Drunk and Homesick

Yeah. It's Monday. Wanna make something of it?
(Not the best but all over PGC a couple of years before I left)


Principle Of The Second Man

From Edmund Bacon's Design Of Cities:

Any really great work has within it seminal forces capable of influencing subsequent development around it, and often in ways unconceived of by its creator. The great beauty and elegance of Brunelleschi's arcade of the Foundling Hospital... found expression elsewhere in the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, whether or not Brunelleschi intended this to be so.

The first significant change in the square, following the completion of the arcade in 1427, was the construction of the central bay of the Santissima Annunziata church. This was designed by Michelozzo in 1454 and is harmonious with Brunelleschi's work. However, the form of the square remained in doubt until 1516, when architects Antonio da Sangallo the Elder and Baccio d'Agnolo were commissioned to design the building opposite to Brunelleschi's arcade. It was the great decision of Sagnallo to overcome his urge toward self-expression and follow, almost to the letter, the design of the then eighty-nine-year-old building of Brunelleschi. This design set the form of Piazza della Santissima Annunziata and established, in the Renaissance train of thought, the concept of a space created by several buildings designed in relation to one another. From this the "principle of the second man" can be formulated: it is the second man who determines whether the creation of the first man will be carried forward or destroyed...

The quality of Piazza della Santissima Annunziata is largely derived form the consummate architectural expression that Brunelleschi gave the first work, the Innocenti arcade, but it is really to Sagnallo that we owe the piazza in its present form. He set the course of continuity that has been followed by the designers there ever since.


Good Luck

Seriously. I always teeter back and forth between not wanting to accept any solution besides the dismantling of the current system and more reformist options. Ultimately, I prefer the former, but I don't like the idea of being one of those Leftists who feels that the precondition for revolution is mass suffering. Maybe it is. But there's a fine line between believing that and needing the suffering to happen. On some level, if I had to choose between a theoretical utopia and this country actually closing most of the distance between ourselves and Sweden, it would be hard to hold to my more radical principles. Or rather, I would hold to the first principle I have, the one that lead to all the others, that the vast majority of human suffering extant is unnecessary and must be eradicated. Free health care, better wages, etc., would take us a long way towards that end, even if the state is still compromised.

That being said, I really don't see how a progressive party could be viable after Citizens United. What, exactly, would be the platform for spreading ideas? Most media would be closed off without significant sums of money, and that money has to come from somewhere and strings are always implicitly attached. Please don't say the Internet.

I'm a reasonably intelligent person and the Internet turns me into a hyperconsumeristic, non-committal mouth breather after a few hours. For the most part, it is a medium that, at this point, acts almost constantly to achieve the normalization of an alienated, consumerist lifestyle. On a positive note, the Internet can be a great tool for getting a lot of people to show up at the same place at the same time, but beyond that? Do you feel, as a blogger or someone who reads blogs, that you are part of any sort of "we"? Do you feel empowered knowing other people are just as pissed off as you? I sure as hell don't. I take some solace in the fact that others are as pissed off as I am, but I also feel very aware of the fact that I am just a dude staring at the screen. But even if the Internet worked, is the progressive dream that it could help manifest worth it? In the interim, perhaps, but, ultimately, no.

Sweden is just an illusion, if only because not every country can be Sweden. In the interconnected, interdependent global economy, I can't help but thinking that any reduction in inequality in one place will be accompanied by an increase in inequality elsewhere. I haven't been to Sweden, but I imagine that, even if the wealth is distributed more evenly there, part of what makes life affordable for Swedes is the availability of the same litany of products produced in third-world countries as here. Any structural critique of capitalism that you care to make can still be made.

And that goes for one's personal experience of life as well. If you are exhausted with a world of vain and superficial attempts at self-differentiation. If you feel that buying green is still buying. If you will never feel magically self-actualized by a higher level of job satisfaction, but rather are already counting the days until you don't have to work for someone else anymore, then the progressive dream has to be a nightmare. The progressive dream is one in which middle class people fight for more people to live the same lives as them. Fifty hours a week to pay off the college loan and the mortgage on the house that shelters the kids you never see. But with added patchouli and sanctimony.

And that, ultimately, is why I am sympathetic to more radical critiques. I can't understand the desires of those who just want to live a private life, and whose vision of politics stops when that life becomes plausible for them and, at best, for others. I demand to live a life I cannot imagine.

But, until then, if you need help ending the wars, fighting for nationalized health care, and increasing taxes on the wealthy, I'm down. As long as we don't have to eat at Whole Foods before the demonstration.


Certainly Worthy...

...Of three (online) pages! This is probably the most "objective" reporting I've read in the Times in a while. Perhaps they should reassign some of the H&G writers to cover Bradley Manning?

Really, really, I am a pacifist. And I worry that, in the same way that some believe our treatment of Native Americans continues to haunt our nation, and is responsible for our aggressive yet fearful foreign policy, a revolution soaked in blood, regardless of its goals, will never be able to wash itself clean. Yet it really is articles like this that tempt me over to the dark side. Trickle-down economics leaves me feeling wet and smelling of urine. Violence is impatience.


Hold Your Horses. All Of Them.

Well. My computer at home has been broken for a few weeks and it is going to stay that way for a few more. I have a few entries that I have written but have not published because they have all been redundant, boring even. You really want to see me bitch about Krugman again? He has nothing new to add (ie he still assumes that Obama is trying to do right by the majority of the citizens of this country and failing and therefore in need of helpful advice) and neither do I.

On top of the computer, at least three components in my studio are in dire need of repair, two of which have already spent time in the shop over the last couple of months (the computer was repaired in April and I have had to reformat the hard drive monthly since then - sadly this fix no longer works). It will probably take me at least through the end of August before I catch up to to where I was last weekend. Being broke is pretty exciting. I'm almost tempted to start working part-time just to see how much worse things can get.

While I can, obviously, write at work, I find that I don't do my best constantly looking over my shoulder. I also can't preview music and movie clips, which is certainly having a negative impact on my ability to post on certain other blogs I have been invited to post on (patience please). So it will be a while before anything here is worth reading or linking to again.

So how you?


So Dope


I love this one. It's one thing to be constantly told to "support our troops" when I thought we were just stealing the oil for ourselves. But now! Man! Does this mean in our twisted world that we can now call George W. Bush a Communist? Perhaps the greatest American Communist ever? Who else has given so much to the Chinese state, the largest Communist nation on Earth?

I really wish I had a television now. I want to know if the major networks will pick this up. I want to know if the ramifications of this story will find their way through the layers and layers of high fructose corn syrup and cheese product that encases the brains of our citizens. If I were a Republican (citizen not politician), I would be so pissed!!!