The Catholic World Report has posted a wide-ranging interview with New Criterion editor Roger Kimball.
Kimball’s new book, The Fortunes of Permanence, collects his recent essays of literary, artistic, and cultural criticism. This interview reflects quite well what I’d call Kimball’s metaphysical concerns. He nicely diagnoses one of the consequences of moral relativism: boredom. I’m less and less convinced the “relativism” accurately describes the mentality that threatens us. Moral “minimalism” seems more accurate, because there remains a sense that some things are wrong and must be prohibited. But the robust view of morality as a system of honor and shame ordered toward disciplining our souls, and thus bringing our humanity to a richer, fuller perfection . . . well, that’s not just inoperative, it’s positively prohibited, because deemed “oppressive.”
And without this robust view, culture goes flat, and our souls go flat. Upshot: culture devolves into entertainment, distraction, and therapeutic policing of excesses and dysfunction.
In any event, read the interview and take in Kimball’s multifaceted take on our present age.