I wonder what accounts for a high incidence of morbidity in the archive of internet imagery, but I don't wonder enough to investigate.
On any given day, the self-inflicted aspect of this culture's odd morbidity is bound to be exposed, simply by the innocent progress of its President from pulpit to penitentiary. So much in common, so little time noticing, writing on the walls.
Fashion workers and daylight seldom mix, and rarely get further than a corner of the rue Balzac. On a recent break from dressing up at Balmain, pride of place on the utility grate fell to Xavier Serrano, channeling Marilyn Monroe, al- beit swaddled in jeans and T.
Well, for context on parade, what would you have? A scruffy pack of freshly minted capital- ists, or a revue of rednecks mocking the rights of man? If it can't take one to the Bris- tol, what use is the street?
The MR lounge chair was introduced in 1927 at an industrial design exhib- ition in Stuttgart, as a tour de force in econom- ical materials for mass production of seating. That didn't last long. This chair was not the first of its kind, and it shared an institu- tional derivation with some others crafted for the same reason. Here, however, an unexpected quality of almost ethic- al contradiction emerged. Opulence. In this chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, that first motive was so in- stantly subordinated by the éclat of its recep- tion, as strikingly elo- quent sculpture of con- genial yet emphatic dis- dain of mass, while sud- denly, belting leather and resilient steel were shown to support such a visible comfort, despite their arresting profile and absolute clarity of line, as to announce a new epoch in taste, per se; the chair became, and has remained an ac- coutrement but also al- most an emblem, of both the disciplined and the epicurean mentality. To the exercise of sustain- ing these two qualities within the same mind, it brings the fulfillment of of architecture itself.
Oh, my. Les pâtisseurs at the Palais Coburg virtuously outdid them- selves, to cheer up the negotiating team from Paris, on being away from home for the dawn of Bastille Day. Still, as dawns go, this one, too, may be remembered.
That said, if the diplomats consider themselves winded, by all these months of struggling for a modus vivendi other than war, they can but marginally anticipate the ordeal now to be met by politicians who must sell it against the wind from profiteers of that higher calling, not only Republican, not only Likud, not only Sunni, but also, to be sure, Clintonian, gainfully non-committal and aloof from responsibility. Let them together eat cake. The tide for this will sweep their ramparts clean.
Like you, I've been struck by the higher efficiency of social media these days, to characterise a cen- tral horror of a massacre, such as we were offered in Charleston, than we used to see in the 1960s. Then, we had only professional media, but its competition to en- ter print at the highest levels was genuine, intense, meritori- ous, measured, and legitimate. What it missed of feeling, it ap- praised in weight. "Delay" dealt it memorability. The racist paroxysm in Charles- ton may even prove itself to be more transformational than I've suggested. I doubt it; but if it swings an election next year, it will only re-acquaint us with the limits of representation. On the other hand, the profes- sional media, from the WSJ to TNYT to WaPo are undoubtedly right in their alarm at signs of European convulsion, once again, on the halberd of Ger- man policy. But this time, the knives are not only long, they are identifiable, torchlight or not. We are more at the mercy of Europe's vicissitudes, the week reminds us, than we are isolat- ed, insulated, free in a sense we never have been. Charleston is personal, Sonny. Europe is strictly business. Germany is affronted by Greece? Who will speak from any nation to the evil in this complaint? Who may finally have to say, It isn't enough to be powerful. One has to be decent. If not, again, humanity.