I think my opinions on civil unrest are obvious. Having lived through riots and political violence - granted, at a distance of 20 blocks - I have contempt for people who engage in violence like we saw last summer and we saw yesterday. There’s no excuse. There’s no justification. It was a shameful, humiliating exercise, delusional in its objectives, a mob of fools and losers who would defecate on the Resolute desk for Twitter likes. I watched these cretins take down the American flag and put up a Trump flag in its place, which is a disgrace. I saw a guy parade the Confederate flag through the Capitol, which is a disgrace. Grinning Q-lunatics carting off the furniture.

You can whatabout elsewhere. You can rootcauses elsewhere. I have the same feeling about this as I had when my city burned: Anything said after the “but” invalidates the condemnation.

That’s it. That’s the post.

Of course, there’s more to the matter, but I’m confining it to the above as a sort of test. That might make some people impatient - but no there’s this thing and there’s that thing and there’s hypocrisy and whatabout and rootiecausus belli and so on. There are plenty of places to discuss that. I prefer that you take it to those places. Some might want some good hard screediness - now is the time on Sprockets when we juxtapose! - but you won't get it from me, and I don't want it here.

And now . . . a new feature that will bring some cul-chah to our Thursdays. Obviously, I wrote this earlier.

A consortium of Paris museums put a metric loade-de-merde of art online. I have not chosen these examples with care. I have curated nothing. Most of these are chosen at random, because that's the fun! The serendipity, the stories, the things we might no otherwise have chosen to explore.

Robert Bonnar: Dame en Deshabille sur un lit de gazon.

Or, Lady in undress on a bed of grass.

Translation of the text:

Everything laughs at you in these places, come happy Lover; iris the young iris stops being cruel / the love that hurt you seconds you against it; enjoy such a sweet moment

What of the artist? Well, this year we’ll derive some amusement through the vagaries of Google Translate.

Robert Bonnart is the tenth child of the intaglio printer Henri Ier Bonnart and Marguerite Martin. Godson of the engraver Robert Nanteuil and Barbe Lenfantin, wife of the sworn writer Jean Petré, he grew up in a family of artist-merchants and pursued a double career as a painter and engraver.

The career of Robert Bonnart unfolds in the entourage of Frans Van der Meulen (1632-1690), who becomes godfather of his son and with whom he collaborates in the enterprise of the Cabinet of the King. He thus co-signed boards for several battles and royal entertainments with his brother Nicolas .

There’s something quite poignant about this:

Robert Bonnart died on June 17, 1733in his son's apartment, with whom he had lived since the death of Catherine Lorne in 1729. Numerous paintings were then inventoried, among which predominantly landscapes and battle scenes. The majority of the works then remained with Robert-François Bonnart , also a painter, who kept them until his death. A sale then takes place, inFebruary 1772, In which are dispersed the works of father and son.

Dispersed. But one of them landed here.

A detail:

The meaning of the gesture might be up to you.








You might think “Trailers? Campers? RVs?” No. That’s in Iowa. This town is named after the Indian Tribe, as are the RVs, but there’s no connection.

Fourteen hundred souls, and as often is the case: a lot of town for so few people. That’s because it served the farmers as well. So let’s take a stroll around downtown.

The neutron bomb hit while everyone’s car was home in the garage:


We all know what this was. Right?

Will there come a time when people don’t read that facade and know just what it was?

Old picture, from Cinema Treasures, uploaded by RickyRialto:

The theater closed in 1950, fifteen years after it opened. It was a retail for a while. Now it’s this.

Someone made the decision to remove the exterior decorations, because . . . .

Well, I can’t think of an explanation, but it’s what you’d expect from someone who’d buckaroo a fine old facade like this.

It’s as if some experts said “Glass will not be available after the year 2000,” and people bricked up because they didn’t think they could get replacement.

It's as if the building was at its best the day it opened, and the years have whittled its dignity down ever since.

Stripped down at the time of its construction. I think. It never had an ornate facade.

The window gives it away.

Always a cafe? I think so.

The windows were painted over so no one had to blink when the sun hit the room wrong. Paint it over! There’s at least 20 minutes of blinking, every day!

One of those buildings whose history is not only obscure and difficult to ascertain . . .

. . . but you really don’t care.

Ah. There it is: the Roman Embassy.

We’ve seen so many repurposed banks with altered windows, it’s nice to see what it was from the start.

And we know what this was, right?

The corner location, the BIG IMPORTANT COLUMN, angled entrance: it’s always a bank. But they’re usually two floors.

You never see this. It’s usually a sign hanging off the facade.

Read that strip of brick on the right - a leftover from the now-gone building, or someone just patching up after a fire or demolition, with no regard to continuity?

If it’s a clinic, maybe everything upstairs is clean and modern and tastefully lit. No windows, for privacy.

But that angled cut. Hmm.

The Dreaded Angled Wood of the 70s and early 80s.

The storefront on the bottom left proceeded the Dreaded Angle Wood; you can tell by the brick, which has the light hues of the late 50s / 60s.

I don’t think the ground floor was a rehab. Look at the brickwork: I think this was done at the same time. Late 20s.

It was beautiful. Still is.

The Baxter Block, 1988:

Not overburdened by commerce today. They couldn’t have predicted the little circle hanging on the wall, aimed at the heavens, pulling down the stories.

That was Winnebago. I wish them well. Take a stroll if you'd like to see more for yourself.



But wait! There's more. Take a trip to Main Street USA now. (In other words, more damned postcards) See you around.



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