Friday, December 08, 2006

i want answers.

Serious questions.

1. What is behind the impulse to denigrate utility?
When I step into a room in which every object that meets my eye is patterened and ornamented and stylized my first impulse is to turn and walk back out. It seems to camoflage everything, to level things out to a baseline background hum. To put it in the form of a question, Alex, is there something rude or unacceptable about a bucket being a container to hold stuff? Is it really improved in any way by being covered in flowers and shaped like a duckie?

2. Why is 'prettiness' generally accepted as an ingredient of Beauty? Think about it. Generally accepted standards of beauty include prettiness (prettiness is a combination of shiny, colorful, symmetrical, uniform, and rounded)

3. Why do people seem to equate 'shininess' with value?
To me a room full of shiny objects is a room full of moving white dots. Like being surrounded with cabbage butterflies. And while that might be momentarily lovely outside, when the same effect occurs indoors it is unsettling. When it occurs contantly it is beyond irritating.

Feel free to suggest studies and books and things. To me these issues aren't airy fairy concepts; they're issues of basic comfort. Who wants to be surround with confusion? Apparently most of the world. And I want to know why. Do other people experience some kind of visceral animal pleasure response to pattern and shine and symmetry? I don't. I never have.

And so, let me close with this plea:
Ladies and gentlemen, if you are Christian, if you truly love Jesus, then please, please...walk the talk this Christmas season.
Ignoring the color wheel makes Baby Jesus cry.


  1. Anonymous11:23 AM

    3. because we're animals, subject to the forces of evolution, and mentally we're basically magpies. we collect shiny stuff to show off to potential mates to impress them so we can fuck and pass along our genes. it still begs the question of why shinyness impresses cavemen/women. i don't have and answer for that one yet.

    no.s 1 & 2: no idea. will think about it.

  2. Well duh.....I dont know , I am a man , and knowing my love of everything shiny is some evolutionary trick may spoil my simple I am not going to think about it.

    Come to Beasty nice shiny pretty thing.......
    Come back to my cave and peruse my etchings..he he he

  3. I am absolutely with you. I cannot stand patterns (except for tartan, but that's a totally fucked psych issue I prefer not to to into right now. Let's just put Liam Neeson in a kilt and...fuck, that's off the subject now)... Yes, solid colors, empty space, it's very zen.

    But stuff...patterns, flowers, shiny stuff, on top of other stuff, and glittering things...I just got back from one of those fancy malls with marble and fountains and glittery gold and Xmas decoration...and nearly had an epileptic fit.

    so...yes, I agree.

  4. Laura Ashley is pure tasteless evil. The ideals of beauty have always changed and still are, I want to know who thinks low rider jeans make a woman's arse look nice ? because there is no way they do, I don't like shiny things, I like to blend.

  5. See, I like plain, unflowery interiors but I have to confess to putting up shiny, silvery, reflective Christmas decorations. Hmm, put it down to wanting to brighten up a drab midwinter for a few weeks.

    I like shiny, sparkly clothes as well.

    Um, sorry.

  6. cb: do primates do that? i never knew. thank you. the benefits of higher education, folks, there you have it.
    beast: i guess shiny women are probably better than dull ones. *checks self with light meter*
    andraste: welcome! and yes, thank you, scotland. thank you for men in kilts. breezy, breezy, flappy kilts on men with no uns. yeaaaaaaah.
    knudie: as a 46 year old woman with a flat ass and stretchmarks, i have to agree.
    betty: you are forgiven. now hand over the lame'. sloooooooowly. put down the lame'. step AWAY from the lame'. accept twill into your life.

  7. Anonymous10:19 AM

    I have an aversion to patterns. The most difficult thing is getting bathroom things without scrolls or shell shaped depressions where the soap should go I really hate those.

  8. Anonymous11:55 AM

    1. What is behind the impulse to denigrate utility?

    A desire to appear part of the aesthetic cognoscenti.

    2. Why is 'prettiness' generally accepted as an ingredient of Beauty?

    Lack of awareness of the aesthetic possibilities of beauty without prettiness.

    3. Why do people seem to equate 'shininess' with value?

    Because we have been duped into thinking so by the people who own and/or manufacture the shiny things.

    These answers may be simple but wrong, but Dubya got away with it for long enough, so I'm seeing if it will work for me.

  9. Anonymous2:04 PM

    I think CB's wrong, I've got loads of shiny things and I'm not getting a fuck.

    Is that because they're pie trays?

  10. I'm for utility. I like 2nd W.War-time utility furniture, and the best suit I ever had was a government standard utility two-piece made in the 1940's. And then there's Batman's utility belt, which is very nice too.
    But - I have Romany genes and am easily distracted by shiny things so I have to be careful. The Mother was the same; if you didn't keep an eye on her she'd be decked out like the inside of a caravan. Bless her memory etc.

  11. Anonymous3:11 PM

    are you showing them off apropriately, or are they sitting in the bottom of a kitchen cupboard? in order to be effective you have to hang your pie trays off your sleeves and flash them in the sun at potential mates. Trust me.

  12. Anonymous4:56 PM

    Those of us who are pretty don't mind do we Ms. Nations? (By the way your letter check thing to post is now giving me an eight letter puzzle - did I do something wrong?)

  13. with a flat ass and stretchmarks

    That is soooo hot.

  14. Anonymous3:30 AM

    1. Never thought about that. Are we all like that little Australian bird which decorates there nesting sites with grasses/shiny stones/flowers to attract females/males?

