I'm coming back from my blogging break early for this, but it needs to be done.
I've got a friend who thinks Texas is ugly, ugly, ugly. I'm certain he isn't alone because there are many people who have something against Texas. Usually it's a jealousy thing. In other cases, they have been offended by someone from Texas, so their reaction is to hate on Texas, not the specific one(s) who offended them.
I don't have time to break down the psychology of the anti-Texas venom, which is openly or accidentally spewed by so many - my friend included - so, I'll let the above statement suffice for now.
Now, on to the challenge: After my friend posted his Everywhere is Beautiful (except Texas) blog, which included this: "We drove many, many hours in Texas to get back to DFW. We didn’t see one second of beauty," I challenged him to provide me the route(s) he took so that I could point out some things in which he - the Texas hater that he is, notwithstanding - could find at least a second or two of beauty.
He provided that route, and it took me all of 30 seconds to mark in my mind a few places of beauty. And, in God's providence, I happened to have some photos of said places even though I'm a few thousand miles away.
I'm surely not inclined to discuss the various philosophies of beauty: Is there such a thing as inherent beauty? Is beauty simply within the eye of the beholder. I do tend to lean toward this one because I always see ugly people walking through the mall in pairs! :-) Is beauty objective or perspectival or both?
I'm going to give two examples of beauty - one perspectival and one objective - that can easily be seen along the route my friend mentioned. I traveled the same route - Texline, Texas to Plano, Texas by way of Amarillo and Wichita Falls - not so long ago and snapped these photos.
This example of perspectival beauty is the one that he will be quickest to say "is the perfect example of Texas ugly," but I hope he will be kind enough to hear me out:
This is a cattle feedlot on the northern outskirts of Texline, Texas. Texline is flat, dry, has a distinct and powerful feedlot aroma, and has far fewer trees than it's population of about 500 people. And, if that isn't enough to cause one to automatically say, "this is ugly," it is located in the middle of nowhere. However, knowing how much my friend likes a good steak, he should have looked to the east side of the highway and noticed several thousand pounds of steak still on the hoof, which is beautiful from the perspective that they will be available at his grocer's meat department by the time he gets home.
I'll have mine medium well, please.
Here is a lovely example of objective beauty that can be found along the highway between Wichita Falls and Decatur, Texas.
This is a small longhorn cattle ranch easily seen from the highway, and it's not the only one along that path. There are trees, green grass, rolling hills, and beautiful cattle. "But I don't like cows," he'll probably try to argue. But, you don't have to like cows to objectively see that these particular cows - longhorn cows - in this setting are beautiful. Perhaps not Grand Canyon, or Rogue River, or Garden of the Gods beautiful. But surely one or two seconds of beauty.
There are many other beautiful things/places along that same route, but seeing them will require one to remove his "I hate Texas" glasses.