Lots of great feedback from readers. One writes:
I think it would be lovely to see the photos regularly because they tap into something you already, wisely, do with your blog. The Dish is primarily political, but every day you insist on “mental health breaks” – be it a schnoodle playing the piano or a funny clip from South Park, or maybe some interesting art work or a Just For Men beard. We trudge through the agony of politics – from Libya to government shutdowns to Sarah Palin – so we need all the nice breaks we can get.
The VFYAW is another mental break because there’s something about the aerial view that give a sense of soaring above it all. It’s looking down on a planet that’s actually much more beautiful and impressive than it often feels down here on the ground. I hope you do make it a regular feature – daily, weekly, whatever works. It’s just nice to … fly away.
I disagree with adding this as a weekly feature.
While I sympathize with reader sentiments about the “larger perspective,” the airplane views will progressively become less interesting and stand out as a puzzling non sequitur in the Dish’s usual hobbyhorses. Beauty – and beautiful pictures – are everywhere if you want to find them. What makes the usual VFYW feature so arresting is that we are considering one person’s perspective and giving it due consideration, whether it’s “incredible” or not.
So there may be a simple view of trees that someone doesn’t give a damn about. But you know what? The varied environments that your readers share are their own and one assumes are very intimate and important to them. And the blog is and has always been about varied perspectives, whether or not they “do” something for your readers.
Another also disagrees:
A daily airplane window view would just be clutter … ooh, more clouds … ahh, another interchangeable coast … ohh, more vague brown urban sprawl. What’s enjoyable about the VFYW is seeing actual identifiable stuff: yes, beautiful trees; houses; landmarks; fountains where somebody proposed to his wife; canals; warehouses; school campuses. The hammock in the snow made me weep. The aerial shot of some part of the lifeless desert in Utah wasn’t even worth pausing for during my scrolling.
I like the airplane shots for sure. I’m not sure you need a special feature for it, though. Whenever you get one that strikes you, just toss it into the VFYW slot as you would any other – once a week, or more, or less; let the frequency dictate that.
Of course, for the dogmatic among us, you should probably continue to change the headline to “The View From Your Airplane Window”. The words “view from *your* window” holds a special (and literal) place in many of our hearts.
Why don’t you just make the VFYW be *any* window? Hey, I’d like to see a submarine view once a year, and airplane window shots every other day. Your readership can sustain it.
Just please don’t start asking us to recognize flat stretches of nondescript farmland from the air, or 4-pixel wide farming machinery, while adding Google Earth panoramas and charming anecdotes about skydiving over just this stretch of land while volunteering to help indigenous farmers get drinking water.
Speaking of the window view contest:
I thought you should know that because of your weekly contest, I find myself examining all window shots for geographic clues. This includes friend’s Facebook photos, but most disconcertingly, porn. It’s astounding how much porn turns out to be posed on balconies, windowsills, or in front of windows. And now, more often than not, I find myself looking past shapely posteriors and well-formed bosoms to examine a unique cornice-piece, filigree, or church spire.
Thanks, I think.
I’ll use my super “it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want” powers and decide not to include this as a regular feature. Wars should be wary of mission creep and the core point of the views from your window is a simple reflection of what readers see every day out of their own windows. Occasional forays into wider pastures are fine. But keeping the feature focused and simple is the key thing. The point is the beauty and diversity of the banal – and a mirror for Dish readers to see one another.