    2. Beauty being subjective. But pretty does seem to go further.

    3. pass

  15. Yes, yes - we should never ignore the colour wheel! In fact, I've been meaning to get one with a shiny, shiny aluminum tree...

  16. Anonymous9:23 AM

    frobi: oooh, you mean bower birds! the males build nests and collect blue things to impress the females.

    when i was living in a rainforest in Qld we used to occassionally come across one on the forest floor. they were easy to spot, consipicuousness being one of the main reasons for the collection. We used to find all kinds of things in them: bits of plastic, bottle caps, crisp/chip bags (nice and shiny), plastic clothespins, string, feathers (from other, more colorful, birds), you name it!

    *sniff* i miss australia.

  17. Anonymous10:16 AM

    我发现我你好全部赌注keyring 俏丽和发光! 但我不了解休息, 我恐惧这是我不了解用英语的一些词。

    I discovered my your quite complete gambling stake keyring is pretty and shines! But I do not find out the rest, my frightened this is I did not understand uses English some words.

  18. Anonymous11:58 AM

    I'm walking around looking like the Tin Woodman. No luck yet...I'll keep you posted.

  19. realdoc: oh lord yes. remember the seahorses and fishies from our childhoods? gaaaaaaaah. its a bathroom , not the fricken atlantic. and who wants to whiz in the ocean anyway? sharks would bite your butt and stuff.
    qenny: 1. i love you desparately. thank you for taking this seriously. is acknowleging utility not congruent with membership in the aesthetic cognosceti? is there something uncool about a chair being obviously a thing to sit your ass in? i really want to know the answer to this one in particular. the rest of them are more questions of taste i realize. but WTF??????
    krustybaker: see below. me, if they have pie in them, and it's Reeses Pie, or maybe blueberry cream? I'm yours to do with what you will. i am a pie slut.
    ara: oh hell yes. 1940's womens clothing was actually MADE FOR WOMEN. with, like, curves and everything. shocking revelation, fashionistas: WOMAN HAVE STICKIE OUTIE CURVY PARTS.
    cb; you tell 'im. i agree; theres nothing quite so aluring as a man covered with clattering, spinning, flashing pie tins. and wearing a whirligig of a guy sawing a log for a hat.
    muttley: that is correct, muttley. and my word veri thingie is unusually sadistic. it even hates me. trying to distinguish between a 'v' and a 'w' at 6:am is no fun.
    knudie: hotter than you'll ever know, knudie. *wets thumb, brushes tit*
    rattatouille: bower birds! excellent analogy. female bower birds are mean bitches, when you think about it. and on 2, you nailed it, i think. pretty is easier to recognize than beautiful isn't it. you, my darling, are brilliant! XOO
    danator: MY GRANDMOTHER HAD THAT EXACT SET UP. yes she did. with fibreglas 'angel hair' she spread around the base of the tree (which went 'WHAyAyAyAyAANNNNNGGGGGG ANNNNGGGG' when you bumped into it) and bright cobalt blue glass globe ornaments. Now I wonder if grandma might have been hitting the hard cider around the holidays.....
    cb: i saw a thing on discovery where a bower bird living in someones back yard was courting a human woman because she had blue eyes!
    MTD: is gambling ring has blue flash on ring. Bright! Bright! with noises of telephone song? win one to my hand at Keno! yes!
    krusty: when you can do that 'toot toot' think out the funnel on your head; thats when the women come diving at you. (not on satans daughter. wrong end.)

  20. Flapping kit at andraste and F N , if your lucky you might catch a glimpse of my shiny cloth of gold jock :-)

  21. Anonymous1:42 AM

    is acknowleging utility not congruent with membership in the aesthetic cognosceti? is there something uncool about a chair being obviously a thing to sit your ass in?

    I genuinely think that amongst those who regard themselves as expert aesthetes, there is a pretentious disdain for function. Unfortunately, it means I often find myself agreeing with Brian Sewell, and I'm not convinced that's a good thing.

  22. beast: wilco! flapping kit is one of my favorite things, besides flapping things.
    qenny: read the coffeetable on 21st century british minimalism a couple months ago featuring sewell's home...which i have to admit i loved. himself sounds like a total penis wrinkle, though.

  23. I actually meant kilt....ahem

  24. I don't like overstimulation nether. Malls forget it I wonder the same thing was does everything have to be loud music and fast commercials.I have a kind of autism so I'm senstive to that kind of thing.
    In caveman days us senstive types would be good lookouts for a sabertooth tiger.We could hear it before the rest of the group did.
    Society goes with what majority likes. I wonder why I'm attracted to a crystal that makes rainbows.
    Good question. I guess you'd have to study humans and animals together as Chaucher did.
    Does it
    have to do with survival?
    I don't like everything shiny blinding me. I'm senstive to any light that bounces off something.
    I don't like patterns it hurts my eyes.
    Tartan is a bit busy and so is polka dots.

  25. Anonymous9:48 AM

    1) I don't know, personally I blame industrial designers and their quest to make things pretty as opposed to functional. Pretty sells, and straight-forward function....not so much.

    2) It's in our nature. Much like crows. And given the bleak drabness we were surrounded by as cavemen, the lure of shiny/colorful/uniform was not only rare, but an object worthy of coveting or mating with (if possible). It's the genes, lady.

    but mostly I don't equate with value. Sheen (like pearls or silk) I equate with value. Shiny is like chrome, and sheen is like brushed steel yaknowwhatImeanVern?