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20 mai 2007 7 20 /05 /mai /2007 02:30
Ok, so it won’t be a panel of experts but the popular vote of anyone willing to cast it. So there’s a lot of chauvinism and some ‘wonders’ are being voted by many not because there’s sense in doing so, but because that ‘wonder’ happens to be in your country, or your region, and so on. A lot of people are already complaining, and, if I’m not wrong, there’s a semiofficial Egyptian campaign against it. What? Well, the New Seven Wonders of the World, that’s what.

If you want the information straight from the source, you may go here; remember that you may skip the flash intro. A group of people in Switzerland thought it would be neat to reelect another 7 wonders of the world, specially considering only one of the original 7 wonders remains. I, like most, thought it was a very good idea, just for the aColosseum-in-Rome--Italy---April-2007.jpgct of looking for things worth of the adjective ‘wonder’. They’re filming documentaries on the 21 most voted wonders, and the final 7, I suppose, will get more air time, whatever the case, the idea was good.

According to historians, the first seven wonders of the world were a Greek notion, as something you had to see if you were able to do so. We don’t really know much about the idea itself, although it’s clear that it was there. For example, to this day, there’s no mention of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in Babylonian tradition, it just seems that they thought it was natural to have those things. Was it a good idea to name something in particular as a wonder? Well, Greek travelers and merchants went from one end to the other across the Mediterranean, what were they supposed to do when they saw the huge Pyramids, the Colossus of Rhodes or the temple of Artemis? They’ve seen constructions of all sorts before, statues of all kinds, and suddenly they see something that is really spectacular. They called those ‘wonders’. It seems so obvious to us that wonders why didn’t all cultures have their own lists of wonders. Whatever the case, the Greeks had them and someone thought we should have them too, I agree, and like most, I also have my favorites.

There are 21 possible options. My picks are as follows:

-acropolis.jpgThe Acropolis of Athens – Well, the western way of thought more or less rules the planet. And that’s something to be proud of, although it has come into fashion to do just the opposite. Basically, no matter how decadent and defective the western way of thought is and was, there were far worse options. At least give it to me, and agree, that at its heart, considering only the best, the West’s ideas are all right. Freedom, individualism, division of powers, human beings as the measure of all things, and that’s just the tip of all that the west has achieved. I think it’s something to be proud of, in spite of all the bad things that are there as well. Basically, nothing would’ve been achieved had Athens not been there. Ancient Greece is the base of the pillar of the western world, and Athens, for a turbulent while was its brightest piece, it proved to be enough for more than two thousand and five hundred years, and counting. And the Acropolis is the main physical connection with that period, and their achievements. The Acropolis itself is so filled with beauty, that you could imagine at least two wonders within it: the Partenon, one of the most perfect Greek temples ever built; and the statue of Athens by Fidias, now long gone (I base my commentary on those of that left them to us, and the small statues said to be scale copies of the archetypical shape of the goddess). And if I go on talking about the place, well, this entry would become too large. (Vote for it and use my national champion code: 7772129)

-colosseum.jpgThe Roman Colosseum – Everyone knows what Rome was and what its empire meant for the world, so let’s talk about the building. The Colosseum is a huge construction, and as such it’s a supreme achievement of engineering. It was capable of seating 40 to 50 thousand people, with a retractable covering that provided shade for the viewers (velarium). The Arena, when there was one, was filled with passages beneath and trapdoors that allowed the emergence of beasts and gladiators. If you’ve seen the film “Gladiator”, then you’ve taken a peek of what it actually was: the entertainment center of an Imperium. Everyone with a ticket could enter, and everything was disposed for the public to find their right place, the right entrance, the row and seat, and when the show was over, everyone could leave in less than five minutes. As a construction, few in the history of the planet, had such a complicated task to deal with, and the fact that it did so perfectly should inspire respect in all to this day. No stadium of any kind in the planet today has to deal with logistics as complicated as those faced by the Colosseum in its time. (Vote for it and use my national champion code: 7772129)

-gizapyramids.jpgThe Pyramids of Giza – The only surviving construction of the original seven wonders. HUGE. Those things are so big they were the tallest construction in the planet since their completion until the arrival of the Eiffel Tower, more than four thousand years later. The largest pyramid, that of Cheops or Khufu, is currently 138 meters tall (more than 460 feet), and 231 meters by side. It’s so BIG that there isn’t a structure today comparable with it, even gigantic building such as the Pentagon are dwarfed by its height and massiveness, the Pyramid is all stone, plus a little passage here and there. (And you can’t vote for them now, since they were named honorary candidates. They would’ve been voted in, anyway, but some Egyptians, whose bread depends on tourists seems they got a little shaky. Whatever, they’re part of my chosen seven.)

Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral – Yeah, I’m sure that the Kremlin looks cool, with so much history within its walls. This is the place that saw the emergence of Russia and the Soviet Union, and it also saw its collapse. Ivan the terrible, walked through its fields, and Peter the Great lived in it for a long time. Napoleon conquered it, Hitler -kremlin.jpgwanted it. And who cares?!!!!! I include this candidate not for the Kremlin, ‘love it, and ‘like it, but in front of this very famous and large fortress there stands the most perfect building known to me: Saint Basil’s Cathedral. This Cathedral is perfectly symmetric, there is a tower at the center, four spirals to the sides, two to each, and one in front and another at the back, but you don’t notice its symmetry, each cupola is different, in shape and color. The façade if so filled with details that your eyes never grow weary of the sight. You just have to vote for Saint Basil’s, and the Kremlin is also included with it! (Vote for it and use my national champion code: 7772129)

Petra – This was just a city in its time. Why, then, vote it as a wonder? Well, Petra remains being a weird city to this day for it has several buildings carved into the rock, and the city practically died, and is a ruin to this day, not to mention it had been a lost city for some time. Petra, as a city, is almost unique, few villages anywhere in the world were carved into the stone surrounding it, and Petra is the most attractive example of this sort of architecture. Not to mention that its eastern entrance, through a gorge, -petra.jpgremain one of the best looking ways to walk into a city. (Vote for it and use my national champion code: 7772129)

-neuschwanstein.jpgNeuschwanstein Castle – The Age of Castles was over, the gunpowder revolution had put and end to their military and strategic use. The old provincial nobility of the German territories were adapting to a different world, and Ludwig II, a prince soon to be declared insane, wanted to build a beautiful Castle just for the fun of it. Inspired inside out by Wagner’s operas, Neuschwanstein Castle can be seen as a huge set for dreams, rather than a useful, reasonable, construction. A place useless as a state building, this castle is a most beautiful testimony of how necessary is madness to a human nature that seeks beauty for beauty’s sake. (Vote for it and use my national champion code: 7772129)

Kiyomizu Temple – Filled with superstitions and details, love stones and 13 meter falls that grant wishes, the -kyomizu.jpgKiyomizu dera temple is one of the oldest temples of Japan, it’s mostly a wooden construction and comprises several structures. It’s old, it has history, it has been alive without interruption, a feel that wood gives better than most materials, having to rebuild and renew most of the structure since its foundation in the eighth century. (Vote for it and use my national champion code: 7772129)

About the other wonders, well, there are three that can be easily discarded: the statue of liberty, Christ redeemer, and the Eiffel Tower. First, the statue of liberty is only a big statue built with modern technology, even if that technology is already more than a century old; Christ redeemer is nothing more than a statue, striking a very simple pose; and the Eiffel Tower is just tall and ugly, it’s nothing but a huge pile of iron. Now Stonehenge, for that matter, is interesting from an anthropological point of view, it’s just too old and primitive to be truly beautiful (Stone age venuses for best sculpture? Come on.). And the Moais from the Eastern Islands, well, a large number of insipid statues shouldn’t make a wonder, no matter how big, nor how much work was put into the effort. The Sydney Opera House and the Taj Mahal are both nice and expensive building, not to mention that the Opera House became a city icon in record time, but all the previously mentioned buildings beat them on history and beauty (with the exception of the pyramids that are only record breaking humongous buildings). Timbuktu is a city made of dirt, nice… if we were termites. Of course, there is really nothing I can say against the other wonders, basically I decided to defend this list of seven, period. I hope you vote for them and don’t forget to use my number.

