Mailbag 25: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Project fan Richard Aiello has some kind words, as well as an intriguing proposition:

Congratulations on year four. I have only one complaint about your site, it's that it is so addicting. I anticipate each new addition and check regularly. The fact is, I thought I was going to do something similar once I retired. I want to encourage you to keep it up. There is no source like it for a view at the churches in Philly. I just hope you will pursue the ugly too. I would just love to see what you had to say about Our Lady of Ransom on the Blvd. I have a picture from Ressurection on Castor. You said earlier you didn't think much of it. I get it, but it's as much fun to hear your thoughts on the bad as it is the good. Please keep feeding the beast.

I don't know of any treatment centers that currently offer programs for Project addiction, but if anyone happens across any, do let me know. As it stands, hearing that your work is addicting is probably one of the best compliments you can get. And even better, the only known cure is to keep coming back! Hooray!

Rich does raise an interesting point. We have, by design, limited ourselves to churches that are or at least have the potential to be old, grandiose and ornate. Sometimes, yes, we come across stinkers, but never on purpose.

But should the Project make it a point to cover churches that have absolutely no chance of being reviewed positively? Should we purposefully visit the bad and the ugly, the small and the modern and spartan, and tear them all digital new ones?

There's some sense to the idea. After all, we do often claim to include the bad and the ugly. Also, philosophically speaking, good can't exist without bad. Without ugliness, how we would truly appreciate beauty? And, too, it could mean more Project fieldwork.

On the flipside, are such visits worth my very valuable time? Perhaps more pressingly, it would take away from the advocacy aspect of the Project since, let's face it, I'd have absolutely no problem if anything bad were to happen to a modern, ugly monstrosity.

What do you think? Let your voice be heard.