Idiot fucking stupidity

Beauty. It’s a word we all use to describe our delight in the world around us: a landscape we love; a butterfly’s wings translucent in the sunshine; or a wondrous piece of architecture. We all love beauty; we have only to watch the numbers glued to TV’s Countryfile and Springwatch, and the way we head for the beach and the countryside as soon as the sun shines, to see that it’s something that meets a real human need.

Yet you’d be hard pressed to find the word in any official document, or to hear any politician utter it today. In fact we seem almost embarrassed to talk about beauty, other than in private. Instead we have invented all kinds of pseudo, management-speak words to describe the things we need to look after: words like ecosystem services, natural capital and sustainable development. And when we’re making decisions about the future, all we seem to care about is whether we will deliver growth or generate an economic return.

Try reading one of those economic reports you’re so deriding love. The entire point of talking about ecosystem services, natural capital and the rest is to evaluate the value that people sodding place upon that beauty of the natural world.

No, really, try the Severn Barrage report for example. It calculates the costs to people of realising that there’s no more mud flats for the pretty birdies. This is why we fucking do this stuff!

23 thoughts on “Idiot fucking stupidity”

  1. “And because people celebrated beauty it was something they sought to create, in town and country, and enacted laws to protect the things and places people loved.”

    That’s utter bullshit. Until about the middle of the 20th century, you could pretty much do whatever the fuck you wanted with your property. There’s a load of country houses that are a mix of styles because people could just slap an extension on.

    The idea that we’re tearing up all the beauty in the 21st century is just laughable. It’s almost impossible to build anything today.

    “Medieval stonemasons constructed fabulous churches and cathedrals, carving flowers and animals into their stone.”

    Yeah, but Xenomorphs and Gremlins are cooler: http://golem13.fr/chapelle-de-bethleem-gremlins/

    And really, we get our kicks in other ways. Cathedrals were at least, in part, the entertainment centres of the past. The best music, art, stained glass windows, massive structures. You can imagine a peasant coming into Salisbury and going “whoa!” or whatever Keanu Reeves would have said back then. Today, we go to the cinema and watch robots fighting monsters.

    I know the agenda of these people, but I’m sorry, we found ways to privatise a lot of beauty. We don’t need the fucking state doing art. Town halls should look like Regus buildings and the activities inside should be about emptying bins and locking up rapists. And OK, we probably don’t want someone sanding down Stonehenge or putting uPVC in Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, but no-one is suggesting that anyway.

    And I fucking hate people like this, because it’s like Tolkein moaning about industrialisation, like how the fuck did your tens of thousands of books get printed, you twat? The NT survives because people are rich enough to drive out to the country to go and see old houses and have a cup of tea.

  2. Whenever I read something like this in the Guardian, or something extolling the pastoral delights of small-holding farming, I can virtually guarantee without looking that the author is upper middle-class, metropolitan and hasn’t been near a farm in anger her entire life.

  3. “extolling the pastoral delights of small-holding farming,”

    Seen quite a few small-hold farms, over the years. They tend to look like a corner of a derelict industrial estate. Not much room for “pretty” in small-hold farming. Useful & economical’s more the keynote.

  4. Pam Crane in the comments:

    “The current culture deeply saddens me. Whenever there is a mix of showers and sun I look up to watch rainbows shimmering in the lovely sky. Around me are people going about their business, staring straight ahead, gazing in shop windows, texting on their phones and not even looking where they are going – or even at the child in the pushchair, forced to sit with her back to her mother. None of them are seeing the beauty that is still there around them. No-one else is looking up. And when environmental choices have to be made, the final answer is almost always the bottom line. Wrong answer. Wrong answer. Wrong answer”

    She’s better than everyone else. and wants you to know about it.

  5. One more from some other cunt:

    “Believe it or not, there are people who find skyscrapers more attractive than forests, which is a terribly sad state of affairs, but is reflective of the way our minds are shaped by the current doctrines of progress, growth and material richness.”

  6. Stigler nails it.

    Also, if I had paid good money to build a Church and some POS had put Gremlins and the Alien on it instead of proper gargoyles–he would need to run far and fast. There would be a team of quality, nasty hardcases looking for him for a violent retribution. In a free country he is free to mock religion but not after he has been paid good cash money to do a job.
    And a portrait in stone of the “artists” bashed-up mug would appear as the face of one of the revamped gargs. See how much of a chortle he finds that.

  7. “You can imagine a peasant coming into Salisbury and going “whoa!” or whatever Keanu Reeves would have said back then.”

    Still works for me today. Coming over the hill from Hampshire it looks as impressive as any thing in Manhattan, but maybe I am just a peasant.

  8. “We all love beauty … it’s something that meets a real human need”

    And we know pretty closely what value most people put on it; £8.75 a month between two (National Trust couple’s subscription).

    Polluting technology vs beauty, the AA still has more members.

  9. JuliaM,
    Yes, a late 60’s Mustang in dark blue, with the white stripe.

    Careful round corners though.

  10. “the child in the pushchair, forced to sit with her back to her mother.”

    In other words, facing direction of travel, a fairly normal thing really. Perhaps the child should be at some oblique angle, pointing slightly upwards.

    Also, one can appreciate skyscrapers and forests. Seriously, these are the sort of cunts who are forever going on about ‘nuance’.

  11. “Also, one can appreciate skyscrapers and forests”

    Well yes, but only because your mind has been shaped by WrongProgress.

    There are any number of acres of woods and forests a short drive from Manhattan, however the Sheeple insist on visiting the latter.

    The commentator on CiF presumably has access to the official list of Beauty Scores, and this should be made available to all. We can’t make properly informed choices about what we like without it.

  12. hasn’t been near a farm in anger her entire life.

    I don’t understand the in anger part. I could see Frankenstein’s monster going after the, perceived, source of pitchforks and torches. Otherwise I can’t see a reason, worth mentioning, for approaching a farm in anger.

  13. “the child in the pushchair, forced to sit with her back to her mother.”

    So that is the child that gets to view the world around them and develop a sense of wonder instead of being a special snowflake that can’t ever leave mummy’s apron strings

  14. LY: ‘separated by a common language’? To do something ‘in anger’ is a Brit expression meaning to do something for purpose, or effectively.

  15. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Fiona Reynolds might at some point have stumbled across the phrase ‘hedonic calculus’ but assumed it contained sums, which would have made her tiny innumerate pea-brain hurt.

  16. Bloke Not in North Dorset (in Falmouth marina)

    Travelling facing rearward is the safest way to travel. RAF passenger planes all have rear facing seats for that reason which made taking off from a short runway an interesting experience.

    I try to find rear facing seats on trains, probably not make much difference, but you never know.

  17. “Believe it or not, there are people who find skyscrapers more attractive than forests, which is a terribly sad state of affairs, but is reflective of the way our minds are shaped by the current doctrines of progress, growth and material richness.”

    Not more attractive, but potentially at least as attractive.

    The prime difference is that I live in a city, so would like my city to be beautiful (which mine is absolutely not). I don’t live in a forest, regardless of how beautiful it is.

    And what’s this nonsense about “current doctrines”?

    The Romans and Greeks were all for beautiful cities and increased commercial activity. And there’s barely a culture in the world above stone age that rejects “material richness”.

    The painting of nature as beautiful, rather than dark, mysterious and cruel is the more recent concept. Byron and all the crazy Romantics. Before then people avoided raw nature, much preferring cities or well-tended countryside.

  18. The decline started with babies not looking at their mothers when in a pram. the mother would protect , reassure and talk.
    Now the child is a feminist token.

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