This Monday, I like... windmills.Image taken from Home Wind Turbines
Ooooo, controversy! Ok, I am NOT going to get into an argument on the pros and cons of wind power, or whether it is a viable alternative energy source, or the thorny questions of public subsidies versus private investment. I'm not an expert in any of those matters, I don't have all the facts and figures, and even if I did, I don't think I would understand what they mean. My liking windmills is on purely aesthetic grounds. Yes, that's right, I like the way they look.
I like their sleekness, all those Steve-Jobs-esque, bright white curves. Everybody oohs and ahhs over how Apple made computers pretty and it seems to me that windmills share that same aesthetic. It's the beauty of the future, or at least of the future that we all seem to admire at the minute, anyway: smooth, clean, airy, simple block colours.
I like their starkness, the raw simplicity of their silhouette. They remind me of trees in winter, stripped down to bare, frost-encrusted branches, surviving stubbornly against the worst that nature can do to them. They say, "Life is harsh - but it is still life
, and that makes it beautiful and worthwhile."
I like the way that their sleekness and their starkness ought to clash - slick modernity versus primal bleakness - but actually work together and feed into each other, so that the iPod future gets a little rougher around the edges and the Ice Age gains a sense of light and clever elegance.
I like their outlandish size, the way they completely skew your sense of perspective. Don't ask me why but it makes me want to giggle. Maybe it's the Alice in Wonderland effect; I feel like I've stumbled into a ridiculous, impossible world where I might grow or shrink at any time. Or maybe it's a Wreck-It Ralph thing; their jumbo-sized proportions are clumsily appealing rather than intimidating.
And finally, I like the way they draw my eye to the horizon. I mean, really, how many times do we actually look
at the horizon, at the very farthest line we can see between land and sky? Without the sight of windmills to catch my attention, I might never look farther than the middle distance and that would be a shame. So, no, I don't get these people wailing and crying about eyesores, and making themselves physically ill because (they say) "their view has been spoiled." -_-' It makes me wonder how these folk would cope if something actually bad
happened to them. Windmills don't spoil my view; if anything, they make me see more, to go beyond the usual familiar vistas and scan the dim and indistinct edge of the world.
There is plenty of ugliness in the world (not all of it man-made; does anybody find deep sea hatchet fish or naked mole rats attractive?), but for me, windmills are not part of that ugliness. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder; maybe this beholder simply has a eye uniquely adapted for the beauty of windmills?