Monday, January 4, 2010

Brave New Heights

Dear Solitary Reader:

While perusing the Interweb today I read an interesting article about the goings on in Dubai; its a pretty heady indication of the giddiness that abounded in the financial world before the bubble burst – or to put it in financial terms “the arse went out of ‘er.”

World's Tallest Building Opens <—That's the article if you want to take a look at it yourself.

The phenomenon that is Dubai is a study in what happens when there is so much money it doesn’t mean anything anymore; the sums of money that are being tossed around are in the billions – the very economies of many nations contained in one small area.

It’s simultaneously cool, awe inspiring and disgusting that one man, Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, was able to just toss $25 billion to Dubai in order to finance some of its debt; and that’s some of its debt by the way, not all of it. For his generosity Sheik Khalifa does get the honor of having hte worlds’ tallest tower named after him; but that’s really going to raise the standards for companies looking to get their names on buildings (it’s like being the first team to give an $70 million contract to a baseball player – now you’ve set the precedent).

Dubai is quite symbolic of the dual nature of mankind; on the one hand there’s so much greed, avarice and gaudiness at play that the mind literally needs a shower after watching a show on Dubai that’s aired on the Discovery channel. There’s only a few letter’s difference between opulence and flatulence as it were.

But on the other side of that coin (or hand… what was the metaphor I was using? Oh well, coin is more appropriate) Dubai is evidence of the creativity of mankind as a species. In such a limited area the amount of ingenuity that has gone into building these humongous structures gives the builders something of which to be proud.

There’s also a mythical aspect to the event as well – its all very Tower of Babel; at least that turned out okay in the end… didn’t it?



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