Sometimes we need to stop and look around

The sun doesn’t rise too much over the horizon during winter here. Up north there are times when the night doesn’t end or the day sleeps. Just before the sun sets, it turns into a sphere of golden fire, painting the sky with vivid reds and oranges. On the other side of the horizon, colours of blues and purples take shape.

As the sun sets just beyond the horizon, the reds have vanished only to be replaced  by the ever vanishing shades of burning pinks and hot purples met by almost white blue, which tells the foreboding night sky. The snow on the ground reflects this cosmic masterpiece. A lone star becomes visible, twinkling it’s message.

The sky takes one shade of deep dark blue, punctured by the starlit light.

It all happens fast and there’s no picture that could do it justice.

I am always amazed by this world and how we live just far and close enough to the Sun so we can live, how we have the Moon just at the right distance it to affect us as it does, and how we as living beings managed to evolve they way we did. It all has been a huge gamble against impossible odds, and yet somehow we are here.

There’s beauty in there. After the sunset, I walked home and kept seeing things with new eyes. Old, tried and tested car shapes, the same angular roofs and windows and the flickering lights of the streetlamps. Things that we don’t understand or can’t even start to see how these things come to be and function, we are left with very few words to describe them and most of us rely on the word art.

We need to stop and see how world is built and how it functions and marvel its machination. To see the natures shapes in the hood of a car, the transparency of a window and all that is an everyday thing for us. I know the machines and the power that are needed to bend and shape the steel into the wanted shape, and how a window is formed in fire of changing components. Even the fact that I hit this keyboard and make words appear on-screen is a small miracle. I know and understand what happens and why, but I barely comprehend it.

Then I realize something that millions before me realize, that all the small things people make by their hands have a value and marvel in them. To someone who cuts diamonds every day will know the angles and lines through and through. The live behind the marvel and for them it has become just a chore. The beauty is lost for some time. The same is for me, where I always wonder why my customers accept their products with a smile and newfound wonder.

Ignorance is a bliss, a fact that too many are blissfully ignorant about. The more you of some subject, the more you lose that initial wonder and beauty it has and it becomes an everyday thing. However, there will be a point where you go over that and start to find those wonders again. You find the beauty again.

It’s a wonderful feeling to realize again how much there is to this world, and how much we can convey them to each other through our jobs and overall behaviour, how we are able to use mechanical marvels and technical wonders that do every small and large feat. It seems to simple to order a product from the other side of the world and have it on your doorsteps a week later, when twenty years ago was far more rigorous thing to do and at could take months. The fact that I am talking to people via Skype and e-mail all over the world in an instant boggles my mind.

They’re no small feats.

And what we have now? An adult generation of early 30’s and late 40’s reminiscing their childhood and teenage years, the toys and TV series, their games and music. This storm of nostalgia has been controlling industries for years a now, and it has done nothing but disservice. From the late 90’s we’ve seen all the major industries getting stuck and reusing existing materials rather than making the effort to make something truly impacting.

The problem I see with the 00’s is that the only thing we will see making a cultural impact is the iPhone and that’s sad. We haven’t see any new pop-culturally important phenomena from films, games, music or any other entertainment industry that would leave its mark in the annals of history as Apple’s iPhone has. There’s no game that will continue to be a punchline or a character that would pop up here and there, not to mention the occasional used soundbyte. At least in films and television we have movies that will be quoted in the future, but most of these are based on existing sets like the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I haven’t heard one single piece of music said that has been said to have staying power for years to come.

Of course, cult following will create longevity to various products. Perhaps that’s why another thing that has coloured the 00’s has been the Internet Critic phenomena, while not something new as it was born in the wake of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, was something that had its own being.

Internet Critic phenomena’s most popular time was somewhat short but impacted the Internet pop culture in that we saw an explosion of user-created content. The bubble has now been burst, and the few people who still manage to produce decent content have very slow pace of production outside few exceptions. SF Debris is still producing three videos a week whereas Spoony puts out stuff when… well, when he puts them out.

But what else? We don’t have anything really original products out there, for children or otherwise, even thou some had the potential to become significant pieces. We’ve seen over and over again that a product that manages to push through boundaries and have an impact on the culture, it has been a successful product. This can be done time and time again.

Seeing how things have been done with half-assed attitudes and to cater the ever smaller growing hardcore markets, it’s no wonder that the industries are facing troubles with unselling products. Piracy isn’t even a good excuse, when they are calling current selling numbers successful, when fifteen plus years ago the same numbers would have considered bombastically awful.

I hope the winds are changing and the generation that comes after the current one will be able make something actually worthwhile. The generation that’s doing all these throwback indie games, remake and sequel movies and so forth have failed the customers.

That said, sometimes stop to marvel whatever is around us. While you will see everything old and familiar, there will always something new to catch your attention. That one thing will always be there, no matter what you are looking at.

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