Thursday, June 17, 2010

TOEFL Essay - Reasons against lighting up for Mother Theresa

To honor the 100th anniversary of Mother Theresa, many wanted to light the upper 30 stories of the Empire State Building. This is the empire state, after all. This plan was rejected by the building management. I agree with the building's decision because Mother Theresa isn't insignificant enough and because she's too serious.

Mother Theresa was a very famous and respected celebrity. There's no way any edifice in midtown would decide to have any connection whatsoever to high culture. Mother Theresa was too significant. Usually building facades and lighting patterns are geared toward advertisers and other tokens of meaninglessness. For example, Target ads or the work of Shepherd Fairey. For fame's few seconds these pieces enjoy under lights, the price is expensive: never again will anyone take you seriously. But more than this, if a figure achieves such transcendent significance, no building is safe from rejecting. Mother Theresa rejected the glamor of tall buildings, and those buildings are now fit to reject her. In other words, the official life rejects meaningful embodiment of virtue, since it is this virtue which destroys any and all significance the official life might otherwise have.

Leading up to the final and more serious reason, Mother Theresa is too serious. Granted, serious faces surround us. But these faces are light, and are easily dismissed with no lasting significance. We plaster serious faces but traffic isn't stopped. It's really only fanatical lightheartedness with the seriousness of purchasing behind it that we glue to empty walls. While both significance and seriousness are supplements, imagine as an example a significant, serious face that we all know floating visibly above tourist droves. This is highly distasteful, and what building would bring that upon itself.

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