The temps have been forty-five to 50 degrees higher this week than last. That is nice. It also meant that the impacted layers of snow have become pliant enough to be removed from the endless sidewalk, and that is not nice. I do not believe in the necessary superiority of clear sidewalks. On the dog walk today I did many a fast-foot Charleston on clear sidewalks, because snow had melted and formed an invisible layer of ice. When the snow is crunchy, it provides traction. But the law is the law, and so I got out the ice chopper and shovel and cleared as much as I could.

Over night the melted snow will freeze, and my cleared sidewalks will be ready to knock a coccyx up between your shoulder blades, but that’s life in the in-between months.

Other things of note: Daughter texted in the afternoon that she got a great response from her class on her 10 page play. That was the assignment: just ten pages. Do what you will. She wrote a play about the aftermath of a museum docent punching a hole in a Rembrandt. I think it has six scenes, five characters, two twists, one nifty piece of foreshadowing, and it’s funny AND touching. Jeebus. She is so far ahead of where I was at her age it’s just exhilarating. It’s the sort of thing you can do because you’ve already written three 70K+ novels: the short form is just a morning Chicken Fat exercise.



Well, let’s see where we are in the whole COVID thing: oh.


I remember when I was champing at the bit to get the jab, and now I’m shrugging: whenever.


I signed up on the Minnesota site that tells you something or whatever about where you are in the line, but I don’t check it often. My excitement has turned to resignation - and I’m one of those highly motivated back-to-normal NOW types.

Messages like these aren’t to blame in my case, but they contribute to a general sense of . . . of interminability, of endless stasis.


Elsewhere in the tweeterverse, which is not a word and I apologize for using it: TRUTH


It’s not just ablist, it’s deeply ablist. Profoundly ablist.

No one disputes there are different ways of learning. Perhaps the author of this tweet is outraged because the previous tweet suggests a hierarchy of modes.

“Your issue with this platform doesn’t negate the fact that learning takes place in multiple ways.”

Yes. We all know that. And?


And? If you wish to make that point specifically in reference to the stated idea that a scholarly book on WW1 is preferable to following an account that tweets colorized WW1 pictures, go right ahead. Asserting that a wel-researched book is preferable to a tweet is the first step in DENYING A PATHWAY, and that's what ablist white supremacists do, so it is VERY IMPORTANT that he jump into the convo and set everyone straight about tweets and books occupying the same intellectional plane BECAUSE HISTORY.

When it comes to medicine, you suspect Joey Fun Face prefers the doctor who went by the old, ablist, and probably white-supremacist forms of instruction that required book-learnin’ and hard work and other White or White-Adjacent values (I get a rill of bile in my throat just writing that; I don't believe there's anything white about them, but that's the new school), but who knows, maybe he had his tonsils taken out by someone who watched a YouTube video of a New Age crystal-expert getting the infection out with smoldering sticks from a particular bush.

Learning happens in multiple ways and who are we to deny a pathway?To say otherwise suggests a hierarchy among the Differences. Hierarchies reinforce power and privilege, since the only reason anyone stresses the objective is to suppress other modes, because of race.

It all seems horrifically condescending. It all seems an attempt to elevate intellectual modalities for the sole purpose of conspicuously agreeing with them as a means of establishing your moral character.

All that has nothing to do with this piece about the the awfulness of modern architecture, but it’s connected.

The extraordinary fact about architecture over the last century, however, is just how dominant certain tendencies have been. Aesthetic uniformity among architects is remarkably rigid. Contemporary architecture shuns the classical use of multiple symmetries, intentionally refusing to align windows or other design elements, and preferring unusual geometric forms to satisfying and orderly ones.

It follows a number of strict taboos: classical domes and arches are forbidden. A column must never be fluted, symmetrical pitched roofs are an impossibility. Forget about cupolas, spires, cornices, arcades, or anything else that recalls pre-modern civilization. Nothing built today must be mistakable for anything built 100 or more years ago. The rupture between our era and those of the past is absolute, and this unbridgeable gap must be made visible and manifest through the things we build. And since things were lovely in the past, they must, of necessity, be ugly now.

I was considering doing a weekly feature on ugly architecture for next year to replace the Paris Museum site. Building proposals like this, which got praise:

This is objectively wrong, for most. We recoil. This oily monster from another dimension is the most malevolent structure I have seen in quite a while. It doesn’t just defy everything around it, it negates the eras in which the other buildings arose.

The building next to it may seem dull, but it’s a classic late 20s New York American style.

It has some interesting lower floor gifts to the street -

- and I’ll bet the interior is handsome and grave, leaning into a new machine era with stylized representations of the familiar world recast in modern terms.

The building the Elder God Tentacle Plaza would replace is ugly in an utterly banal style of the 60s. Someone just raised almost a billion dollars to bring it up to the 21st century.

Ah, but it’s the slender tower in the back that rebukes them all.

Wiki: "In a book published in 1932, W. Parker Chase wrote that 'Everything in connection with this monumental building expresses beauty, completeness and grandeur.'

It’s residential now. The interiors, blocked off to the public for decades are . . . well. My God.

That is, or was, our shared culture. To all Americans, regardless. The style was did not so much break with the past as walk alongside, for as long as their paths were parallel. It was not a disavowal of what came before, but a respectful recognition. 

Some generations pass the torch. Others dunk it in a barrel of water - and then wonder why everything is cold and dark.



It’s 1958.

Messes a bit with your mind to think about the Kentucky Edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Waterfield all the way! Well:

The story:

Waterfield became a factional ally of Happy Chandler, though at first they were not friendly to one another politically. In 1947 Waterfield sought election as Governor of Kentucky but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Chandler's factional enemy, Earle C. Clements. Clements was later elected to the United States Senate where he served as Senate Majority Whip when Lyndon Johnson was Senate Majority Leader. Chandler then helped defeat Clements when Clements sought re-election to the Senate. Clements in turn helped his own factional ally, Bert T. Combs, defeat Waterfield, Chandler's handpicked successor, when then-Lt. Governor Waterfield sought election as governor in 1959. Combs defeated Waterfield in the primary and went on to win the office and help secure the election of his own chosen successor, Edward T. Breathitt, in 1963.

Got it?



The price, you say.

The world after progress had been achieved:



A heartwarming story:

Don’t google, I thought. Leave it be. Who knows what happened next.

But I googled anyway. Damn.


See, Ike golfed, so, that’s the joke.

He golfed but this is Spring Training time or will be soon so ha ha


Otto Garr Tague is just the sort of name you’d want for a column like this.

Seems to have been a local fellow, and died two years later, age 81.

I'm not entirely surprised the author of that was 79, but cheers to him for keeping his hand in. He would have been fulminating about TR, too.


That'll do. See you tomorrow. End of the 20s updates now.




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