You run across a lot of interesting things on the web. Even without having really a tech-savvy life, you can find some unusual stories or elements that you might not otherwise have found.
Take this story, for example. While on the surface, it seems simply amusing and fairly benign, you can look deeper into it and see whatever you really choose to. Some might say creepy, that they’ve chosen to recreate a monument in the middle of nowhere, decades after the incident. Some might say “good, they won’t forget” because they created a monument in the middle of nowhere, decades later.
But think about how much work, planning, and effort it took to create something like this. It’s not just a monument to the victims, it’s a monument of planning and design. The random nature of the coordinates, the placement of the plane, the angle of direction, the motion lines… they all blend together to make you wonder whether you really saw it at all. That, to me, is the sign of a great memorial. Not that it’s bold and in your face, but that it sits quietly just below the radar of human perception, making you think about it without actually consciously directing the brain.
Sure, anybody can erect a block of stone in the middle of nowhere. Or you can wander around the desert, trying to figure out what makes the stones move. (It’s simple, by the way. What do you think lab mice do all night while the scientists are home sleeping? Try to take over the world, of course! And you thought they were just after cheese!) But what makes this special is that it is not immediately apparent that this was done on purpose.
“Oh,” you counter, “what about those artworks done in the fields?” You mean the ones that look like pieces of cheese, or faces of cats, or people with mysterious smiles? It doesn’t have the same meaning, the same feel. Those are less quiet remembrances: someone wanted to be noticed, and wanted to stand out.
This monument does want to be noticed, but not for the reason you might think. In fact, this monument requires thought. This is what we should pick up: a quiet, subtle, dignified remembrance of people, rather than an in-your-face-and-over-the-top monstrosity of whatever materials. Not that the memorials mean any less, mind. I have no problems wishing to remember those who were taken from us. Nor should others not be inspired to want to do something that evokes the perceived (or actual) glory or valor of the subject’s life. But to do so in a way that makes you pause and wonder in respect, rather than wonder about mental status, that takes memorials to a whole new level.
One that I’m glad to see exist. We could learn a thing or two from this.