Thursday, October 7, 2010

Come, Let Us Plumb the Shallows

I am embarrassed on behalf of the neighbor who keeps this unspeakably hideous wall lamp tacked precariously beside his garage door, out in the wide open where people are at risk of seeing it when passing by. Even if he bothered to clear away the dirt and cob webs, it would only more vividly reveal the compact fluorescent light bulb, which, whatever its qualities, was never intended to be seen.

Past the bulb and the filth, look at the shape of the thing. What is that faux bronze housing meant to invoke? A stately old castle? The gates to a quaint manor? I can assure you the neighbor's house is not otherwise styled after European aristocracy-- insofar as it has a recognizable style, and based on its middle-1970s build date, it's an Eichler design or a knock-off of one.

And no, this wall lamp is not a postmodern thing. There aren't enough ironic scare quotes in the world to cause this lamp to bracket away, comment on, or "problematize" anything. This is just an ugly, slapdash mess. 

... Or so I assume my neighbor would write if he had a blog -- he doesn't, right? I'd know if he did, right? -- and bothered to take a careful look at my wall lamps.

The consolation, such as it is, lies in the many ugly wall lamps I've lately noticed on my neighbors' houses. For purposes of this blog post, I am too kind to post any photos.


Serah B. said...

I kind of like it. And by "like it" I mean, uh, something else. It could be a lot worse...?

Dale said...

Serah, I "like" it in the same way. Don't worry, though -- I'm checking around the neighborhood for one I like more, at which point I'll arrange a trade. And by "trade" I mean, uh, something else.

I am struck by how ugly these lights tend to be. I've entered an obsessive phase on this, so I can no longer pass by a house without noticing the outdoor lights. Most of them are hideous, or even if not hideous, absolutely out of place in the architecture.

Serah B. said...

I'm pretty sure mine looks very similar--although I've never really paid much attention to it since we always come in the garage door which is on the side of the house. Now that you've brought it up though, I'm likely to enter a new phase of outdoor light appreciation--or disappreciation.