Thursday, May 22, 2014

In all the chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order

My first word, everyone’s first word, was air.

A house manifesting creativity has disorder at its heart. As Carl Jung once put it, “in all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order”.

Freeing a new order from a messy environment is precisely what a painter like Lucian Freud did with chromatic gunge. Gardeners everywhere mix tons of dirt with blood and bonemeal to achieve beauty. Cooking means broken eggs, spilled milk, scattered flour. So, even if we subscribe to order, chaos is its prerequisite, a crucible of potential.

The celebration of mess is at least as old as the Enlightenment age. Alexander Pope found the chaos of variety reassuring:

Not chaos-like together crushed and bruised;
But, as the world, harmoniously confused:
Where order in variety we see;
And where, though all things differ, all agree...

Bad tax laws are worse than the pop stars who skirt them

Politicians thrive on ambiguity that costs the economy dear, writes Paul Johnson
Illustration for article by Max Hastings in London Financial Times...
A much-loved pop star is judged to have invested in a tax-avoidance scheme. Pressure groups, opposition politicians and front pages demand the government make good its pledge to crack down on tax dodgers. The prime minister weighs in: let national treasure Gary Barlow – ageing boy-bander turned charity fundraiser – pay back the, well, national treasure but keep his gong.