The Way I See Things

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 9.648% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So I was here earlier this week:
Who's gonna clean that?
I suspect what most people see is a large, pretty indoor space, or perhaps a marvel of architecture.
What I see is a maintenance nightmare.  Every time I look at something like this, I go, “Those fans up there! What happens when they break? Oh my God, these poor bastards could fall to their deaths. And who the hell puts lights up over here?  They burn out, some minimum-wage schmuck has to risk his damn life to change the bulb.  And who washes these windows?  What happens when one breaks?  That’s all pretty high up, you know.”
This happens with every lighted sign I see.  Gas Station sign?  I’m looking for the access ladder, picturing poor Chuck The New Guy schlepping a bag of fragile fluorescents up to the top of a cold, windy place, cursing the day he got this job.  He has a fear of heights like I do, I’m sure of it.  Has his insurance even kicked in yet?  Did anyone train him?
There’s Chuck, hanging by a thread, all so he can pay the insurance on his ’91 Escort.  He hates life.  Why didn’t they design this shit better?

2 Comments

  1. Arno Breedt
    Nov 15, 2011

    A valuable insight — the edifices of the rich (and the past) are built to impress, after all. Of course, what is most supposed to impress — the hidden salient bit, as you pointed out — is that the rich guy who built the place could afford to work into his planning the budget for a whole bunch of (effectively) serfs to see to the upkeep of whatever form the mansion takes this century. It’s easy to see, really, that nothing has changed but the names and the forms of execution of our ideas in matter; the core idea remains.
    And yes, the idea does extend to other design too. Humans never really did reach far off the ground; most of human history has taken place in about the height off the ground of a man on horseback swinging a sword above his head, after all. Materials technology has brought with it the capability of producing jobs that dispassionately and impersonally place our fellow humans in harm’s way. Instead of being horrified, we try to best our previous efforts instead.
    In the end, as Granny Weatherwax says, all evil begins when you treat people as things. Are architects and the rich men who want ever bigger ego-stroking edifices then among the most evil folk on Earth? (A good question. As with most questions answered with “That’s a good question!”, however, it’s a lot better than the answer is likely to be.)

  2. Arno Breedt
    Nov 15, 2011

    Leave it to me to write a comment longer than the OP. I just read “Sauerkraut Station” — it’s very good! — and am liking the scribblings on your blog so far. Keep it up ~_^

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