Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Pretty Flashing Lights- Andrea

This is grey boring powder:


These are fun filled colouful exploding candles:


One small transformation means a huge difference to people who enjoy the firework spectacle. Many people are attracted by this occurrence and gather in groups to watch. How can millions of people all over the world be mesmerized by explosions? Before I get to how explosions in the sky and lound banging noises amuse us so much, let me paint you a picture:

Blackness surrounds you, it is only lit up by the few pits of light provided by the stars and house lights. The background is a blanket of dimly lit houses bordered by towering mountains. You are surrounded by many other people including some of your closest friends. You inch forward a bit closing to the railing of the deck which is the only thing in between you and what is about to happen. BANG. The first fire shoots up leaving a trail of twinkling lights.It seem to reach the end of the sky and simmers out. BANG. The second explosion happens, and it marks the sky with smoke and a fallout of twinkling lights. BANG BANG. This time twin fires shoot up repeating the same cycle. Next to your favourite person you observe the cycle repeating, each time more dazzling. You are quietly observing the show when you realize people around the block have come out of their own house to join in this experience.The first person belts out a booming scream, he sends his warm wishes for a happy new year. Then other people begin to scream too, and soon enough everyone around the block has decided they also would like join the festivities.

This was my new years eve aesthetic experience.

Many people find this experience to be complete, stimulating all of our sensory neurons at once.

 I think people like fireworks because it’s all the emotions. It’s light. It’s sound. It’s heat to a certain extent. And it’s certainly smell. -Smith

This link goes in to great detail in the history of fireworks and it goes to explain what certain people find enjoyable about fireworks. In that same article a blind woman describes what comes to mind for her when it comes to fireworks. She says that even though she can’t see, she can imagine them being big flashing lights that change colours and sizes. It seems that even though you would think fireworks are all about what you see, they can be other things as well. Eustress is a word that people have used to describe the feeling that fire works give them. It is a feeling of distress caused by fear but also feeling safe at the same time, this sensation of fear can help to enhance experiences. The fireworks put you in a sort of alert state where it’s possible that your brain enhances the vividness. It’s the rush without the danger. Fireworks also bring up certain feelings in others, an event such as your first firework show is very memorable. People seem to have fond memories of sitting in big crowds in the waterfronts and watching the shows, these memories do a very effective job of stimulating our brains and making us feel something. People seem to have many different simple and complex reasons why they enjoy fireworks, each unique.

My opinion of the aesthetic experience is that first it must stimulate your mind enough to make you think or reflect and almost pull you out of the moment. Most people would watch a show and be left thinking, wow that was really great, and I think that is a basic reflection but one none the less. I couldn’t help but be mesmerized with the lights, I was no longer thinking about my worries such as the dreaded application essay, I was more concentrated in the lights, their colours, their height. I think it’s interesting what Aman said in her post about not wanting to video tape her aesthetic moment since it would change the moment for her, I agree with her entirely as I was to distracted to even think of taking a video. Secondly, the moment must resonate with you, it must leave you thinking. I don’t believe it’s possible to have a powerful aesthetic experience and think, that’s nice, and just be done with it. The experience should be deep enough that in a tiny it affected some sort of you’re thinking. When I watched the lights go up it made me think of how high they were going and how many people could see them, it is outstanding to me how big this planet is. To me they seemed to touch the end of the sky, rising indefinitely, but when I think about how many people were actually in a close enough range to see them, I suddenly shrank a bit in my perception of the world. The last factor is not something I believe is a necessary  characteristic of an aesthetic experience yet it enhances it so much. It is amazing to share these moments. While most people will not see things as others do, It helps to be able to share the opportunity with someone important. I think that when others do see things like you do, you become part of this surreal moment where the two of you see things almost as one. This is hard to describe out of the others, but I do believe that while there are nice moments by yourself, the experience of being able to discuss how great it was with someone else almost keeps the moment alive.


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