You call that a wonder?

Have you seen the list of the seven wonders of the world? It's an atrocity. Clearly the selection process was far from democratic, the results have more to do with boosterism than objective merit, and several significant contenders were not even considered. I see very little to recommend in the results.

Ask yourself, what's the purpose of the list? It's all about scamming money from travellers, if you ask me. Will the buildings last a millennia? Two millennia? I don't think so. If they do, it's no thanks to the people behind the list, who have made no effort to conserve any of the "wonders" they picked.

Where on earth is the Great Sphinx of Giza? It's the Great bloody Sphinx, people - it should be on the list. Instead we have the Colossus of Rhodes, a far less striking design that only got in by being really tall. And no, it didn't stand astride the harbour mouth. That would have actually made it wondrous.

Further, is it any coincidence that all of the "wonders" happen to be either Greek or near Greece? Might that have something to do with Greek people doing the picking? Where's the geographic balance? Yeah, there's the Hanging Gardens, but that's a terrible choice. Even its existence is questionable. They might as well have put yet another big Greek statue on the list.

While I'm at it, the Mausoleum of Mausollos - what a clunky name, by the way - is a bit underwhelming. It's just a great big marble cube with fancy sculptures slapped on the side. You may appreciate its artistic merit, but are you really in wonder of it? "Wow, there are lots of fancy sculptures slapped on the side of this great big marble cube! I'm in awe!" I don't think so.

Next time around, let's do this right. Let's introduce some objectivity to the proceedings, so it's not just a few Greek self-appointed experts in charge. Let's get some input from India and China, for goodness' sake. And let's take steps to protect the real wonders of the world, instead of just hyping them to make a buck.

PS: In a project with a huge amount of potential for embarrassment, the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) is asking for nominations (fi) for the seven wonders of Finland. Several unusually tall buildings will be in the running, I'm sure.

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