Saturday, April 4, 2009

Views & Viewing

I recently read (in The Economist, March 14th-20th, p.34) that the American toy company Fisher-Price is eliminating many of their View Master titles. For over half-a-decade, kids and adults have put the circular reels into the boxy-binocular-like viewers and gasped. For the reels (over 1.5 billion have been produced) held brilliant, three-dimensional images of people, places, and events from around the world. And even the universe!

Now, of course, 3D-viewing can easily been seen in films, on DVDs, and the Web. So Fisher-Price is purging much of its titles. This though reel images are now larger and offer enhanced viewing quality. And the View Masters themselves come in such hot colors as neon green and electric blue.

As a boy, I wasn't drawn to pictures of India and the Himalayas. Rather, I gravitated--for whatever reason--towards such locales as Davos in winter, Norwegian Fjords, and idyllic Zermatt, that Swiss village without cars at the foot of the Matterhorn. Riveting, too, were the 3D-pictures of Hoover Dam and England's Oxford University.

Viewing through the View Master is akin to seeing your commonplace awareness in all its depth, sheerness, and uniformity. You quickly perceive that its peace is without parallel. Indeed, it is stillness itself--a stillness with absolutely no space for any "whoms" with a view. Have a look.

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