Monday, September 16, 2019

Beauty Contest

Michelangelo's "David" (photo: Jorg Bittner Unna)
Beauty's intimidating and a rebuke to the person who feels they're ugly, or at least has unbeauteous thoughts. It’s like the kid from childhood who was always faster and smarter than you and lo ended up on the top of the totem pole, in life, with the unapproachable wife, husband or lover and the secretary who’s practiced in saying “He or she's in a meeting. Can he or she get back to you?” You know the pert sounding voice behind the impassive personality of an executive assistant whose own glamorous existence you can’t even begin to fathom. Now think instead about a cess pool of industrial sludge, one of those greenish residues that forms a canal in industry city, where smoke stacks emit precociously advanced toxic substances into the sodden smog-filled atmosphere—a whore on his or her last legs whose lined face and dark deep set eyes record the depredations of their clientele. This is hardly the water lapping up against the edges of the sylvan sand esoteric Caribbean retreat, with its exclusively pristine harbor designed shallowly enough to keep away the hordes of cruise boats. What’s worse is that beauty hogs the show. It demands constant admiration. What more are you going to do in the face of a beautiful vista or landscape than to praise it? Yes beauty is like that Apollonian or Orphic statue that everyone stares at with perfunctory obeisance.

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