We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, September 28. 2007
It's about Boston, at Sippican.
Photo: The scary "new" Boston City Hall, from the piece at Sip. Note openings for 7.62 mm minigun emplacements above the traditional portcullis.
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When buildings like that get torn down, we will know there has been a sea change. Not until then.
Jeez, he's right--that building is a hostile attack on the civic spirit. It couldn't be any uglier or meaner, not without going way over budget on halloween decorations.
It does look as if it were designed for defence against an assault by the people.
On the human spirit. Toss Le Corbusier (note the dates of his Soviet projects) into the mix. Sterile utilitarianism in opposition to buildings that inspire. "New" buildings to house "new" men.
Rick, "less is more" sounds great, but, shouldn't we have been asking, "more *what*?"
"The government got big, the people got small" "It couldn't be any uglier or meaner"
Well, could be merely about the 'tecture, but there's a classic subtext MO to consider. So, just in case:
I wasn't trying to be mean, buddy. Just tired of all the cryptic up and down, dislike and like and all around "stuff", and the obviously explicit goings-on behind one's back. Not fun at all.
Size, physical beauty and pigs and all. When i lose my weight (and it's coming off), i'll be Attractive, again, will have my good friends still and lots of opportunity, don't you worry 'bout that, but will be more than a little cynical as to the shallowness and abject spiritual ugliness of some otherwise smart people who post crash vids after breaking someone's heart, you know, just to further stomp it. Find myself resenting that, resist it tho' i try.
Giving people the benefit of the doubt and showing some fairly consistent grace toward others who've only tried to befriend, and doing so not just for personal circumstance or gain, is beyond the ken of even some high IQ types. Makes me sad there's no easy, generous joy with some-- just probes and jabs and no trust or benefit of the doubt ever.
Now, with others, there's promise and for that am grateful. Have got some really good living to look forward to. Hope the same for you, despite. Life's too short for manufactured shit.
Sorry for posting this, but you won't return emails b/c I'm not good enough for direct comms.
anonymous, ok, I can see we're finished, but when did we start?
Clever as always, BL. Too clever for either of our good. Too bad.
anonymous, take my advice, don't read hidden messages in these blog comments--they're not there. You want to watch yourself--there's such a thing as an overactive imagination and it's not good for a person to let it run on.
I just checked that gmail box--I don't use it, I put it here in these comments one time for Luther & Phoenix & I to discuss a book we were all three reading, without boring the blog to death with our blah blah.
It wasn't an invitation to anyone or anything. Thanks for the emails, I read a few and they're very literate. But I can't answer them because I'm just an uncaring jerk, a short, fat, old, broke, cancer-ridden, toothless, one-eyed alcoholic old child molester who has no interest in romance with anything other than the barnyard animals. But, thanks! And please try to lighten up and try to enjoy life--it's short and we only go 'round once!
LOL and damn! Those who know-- know better, but no matter. Truthiness is good enough for the stalwart moralists, even the truthiness found when men fly cross country and rent dark blue SUVs :)
But I said it first that life's good/ too short for stuff- you can't use that on me in a rejoinder. Bah! Be fair, and good night, sweet dreams.
anonymous, if you have a stalker, please call the cops--because it ain't me, honest. You need to talk to someone in authority, tell 'em what's going on.
I'm not gonna answer you anymore--I don't want to distract you from what may be really happening in your life. Call the cops and tell 'em about the dark blue SUV, please--
Okay, good night and best of luck--I'm out-- (but i'm not catching a plane--I'm catching a bowl of ice cream and the tv). good luck--
Thanks and good idea, BL. I'll give the license plate number and date to the cops, per your rec. Smart advice, but he was no stalker that I'm worried about. It was just a curious guy who obliquely referenced coming by here online, some man who was disappointed that i was more 12 gauge than 20 (at the time) b/c he was deciding between women, or so it seemed.
Best to you and be happy.
Yes, it is a "machine for governing." And depending on when it was built, it could well have been designed at least in part with riots in mind. The more important question is - what will take its place? In what vision of civic life will the architects believe? We need to start asking these questions sooner rather than later.
