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opinion | andrea levy

Who cares about flowers, anyway?

Flowers stink. They’re expensive and can’t hold a charge. And for the life of me, I can’t remember the last operating system update. No music. No video. No apps.

No, technology is what we find beautiful today. Understated design, clean lines, and functionality have become our preferred aesthetic. Never mind that nature provided us this template to begin with. Being plugged in is what we value. We have no time for sentimentality.

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Perhaps that’s why we’ve so easily turned our backs on the spot-on warnings of scientists for decades now that our current use of energy, the juice that powers our beautiful products, means the climate will get too hot for plants to survive. Dirty air, dramatic temperature fluctuations, extinct species — they’ve somehow become a small price to pay for progress.

Or what about the latest threat? Ground thaw bringing back eradicated diseases? Smallpox seems a decent trade for the newest MacBook. Or so says Apple’s record $58 billion in revenues last quarter.

Because, sure, we’re using up the Earth, but we’re having a blast doing it. And man, do we look great. Our carbon footprints are strictly designer.

Yes, we’ve decided to go with a different brand altogether. Let’s call ourselves “The Carbonaires.” Charming, self-possessed deniers, suave ostriches, dedicated to our impeccable style, and the latest distraction at any cost. Including our lousy ecosystem.

I get it. To be truthful, I’ve never much liked the way flowers perfectly catch the light, and hold it, just so, with an awe-inspiring symmetry. The way their velvety reds and yellows cut a breathtaking silhouette before window light.

Or how, at every angle, they remind me that we will never match such perfection. That beauty is fleeting.

Like I said, flowers stink.

Andrea Levy is an artist and columnist working in Cleveland.
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