Wednesday, 31 March 2010

I'm surfacing. Just like a diver in the pool (not this one, it's on the roof 23 floors up and scares the hell out of me). I can work the room AC, I can navigate the TV, it is THE AFTERNOON, I have met nice taxi drivers, know my way to the largest liquor store in the world and even find myself scanning mens fashion magazines with interest. I have left the UK behind, I couldn't care less, I found my way to the Menil Collection and sat with Rothko and Barnett Newman and Max Ernst drawings and thought 'Not bad but its a bit sweaty outside'. I took one photograph. They ordered ME a taxi and I realize the key is 'Don't think : Enjoy' the second key is 'Spend Money' for if you don't spend money you are nothing, even if you haven't got any. This is how terrible life is in the USA, and presently it feels pretty good, and I'm now swimming with the rest of them, it was a bit of a shock, but I got over it, I'm embracing the nothing and the now. And now, I shall sit down and read Colin Rowe on 'The Chicago Frame' in the afternoon comfort of a freshly made up hotel room and stare out of the window at gothic skyscrapers.

Fear For Civilization II

Unbelievably ( but totally believable if you are here) Texan authorities want to delete the word 'capitalism' from school textbooks. That's the news I woke up to this morning. It's clear that whilst Obama is technically holding the reigns, the republican states have gone berserk all around him.
They will also, predictably enough, put more emphasis on individual achievement rather than the significance of historical processes, which means to say the cultural import of Marie Osmond rather than the trade union movement in Pittsburg steel mills c1914. I wonder how literature students will tackle 'Brave New World' now they are living in it.
So........looking not unlike the very late Jim Morrison after a I woke up this morning...... I got myself a beer.
Meanwhile, as Julie slogs her way through Photofest, she encounters various examples of the cultural elite. Ha Ha! It seems that this is all personality based too. Two twins are making great waves, on the basis that they.........are twins. Work on strip clubs like Julie's, with it's, how shall we put it, kinda objectivity, just isn't the vogue. Parallels between art and life!- you bet!
Don't worry, I'm not bitter, but look out, be afraid, be very afraid: very bad things happen very slowly.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

They are naming Sarah Palin's rallies 'Conservative Woodstock'. Just finished a rather good lunch in a specially selected weird place full of business execs. The place very busy, sat 210, we were the only 2 drinking wine, and they were all back to work by 1.15pm. In my Soho of old, 'lunch' was, if ever, around 3.30pm. I worry for civilization.
Sarah Palin sucks, she sucks so badly she can be a sex symbol at the same time. I'm in Houston, Texas, which is no doubt entirely populated by Sarah Palin fans, as she 'marches' on Washington (or is it Boston?) for some weird version of a tea party. I'm totally bemused. She wants republicans to 'reload'. They like this sort or rhetoric in Houston, to them it makes sense. This place can easily bemuse, because it's the kind of city you make when you are dedicated to not making a city at all. You try surviving in Downtown of a sunday afternoon, there are no shops for instance. I had to get a cab ride out ten miles to buy a bottle of bourbon from a million square feet of bourbon in some kind of bourbon warehouse. They have jettisoned all reasonable life from downtown Houston, it is just giant edifices with giant atriums with automaton piano jazz with high winds in between. Now all of this can be thrilling if you can retain a sense of humour or if you are just plain brain dead, which Americans kind of enjoy, so they can just talk about sports ALL NIGHT LONG like the bar manager downstairs.
Guess I'll have to learn basketball speak.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Change of tone. Huge pleasure as I opened up a 1979 copy of 'The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and Other Essays' by Colin Rowe (got from Amazon from the USA for a mere $26) which arrived today. Michael R says to me 'I had dinner with him, he was outrageously drunk'. Those were the days. Clever and drunk. I flicked and pondered my way through it avoiding a 'drop in' meeting on our lift refurbishment which was apparently 'terribly important'. It felt good, remembering so much about my own architectural education (lots of clever and drunk). I'd only recently discovered my notebooks talking of Rowe on Corbusier at the very same time (1979) The language used to baffle me, but now thirty years on it just makes decent sense, the whole thing a kind of treasure. This book object, yes it is an object-more than just being a thing (for me at least) with it's foggy B&W images makes me wonder which texts my students will savour in the same way in thirty years time, because to be honest I haven't read a decent piece of architectural criticism (exception Shumon Basar) for a hell of a long time. That may be simply that I lost patience with 'the media' and got more interested in 'books'.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Cheltenham Festival they call it. Ever wonder why such apparently lovely animals (horses) breed such a horrendous bunch of humans? They show them in fancy dress, they even show them eating 'a la carte' (never a good idea on television- you can only figure at what they are picking at and why people look horrid when they are scoffing) they show the nature of their consortiums (ugly rich men), and it's all supported by Dubai. What have these animals done to deserve this?
Meanwhile how is it that all female horsey commentators look as if they have just emerged from, or are just about to engage in riotous sexual delirium? It's weird.
And, a long time ago, I lived in Newmarket. It sucked.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

I've gotta be really fucked off. It took me five maybe ten attempts to access my own blog! And I was listening to Neil Young (Live Rust- Highly recommended) The solution, turn it up. I'm worried the subtleties expressed in music......are gone. So I put the Foo Fighters on- Everlong. Makes me get real maybe. How do you lot breath? I mean the AIR to love and all the rest. I made a good minastrone.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Fuck me, on Newsnight they wonder what 'Education' is. Apparently we no longer have any idea. Some arse businessman thinks it's something to to with him. Unfortunately education has nothing to do with him at all, and education may even drive folks to despise him more than he is used to. The Nazi's knew what education was, and believe me you don't want to go there.
Education is so pure and simple as to be fucking fabulous. Education is pain, knowledge, pain, truth and maths, something that bunch of twats were sadly lacking.