It's a column night, and I was out all night at the U. Well, not all night, or I'd still be there, and in fact I missed the obligatory drinks after the chat session that can be so much fun if everyone's in the mood. Next time. Anyway:

By the pits of Humphrey, the protesters gathered. In the shadow of the world's largest Mondrian painting, they changed. A bullhorn was produced. Statements were made. Placards were raised.




The causus belli was this:



An appearance by the apostate Sommers and the heretic Nero, who had come to decry the lamentable desire of collegiate progressives to deny free speech to anyone outside a rigidly prescribed sphere.

Almost as if they wished to prove the speakers' point:



That was to be expected, I suppose. This our intolerant society: three cisnormative men shouting down a woman and a gay male.

It happened again, and this was priceless in its symbolism.




I'm going to write about it elsewhere - Strib or NR. It was lots of fun, and I brought Daughter - who found much she agreed with and much with which she took issue. It was also exciting - a protest! Police!

(BTW, if you follow the internicene politics of political writing, I did jibe Milo about how he wouldn't come on the Ramble podcast because I wrote for NR, that squishy, RINO, beyond-the-pale establishment rag, and he delivered the best "oh, behave" you can imagine.)

The very last of the tiny album-sleeve pictures.

He had a distinct style, which included laughing at his own jokes - but it was a somewhat endearing. This album sounds dated today, of course; Sahl did topical material. You do get the flavor of the time, as well as the New Comedian school of comedy. It was funny, now and then.

Name all those people on the donkey!



We break from our grim procession of empty small downtowns - with the occasional bright spot full of commerce and history - and take a look at modern overlays over old beauty. The EXPO sign certainly gets your attention, but it's what it covers that makes your eye linger. Those decorations owe nothing to any period, really; they came to us all at once.

On the bottom left, you see a part that was removed, or fell off. Might have been cheaper to throw it than spend the money keeping it in constant repair. History is expensive.

It would be the pride of the town in a smaller city; on the East Coast, there are many of this tribe. One question:

Why did the bricks change color? Was it built in two phases?

It's the Hersch Tower, a little googling revealed. Went up after the Depression hit, because heck that couldn't last forever.

Let's take a look at a postcard, found at the Digital Commonwealth:


The buildings on the lower left are still around, but tired and hiding their faces.


More regrettable facadomy:

I think the middle-and-right portion are one building, but it's hard to tell what anyone was trying to do. A canvas for a big sign? No evidence.

"Loads of Natural Light" probably isn't on the sales brochure for the one on the right.

A reminder of the things you can do with brick - and how elegant and civilized any street could look, if you had a developer who wished to make it so.


The ground floor demonstrates a variety of ugliness that characterizes many big cities. Bravo for opening a shop, and bravo for doing business in an environment that cannot be friendly. I understand the need to differentiate your stores.

No but. It's preferable to empty storefronts.

Painted-over renovation. A barren place that once had some glass shining with light. But then, this.


The original bricks seem to have repelled the paint out of protest.

Another 30s structure; wonder what it sold when it opened.


The slanted word is your guarantee of savings!

The Hersch may get the attention, but this one had real sleek poise. Once.


That big second floor window, reduced to that tiny vent - what architect would work on this without feeling like a vandal?

Life & Death & stuff:


He looks like he's sitting down, a winged gargoyle observing the world with contented amusement:

We'll never know who made him. Someone knew him; the name is written somewhere, but no one's put it together with a picture and put it up on the web.

Or have they?

Er, no. Sorry.

Finally: a courthouse, and some Latin.

They'd get half of that line up nowadays, then say "leave it at that, no need to borrow trouble."


Sorry for the brief and clipped entry; more tomorrow. See you around!



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