Illustration by Ming Lin.
We were looking at birds the other day when my daughter asked me, “Why are you less excited to see a sparrow than a goldfinch?”
“Well, sparrows are fairly common—you see them every day in Montreal. Goldfinches are more rare.”
“But sparrows are pretty birds, too.”
“They are, I agree.”
“If sparrows were rare, you would find them more beautiful.”
“No doubt I would.”
“Sparrows are brownish, and goldfinches are yellowish…”
“But there’s no reason yellow is a more interesting colour than brown.”
“For sure. Except I see brown birds all the time.”
“It’s like rarity creates a hierarchy? A scale of values?”
“Yeah, in a way.”
“That’s not fair.”
“You’re right. It’s not fair. And it’s not that a goldfinch is worth more than a sparrow. But it may interest me more.”
Art knows no justice. It ...