Thursday, December 15, 2011

In which we interrupt our neglect of materials

You can always tell, you are
not in Palm Springs, when your
perch is a deck made of wood.
This noble building material
is not a feature of desert ar-
chitecture, although surely if
a ship can be sent to Arizona,
twenty idiots may have spec-
ified Jamaican mahogany for a
pool deck, in that happy out-
post of Los Angeles.

I have a friend who is, at 
the moment, wandering the
globe to visit the sources
of various architectural 
materials, no doubt to ver-
ify that they have a place. 
It seems a sound undertak-
ing (besides, he is young,
and has the time) in this 
age of gaudy prosthetics
and synthetic derivatives. 
Too bad he isn't in banking.

Of course this is nothing
more than the miner's sup-
erstition, that gold would
come from particular hills,
and not from some idler in
the bowels of Wall & Broad.
That said, 20 idiots revis-
ing the ecology of Palm
Springs represent nothing
more than a coincidence of
vanity; while it seems, if 
you could put 20 bankers in
touch with each other on a
pipe-bomb of that kind, you
could wreak some lovely sight.

One always used to associate
anarchism with unfortunate
tailoring. You well remember
raise funds, to clothe Mr 
Frick's unlucky assassin. 
But there you are, the mot-
ility of language seems to
have balked at this latest
migration in antecedents,
from illusion to capital.
Possibly if we could dress
the mind with that prescience
with which fashion is cred-
ited, we'd command at least
a better price.

If one could contribute
through mirth and lark,
in some small way to the
measure mankind will one
day take of that scourg-
ing, calculated, knowing
rip-off of human life,
centered in American bank-
ing in the Age of Bush, one
could almost feel recom-
pensed for having lived so
long as to see an icon of
Stalinist art traded in the
millions for some pantry in
Palm Springs.

ii   Offices of J.P. Morgan
     23 Wall Street
     September 16, 1920

v   Konstantin Somov
     The Boxer
     Christies sale: $1,195,830


  1. Extraordinarily beautiful, that picture of the boxer. I was not, alas, the one who bought it.

  2. How well I know, the 2nd part! It would have conflicted with the narrative, for its sale to have been informed by the 1st part. Yes, I do think it is an extraordinary picture, too.