Tuesday, 2 October 2007

The politics of aesthetics

Often the more controversial issues at local meetings are the least expected, at least to me, a relative newcomer to the area. Not only have I lived here less than five years, but I think sometimes that it doesn’t help that I am often the youngest at meetings and owing to a fresh face and collegiate dress sense (and admittedly slightly anarchist sense of humour), look younger than I am. Last night I ended up being temporary minute-taker at a meeting which tapped into my natural core of organization and meant a (hopefully) temporary lapse in my efforts to maintain a low profile.

On the agenda were those yet-to-be-produced postcards. The Rosewood Scrub has a wide range of natural and other attractions. I assumed that selecting some of these for postcards would be a simple matter of picking images that people would wish to send to others of their acquaintance – scenes of natural beauty or a selection of historical buildings. After all, it is the local historical society that is commissioning these cards. I also assumed that there wouldn’t be much discussion of which buildings would be attractive to outsiders. How wrong I was.

An extensive and spirited discussion took place that ranged across local politics and obligations. Around the table were many opinions as to what constituted a nice postcard. A secondary discussion raged as to appropriate images. If one building was featured, then what about their neighbour? Could someone be asked to sell postcards in their shop if it wasn’t included (ignoring its lack of aesthetic appeal)? Time ticked by and the only conclusion I reached was that I must tread on people’s toes quite frequently in my ignorance. I must work on that low profile a bit more. Maybe my motto should be “Write more, talk less.” It would be productive anyway.

And don’t even ask me about the progress of the website…

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