In praise of darkness
Matthew Parris (5 May) does well to recommend the removal of the hideous, urine-coloured glow of sodium street lamps in the countryside; and it is highly debatable that they are needed anywhere. The eye is more confused than sharpened by bright light at night. Colours are distorted. Gaps of darkness are bewildering traps. Humans appear ghoulishly inhuman, as if made of mustard. And the lights are relentless, merciless; they never go out.
Street lighting should use tungsten and be decorative only, like the pretty strings of lights on a pier. The rest destroys night vision (the dark is never dark!). Apart possibly from places like Cordoba, this planet was totally dark at night until only very recently. It cannot be that there is anything special about the current era which demands otherwise.
Co. GalwaySo here is George Harrison with some famous friends at the Concert for Bangladesh on 1 August 1971 performing “Beware of Darkness”, one of the best songs from his post-Beatles album All Things Must Pass. Best line: “Beware of sadness.”