You may write any and all questions to rodrigoatreides@champions.n7w.com

476px-st_basils_cathedral-500px.jpg Uuu, no pensé que mi versión en inglés iba a ser tan larga, che. Bueno, básicamente, si quieren votar por alguna de estas maravillas pueden usar mi código de promotor nacional: 7772129, en inglés la palabra es campeón, pero esto suena muy inapropiado en español. La idea de Bernard Weber, el que pensó en esto de las nuevas siete maravillas, me parece un buen pretexto para ver todo lo interesante y atractivo que ha estado haciendo la humanidad estos últimos cinco mil años de historia, el hecho que la elección de las nuevas siete maravillas no sea tan difícil, pues, debería ser una vergüenza de no ser por el hecho de que olvidaron incluir construcciones como: el palacio imperial del Japón; el vaticano, una verdadera maravilla de cabo a rabo; el palacio de Versalles; varios lindos palacios europeos y, pues, la lista tampoco resulta muy larga. Las nuevas 7 maravillas buscan ser muy internacionales, por eso ahí están los moai de la isla de Pascua, pero no son muy bonitos, aunque tengan un simpático aire de misterio. También doy por descartado al Cristo Redentor, a la Estatua de la Libertad y a la Torre Eiffel, no son ni estructuras muy vivas (no hay gente habitándolas, no tienen un uso colectivo, etc.), ni complejas, son sólo grandes, y con la tecnología moderna, más la voluntad necesaria se pueden hacer cosas como la Torre 101 de Taipei, que es el edificio más grande del mundo, pero es sólo eso: grande. Perdonen por empezar la parte en español con un tono negativo, es el tono del final de la parte previa.

De los 21 candidatos, y 20 elegibles, las pirámides serán consideradas candidatas honorarias, pues yo les presentó mi elección de 7. 1) Las pirámides. 2) La Acrópolis de Atenas, porque es un resumen de la Grecia antigua y clásica, que es el punto fundador de occidente. Por si misma, la Acrópolis posee un edificio perfecto en dimensiones y noción de perspectiva y ahí estaba la estatua de Atenas, la diosa, esculpida por Fidias. La Acrópolis es nuestra mayor conexión con el mundo griego antiguo, y es una muestra de lo mejor que hicieron. 3) El coliseo Romano, bueno, es un edificio demasiado rico en complejidad para pasarlo por alto, los juegos que se llevaban a cabo en este lugar eran mucho más impresionantes de cualquier cosa que exista hoy en día en un stadium. Como logro de ingeniería no tiene igual, en toda la antigüedad. 4) El Kremlin y la Catedral de San Basilio, desde mi punto de vista, la catedral, es el edificio más perfecto del mundo, por su bella simetría, ya que es totalmente simétrico sin ser aburrido y simplón. 5) El templo Kiyomizu dera es un lugar vivo, antiguo, atractivo y lleno de detalles. 6) El castillo Neuschweinstein, construido cuando el mundo ya no necesitaba castillo, este edificio es la prueba del poder de los sueños, su inspiración fue la opera de wagner, y toda la construcción se puede ver como un escenario para aventuras, ya que el uso práctico de este castillo es prácticamente nulo. 7) Petra, la ciudad hecha en la piedra. Bueno, sólo un pedazo se hizo en piedra, escarbando los muros de roca que rodean al valle, pero esto es tan poco común que llama la atención. Es uno de los pocos ejemplos de este tipo de arquitectura, y el más atractivo. Es otra forma de construir, otra noción de arquitectura, y lo que quedó está muy lindo. Si deseas votar por estas maravillas, o si simplemente deseas votar por cualquier otra, ya sabes, utiliza mi número de promotor: 7772129. Y crucemos los dedos para que no salgan las peores elecciones. PARA VOTAR SÓLO DEBES INSCRIBIRTE, RECIBIR UNA CONFIRMACIÓN POR CORREO ELECTRÓNICO Y LISTO, VOTAS.

Observaciones, contra opiniones, y preguntas, pueden escribirme a: rodrigoatreides@champions.n7w.com Utilicen esta entrada para recordar a las clásicas maravillas de la antigüedad, denle un vistazo a este enlace.

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