the Beauty of Evil

Simone Weil said, “Nothing is so beautiful, nothing is so continually fresh and surprising, so full of sweet and perpetual ecstasy as the good; no desert is so dreary, monotonous, and boring as evil. But with fantasy it's the other way around. Fictional good is boring and flat, while fictional evil is varied, intriguing, attractive, and full of charm.”

The media strikingly bear out Simone Weil’s contention. In their offerings it’s almost invariably Eros rather than Agape that provides all the excitement. Success and celebrity rather than a broken and contrite heart that are made to seem desirable.

Good and evil, after all, constitute the essential theme of our mortal existence. In this sense, they may be compared to the positive and negative points which generates an electric current; transpose the points, and the current fails, the lights go out, darkness falls and all is confusion.

So it is with us. The transposition of good and evil in the world of fantasy created by the media leaves us with no sense of any moral order in the universe, and without this, no order whatsoever, social, political, economic or any other, is ultimately attainable.

Malcolm Muggeridge

(in a speech to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in 1978)