These buildings are Hitler's revenge: ugly, concrete and steel, unaesthetic, unadorned, post-tradition, post-user feel good, rather fascist and statist modern/e buildings 30s on.
Twentieth century architecture was abused as a means to re-engineer human life, when it should have been celebrated as a reflection of and accommodation of our needs through technology. Some designers still and have never had a clue as to what it is to be mundane-human, b/c they're too chic or esoteric for real world tastes and comfort.
How about posting some pictures of modern public school architecure? My kids went to elementary school in a beautiful building from the turn of the century with (GASP) windows that could open for fresh air, and where the lights didn't have to go on except on stormy days, where A/C was only recently deemed "necessary" by wussy parents with more money than sense. They now attend a high school monstrosity built the same era as New City Hall where most of the classrooms are windowless.
How about machines for working? How many of us work in buildings where most of the people are chained in windowless cubicles with Vogon supervisors (loved Sippican's reference to AHHGTTG), with canned air and windows (only in managers' offices) that cannot be opened.
It is not simply government bureaucrats or hapless residents seeking permits whose spirits suffer from vile architecture. Try most office workers, most public school students, and most apartment dwellers....
Not to rant, or anything...
Remember that fun picture in the blog awhile back of Habu or somebody's shack?
Since I can't afford to build a McMansion or visit the Parthenon, no substitute for visiting my grandmother's New England farmhouse. Now there's architecture to mobilize the spirit: can't be kept warm in winter without lots of healthy exercise splitting wood, drafty (so no indoor air pollution), an unheated back kitchen so no need for a fridge in winter, cozy small rooms that make conversation possible and that would spew out a large screen TV, the only insulation in the walls 50,000 books on every topic, and a barn for square dances and the rest of the books and grandchildren's weddings. The floors creak and the stairs squeak so everybody knows when an errant teenager is trying to sneak home too late. Plenty of private corners to read a book or hide a diary in peace, to think, and escape the sight of relatives. Hell would be living in a trailer in arm's reach of them all, after all. But no soundproofing worth a damn and the architecture makes it hard to get depressed and write teen angst poetry and plot evil things on the internet without an entire WASP tribe realizing and intervening. No outside experts paid a fortune for their half-assed prescriptions, either. Great Uncle John takes errant kid out for a Serious Talk in the orchard, perhaps accompanies them to the Marines recruiter. Home architecture that promotes intimacy, and annoys the hell out of obnoxious teenagers up to no good, but that promotes family ties. Kids want to visit but wouldn't think of moving back in, so are forced to get real jobs and get independent. Truly the hub of a family.
American public architecture is woefully deficient...perhaps a good thing? Contra Gramsci, my loyalties belong to God, family, country....I don't want to pay for gargantuan buildings for myself, my government or ogle some insider trader's palace on the TV (which in my house is covered in dust, has a pile of books obscuring the screen, and is off except in times of national emergency). A simple New England country church of no grandeur, a farmhouse built by a family and their kids, a flag are enough for me...I love to visit the great architecture of the rest of the world, but America Public mostly does malls and concrete hideously, perhaps because we leave those to the greedy and the commercial. What is best about us, and our country, can't be built. Maybe a sculpture (soldiers and a flag) can capture it?
My architecturial historian gramps would be rolling in his grave , and parents likewise "we showed you the architectural wonders of the world and you turned out a provincial barbarian!" so enough. Time to pick apples and make applesauce and pie from suburban trees with branches bent from the weight of fruit and raccoons stealing said fruit...
That place looks like it belongs in 1960s Moscow - why were we taking cues from Stalinist architecture for our public buildings? The best architecture knows how to distinguish itself while working in harmony with its surroundings. This building doesn't just reject its Bostonian context, though, it rejects the entire tradition of Western architecture going back to the Greeks...inconsequential stuff like proportion, harmonious scale, visual balance, etc. If it does end up getting "historical landmark" status somehow, and avoids the wrecking ball, at least it will be a lesson to future generations about what went wrong during a certain era in American history, and not just in architecture.