Sunday, 2 July 2017

Why Isn't Everything Beautiful?

The multi-storey car park associated with the Millgate shopping centre in Bury makes an extravagant use of plants and trees in its architecture the likes of which I, for one, would like to see a great deal more.

Viewed from certain angles, it even achieves a level of non-ugliness rarely seen in multi-storey car parks.  I applaud this.

We all need a lot more trees in our lives.  

I find myself asking more and more now why ugliness exists in the man-made world at all.  I have previously mused on the beauty to be found in boredom, in the drab ugliness of the spaces 'between' - motorways, industrial estates, car parks - but I'm coming round more to the view that this kind of aesthetic is unacceptably defeatist.  Why do we not flood every corner of the concrete world with colour?  Why is every window not a greenhouse?  Why should we not blur the lines between the indoors and the outdoors?  Questions like these are not rhetorical, and I know there's a possible tension between these urges and the turning of the tide toward minimalism.  We need to answer them.  If you already know how to answer them, please let me know.  

More generally, but just as important, I find myself asking why suffering exists at all, in the natural world, the man-made world, or any other world.  I'm familiar with the traditional answers; concerning free will, concerning the doctrine double effect, concerning unforeseen consequences, concerning the idea that life is only made meaningful through overcoming obstacles, loving others and alleviating their suffering so as also to relieve your own.  If you have any better answers, please me let me know.  I think you and I both know none of traditional ones are truly satisfactory.  The world could be anything.  If what we want is impossible, let's strive for it anyway.  

Related posts

Fucking Big Wisdom
On Not Gawping at Your Phone All the Time
A Stroll Through Green Reddit
Plant Trees By Searching
The Open Air


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