I thought I would offer up the fodder for a little debate. There are at least 10 things I could argue as Industrial Art, but you could just as well argue the opposite.
- For example, I could argue the engineering of High Tension Power Lines are a modern marvel carrying the power that lights our homes and runs our businesses. Of course you could argue they are a scar on natures pristine pastures and mountainsides.
- I could argue that chair lifts and gondolas provide access to millions for people to the tops of mountains where they ordinarily would never venture allowing them a greater sense of natures greatness. And you could argue they interrupt the natural migration of natures 4 legged friends and ultimately serve to force to much traffic onto natures delicate carpet.
- Our Interstate Highway System is another marvel of industrial art offering us a level of mobility that no other nation provides, and allows the distribution of goods and services on an uninterrupted basis across this great land. You could argue as Joni Mitchell did, that we’ve “paved paradise and put up a parking lot”.
- The great dams and the reservoirs behind them offer amazing recreation, storage of our natural resources and power generation never seen before the last century. Or, you could argue that they are killing our fish and wildlife, they are filling with silt and they change ecosystems.
- There are many other examples but how about trains? They are marvels of industrial art. Their fabulous network links cities, counties, states and countries together all over the world. They bring people together in strange places and over long distances. But, their tracks, their burning of fossil fuels, their vehicular mass and of course their noise could easily become arguments for their demise.
I could go on, but you get the idea. The Ying and Yang of our daily life has pitted one idea against the other. No longer as a nation do we yearn for our “manifest destiny”. No longer do we support public ventures into space, no longer do we even try to have the worlds best rail system. We wade in the minutia of daily life, we fall over each other in the quest for the next worthy social issue flavor of the day. and we chomp at the bit to praise leaders that don’t understand the unintended consequences of their own actions and votes. We worship sports figures that can’t even get to court on time to pay their traffic fines.
I’m not here to ridicule the social condition of mankind or the human condition to which we are confronted. I’m here to make the comparison of what was once considered progress, industrial art or a modern marvel is now the basis of argument.
I can give you one more. My quiet little home in the suburbs is now “suburban sprawl” and your vertical living is “green”. Who knew?
I’d have to disagree with Kris Kristofferson or as sung by Janis Joplin. “Freedom is (not) just another word for nothing left to lose”, but when we have lost our freedoms we will have paid the ultimate price.
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