On Thursday afternoon, I had CBC radio on during the Tapestry time slot. It's not something I listen to on a regular basis as I would not characterize myself as being religious, but Mary Hynes happened to be interviewing Canadian artist and naturalist Robert Bateman as part of an episode called Art and Soul. Towards the end of the interview, he made a comment about how we are changing the world - and not for the better, and focused on shopping malls. It made me think back on all the places I have seen torn down for the sake of 'progress'. Such as the above little barn I photographed a couple of years ago that has now been flattened. Here is part of what he said:
I call that the instant pudding world... we have been busily destroying our natural heritage and human heritage with a vengeance since the 1950s. So I would say that if you love to say good bye, then you are living in the best time of the history of the planet, because this is 'say good-bye time'. And it is intensifying. But it's not being replaced with nothing, it's being replaced with instant pudding... It's sweet, smooth, slick, extremely convenient. You have nothing to do with the ingredients.... even if you read the labels you don't know what they are going to do with your system. And I am using this as a metaphor for subways, plazas and throughways, of course, which is what I call instant pudding. It's all manufactured by somebody somewhere else who doesn't know you. And I think it is a deadly thing that is spreading over the planet. And so things like shopping malls are spiffy and brand new and convenient and automated and heartless and not human at all.So, as we say adieu to 2010 and roll into 2011, take time to reflect on the things that have become part of your past. And don't be so quick to replace the next thing in your present with 'instant pudding.'