Saturday, March 19, 2011
Beauty and Effort
Spring break....and I find myself in central Texas, trying to convince my family members of a certain theory I have about beauty. Or at least, that I've learned to have, as a result of living in Texas. The theory is that austere landscapes are actually appealing. No, I didn't say "ugly" or "drab". They're appealing because the mind has to actively work to make them appealing. You see--it's easy to see beauty in a perfectly balanced Hawaiian beach scape. Yeah yeah, white sand, aquamarine water, mountains in the background, lush green trees framing the beach. Of course that's pretty. But seeing the beauty in stark, arid, nuthin-much-there Texas--that takes effort. So it's more satisfying. "Oh come on... " No really, I mean it!
The joy of effort is understood by movie makers who make movies frantically paced and hard to follow. That's the point--to force the viewer into a pleasingly active state of mind. Ditto: logo makers. Have you noticed that the "Starbucks" is gone from the Starbucks logo? Now you and I can experience the pleasure of making just a tiny bit more effort to recognize the logo.
Alright, I won't multiply examples beyond necessity. I've got a drab landscape to go out and --with a little effort--enjoy.