July 5th, 2004


Next to Godliness

It would be wrong to say that I’m not an aesthetic person – I like a wide variety of artwork, have fairly strong opinions about music (although I don’t evangelise much), like my food and will happily debate the merits of any piece of media over any other.

You could, however, accuse me of completely ignoring any kind of aesthetic when I’m wrapped up in my own world.  My focus tends to be internal, leading me to lose track of the outside world.  In a previous job people resorted to throwing crumpled balls of paper at me to get my attention when I was wrapped up in a particularly fiendish bit of programming.  I can zone out mid-conversation to think about something and not realise until 2 minutes later that I’ve missed what was probably something terribly meaningful (and yes, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to all girlfiends, past, present and future).

I could be sitting in an undercleaned toilet, decorated in a horrific purple and green pattern, with Alyson Hannigan and Christina Ricci making out in the corner and chances are that if I was caught up in thought I wouldn’t be aware of any of these things.  In fact, Lilian’s study _is_ decorated in a fairly vile combination of colours, which I completely failed to notice for the first 6 months because, hey, there was a computer in there.

I also tend to value function over form.  I mean, yeah, titanium rimmed, neon glowing, smoothly contoured computers look extremely swish, but 30 seconds into using it I’m much more likely to notice whether the cursor keys are reasonably position, and 3 minutes later I’m not noticing the computer at all, except as the thing I’m interfaced with to get to the information/experience I want.

The same is true with people – I tend to like people for their intrinsic qualities, which doesn’t tend to include their physical body.  I mean, sure, everyone likes having 6-foot-tall gothettes around to perv at, but I can’t usually be bothered with more than 30 seconds of that before I want to, y’know, talk to them.  And if the personality isn’t there then I have no interest in that whatsoever.  Which, leaving ball-gags aside for a different post, means that I don’t really want anything to do with them at all.

I have problems empathising with people that aren’t like that – people who go on looks over personality, or form over function.  I expect people to recognise that people _can_ be good looking and good at their job, but that the two aren’t linked in any way (unless they’re a model).  I view the rise of television as terribly bad for politics in many ways, because I’ve heard people say ‘He doesn’t look trustworthy.’ about a politician, as if the way someone looks has anything more to do with their trustworthiness than their height (and don’t get me started on the links between height and pay).

I’m dimly aware that people can make decisions on who to hire, promote, etc. based on tidiness and general smartened appearance, but it’s always seemed so barking mad to me that I can’t imagine anyone I know doing it.  It’s like racism – I’m aware there are people who discriminate based on the way people look, but why on earth would anyone with three brain-cells do so?

Looks have always seemed so _non-work_.  A frippery, something to play with when you fancy playing dress-up and showing off.  A way of illuminating the inner you, not a way of marketing yourself (gah, the mere phrase makes me feel somewhat ill).  Naturally speaking I like dark colours, comfortable cottony clothes that hang off of me and have as few straight lines as possible.  I want things that I don’t even notice, not things that require effort.

All of which explains why I’m quite such a scruffy bastard, when not physically forced into a suit by someone who actively cares.

(no subject)

You can find my galleries on the new livejournal photo-hosting site here.

You'll find photos of me there, as well as photos of the wedding at the weekend.

I may be wearing a suit somewhat.