Friday, January 24, 2014

Ugly is in the eye of the beholder

(I just don't want to see it)

I could never be a cop, especially a big city cop. Sure cops do extraordinary work at times, important work, work that needs to be done. Unfortunately they have to see the ugly side of humanity everyday, often the ugliest side. All too often cops see people on the worst day of their lives. I would become so depressed. I don't like ugly.

I don't like discordant music or poetry that doesn't rhyme. I don't like abstract art or so-called high fashion. I don't like (nearly all) public sculptures or 1960's architecture. I don't like ugly.

What is ugly? I'm not sure I can even describe it, but I know it when I see it. It can be something as inane as your favorite sports car with a hideous neon green paint job, to the full blown filth of urban decay. Like all things in this world everything has it's counterpart, with beauty you get ugly too.

Human beings can be ugly on the outside, that's just a fact. It's not that they're ugly that bothers me, it's when other people insist on trying to convince them they're not - they know they're ugly!!! However, it's the people who are ugly on the inside that you have to worry about, am I right?

I would make the world's worst movie producer. I happen to like happy endings, but I also like happy beginnings and happy middles too. Conflict can be so ugly. I realize that even schmaltzy romantic comedies need conflict. There is literally no entertainment value in movies that have no highs with the lows or conflict with the harmony. Good thing I'm not a movie producer.

I have a hard time with some TV shows too. Cable shows like Dirty Jobs where Mike Row engages in a series of jobs that are so down right ugly it is impossible for me to watch. Same for a show called Life After People which depicts the world after all humans are gone. It chronicles the pace at which nature consumes mankind's footprint. It's not that humans left an ugly world - it's that an unmaintained civilization turns ugly. While I rather enjoy those post-apocalyptic movies I just wish someone would take some time to clean things up a little, the apocalypse can be so untidy. Those various "picker" shows make me think I'd just as soon light a match to those disgusting sheds and barns as I would enter them and start picking stuff up. It's not just the quasi reality shows or disaster movies that are ugly to me. I thought the doctor show called House had as it's main character just about the ugliest human being I've ever witnessed.

Then there's music, the very essence of mathematical beauty and melodious harmony. It can be perverted into something grotesque and down right evil. I get that some people like devil metal - or whatever it's called - but it is ugly, ugly music. Same goes for hard core rap, it's ugly and harsh, rather unpleasant to listen to. While extreme jazz and long-haired classical music may not be my thing I can appreciate the beauty in it. Even country music and hip hop have elemental beauty to them. Years ago I couldn't figure out why whenever my teenage daughter was in my car I was so irritated... Now I realize it wasn't her - it was that ugly music that was blaring out of the radio.

The place where ugly is truly detrimental is in relationships and human interaction. We've all have ugly relations with people in our lives. Some people thrive on it. Some people like to fight. I'm not one of them. I'd rather everyone be happy, or at least for God's sake pretend they are happy. We can't escape ugly behavior, it's part of life. I think just about the ugliest thing I've ever seen was a man (if you want to call him that) who purposely picked at his wife in such a derogatory way that no matter what she said or did it was cause for getting smacked. That piece of %$@# thrived on ugly. To see this beautiful young woman so deeply humiliated and depreciated (and physically hurt) was more than I could take. I was too much a mouse to do anything about it. It was 30 years ago but I have never forgotten it. Wife beaters in my book are the second lowest form of life right after child abusers.

I used to like watching boxing matches, not any more. Mike Tyson made it a classless and ugly sport. Today boxing has all but been replaced by, get this, something so much more civilized, ultimate fighting. This is where two men get thrown into a cage and literally beat the snot out of each other. I'm not sure what is uglier, the modern day gladiators in the ring or the bloodthirsty audience cheering them on. It's disgusting in my book, pure ugly.

It's often said beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that's true, but then so is ugly. Sometimes people are just being polite or they are deluding themselves when it comes to things beautiful and ugly. Not every baby is beautiful, sorry moms. And little dogs with bulging eyes are not cute, they're ugly. A Siberian Husky with sky blue eyes, now that's a beautiful dog.

No one person has the final say on what's ugly and what's beautiful, but people should be honest with themselves, I'm just sayin'.