Tomorrow is the grand opening of the world’s new tallest building, the Burj Dubai in Dubai. It’s a “mere” 160 habitable stories, or 2,625 feet, twice as high as the Empire State Building.
It is, I’ll grant you, a stunningly beautiful structure — awesome in the truest sense of the word. But as a building for people to live and work in … uh uh, nope, no how, no way. Not me, baby. Not without wings or a parachute.
I don’t have a fear of heights; I just have good sense. At certain undetermined heights above the surrounding terrain, it becomes prudent to be airborne. Or possess the means to become so on a moment’s notice.
Mountain heights, for example, make sense. They are composed of and are a part of good ol’ Mother Earth. They’re just big hills. Your feet are still on the ground when you’re up there.
Man-made structures are okay, within reason. They’re nicest when they rise no higher than the longest fire ladder can reach. They’re tolerable if they’re broad-based, with lots of room inside for many ways of getting up and down from floor to floor. And if they stay nice and broad and solid as they continue to rise, that too is okay, for a while.
But any child with a set of blocks can look at buildings and tell you if people have any business being in them. Buildings precariously cantilevered out over cliffs or canyons. No. Buildings standing up on tall skinny stilts. Don’t be ridiculous. Extremely tall, skinny, obviously “tippy” buildings. Absurd!
I rest my case.
(and without going into my more adult theories about men and their competing phallic symbols …)