throughout the ages) --- ugly villains, beautiful heroes --- is quite bogus.

And with that observation now made, let's await the collapse of the plastic surgery "industry" ...

(see also TheUglyFallacy (7 Dec 2003), BeautifulVirtue (15 Dec 2003), ... )

TopicLanguage - TopicLiterature - TopicArt - TopicHumor - 2004-07-13

(correlates: NightingaleFloor, JournalBearing, LoLa, ...)