Ugliness, a disgusting habit humans have acquired. A plague of it runs riot in every city and town of the world. The Ugly is now everywhere you turn, cheered at every corner. Like a uninvited weed it spreads through our land and our souls. Politicians and markets push it through, walk with it, talk with it. The Ugly is in. It’s cool. It is the DUDE.
This article is a about human beings, babies, having children, the Ugly, the end of the world, and quality.
Human beings, aren’t they lovely. All fingers and thumbs. Nice folk. No harm to anyone. Until..? Until they became ugly, until they fell for the Ugly.
How did this happen I hear you think? How can we stop it?
Well, here’s the thing. The Ugly is a clever one you see. It masquerades as the Beauty of the day. It manages to infiltrate the best minds of a generation and, like the grey squirrel, wipe out the real and the past in favour of a utopian dream of standard and logical nothingnesss. The logical nothingness is then proclaimed the saviour, the king and queen of all, the path, the one and only way. And everyone feels united, in their selves, and they celebrate a dream come true.
But then , suddenly, some years later, once the Beauty of the day has become common place, then, very quickly, appears the Ugly. First it is just glimpsed out of the side of the eye and cannot be seen directly. But then, only on Mondays, it shows itself in full ugliness. The souls that see it turn grey from sadness. And then Tuesdays, and Wednesdays…until on a sunny Saturday morning the children run home screaming. Parents lock their doors. Babies are transported home from hospitals in windowless cars. Newly weds stay childless as they cannot face bringing a child into such a world. And then, one Sunday afternoon on television, a large politician with a small mouth says what everyone was dreading – the quality of human life has gone. The quality has been lost in less than a generation.
Here is an exercise for you to do when you next walk down your high street: clear your mind of all excess and pretend you are seeing the shops, the cars, the people in a 50 year old photo. How does it all look? What will survive, what will be forgotten? Will the Slug and Lettuce still be there? How will Snappy Snaps look in the future? Will the latest aerodynamic Ford Fiesta be a classic?
Modern Man has a major problem – he/she believes they live at the pinnacle of modernity. But modernity is a sort of moveable feast. It moves on to better things. Only beauty and quality survive. In other words, what survives the ravages of time is Good design. And what is Good design?
That just happens to be the subject of the next post…..