My computer is beautiful. When I first laid eyes on it, I knew that I had to own it--those soft, svelte curves, gentle shadows, and gently throbbing, glowing Apple logo, begging you to run your fingers across its smooth surface. I am the pround owner of an Apple PowerMac G4.
The casing is made of a comely, semi-translucent plastic that allows you to see just enough of what's inside the computer--slightly more than a suggestion--but never too much. And the gentle manner in which my computer's shockingly smooth, modern facade covers its hard, metal insides of binary digits and circuitry inspires a transcendent feeling of true balance, peace and oneness with the universe.
There is not a straight line or jagged corner on the entire face of the computer to suggest the crude function for which it was designed. Tempered shades of gray grace the machine like a soft tapestry, seamlessly flowing from one gradient to the next, softly, gently, leading the eyes across its sensual body. The buttons and drives on the computer do not overstate their presence with large, garish switches or beveled slots, but rather assume humble roles like mere fibers in the gently woven fabric. For my computer is no meretricious strumpet, but rather a coy, refined and perfumed lady.
When I turn the computer on, it begins to purr softly, the tenderly gyrating fan murmuring small sighs and low rumbles. Slowly, it begins to process data, the hard drive whispering delicate gasps and whirs and soft hums, licking the edges of my ears in delight. And when I am torn from Its presence for the necessities of life and am forced shut it down, it can be heard to breathe forth a contented sigh of delight and anticipation.
And it does not matter that this machine (and, if I may interject, work of art) is not compatible with 95% of the software and hardware on the market or that it comes with an archaic operating system. My computer would be equally lovely as a (if somewhat giant and awkward) paperweight, or even as a (albeit, rounded and replete with handles) tabletop. Because, in truth, the function of this machine does not matter nearly as much as its appeal as a beautiful symbol for the progress of human ingenuity, artistry and culture.
This computer is not some kind of glorified calculator, just another smish-smash of electrical equipment welded on an assembly line--but a work of art. It is a beautifully conceived symbol of the yearning of the human spirit to escape from the chains of our slavery to money and greed. It should be placed upon a pedestal and revered precisely because of its almost complete lack of practical functionality and form. My computer is an aesthetic reminder of the eternal battle of the human soul, and every time I am in Its presence, I feel this struggle all over again.
For in many ways, my computer is reaction against the modern world in which the material aspects of life have taken priority over our spiritual sides, by insinuating--as do all Apple computers--the importance of form, beauty and culture over our slavish adherence to measurements of performance.
This is Macsthetics.