Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday commute cxi: One clink at a time

   And to think, there must
   be people who imagine it
   might be easy to descend
   a staircase in clothing.

Abel van Oeveren

Friday, July 17, 2015

A way of life

    baggy khaki

Slammer reveries

 I wonder what accounts
 for a high incidence of
 morbidity in the archive
 of internet imagery, but
 I don't wonder enough to

   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.

Thobias Malmberg
  Polaroid image

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Break time at Balmain

  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?

Context on parade

   On any given day somewhat more
   than half of the readership of
   this page comes from Europe and
   Asia, where the image displayed
   below may be even less under-
   standable than it is in North
   America. This was the scene out-
   side a hotel in Oklahoma City,
   Oklahoma (in the south central
   position on this continent that
   Afghanistan occupies in Asia),
   where the American President 
   arrived Wednesday evening, be-
   fore speaking at a federal pris-
   on today, about injustices in
   the criminal justice system. 

   Another spontaneous, coinciden-
   tal outpouring of rapture in 
   outlaw heritage, intending no
   intimidation of African Amer-
   icans, no resistance to equal
   justice under law. Just love.

   We reckon, it is possible
   to cultivate that happier
   society by ignoring tran-
   sitory signs of intransi-
   gence. It just takes sev-
   eral generations longer,
   than awakening to them.

i   Mateus Fini

Doug Mills, photography
The New York Times©
July 15, 2015

iii  Stefanos Milatos

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Origins of Wednesday xvi: Economy of humanism

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.

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.

Tim Schuhmacher

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Rhymes with doigts

   Les droits de l'homme, as our
   Iowan exemplar reminded us in
   this portrait, yesterday, ap-
   pearing in his region's most
   estimable newspaper, are sus-
   ceptible to translation into
   every language.

   We delight to see the tricou-
   leur redeemed intuitively, on
   this, of all days.

i    Rodney White, photo
     Des Moines Register
     July 13, 2015©

iii  Ivan Terestchenko

Rhymes with truite

Un tweet de Laurent Fabius.

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.

Delegates of France

Martin Conte
Rhys Pickering

Monday, July 13, 2015

This week of long remembrance

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.

Our restructuring quiz

 What should we call 
 a land of very pret-
 ty places with some
 excellent riesling,
 and an inability to
 be trusted with pow-

Sunday, July 12, 2015

We'd been considering a nap

And somebody said, what if the
President were to settle for
just two Nobel Peace Prizes,
and elect a successor from his
own Party in exchange for the

Immediately, it gelled. The
second prize, already assured
for diplomatic relations with
Cuba, will happily paint poor
Marco into the shabby little
corner he has spent a career,
plastering. Alas, he's been
cultivating the wrong billion-
aires. Nobody's going to turn
down that marketplace, just

Yet, a third prize, for an
accord with Iran, would only
be for more peace than Israel
Plus, there's the ostentation
to avoid, in doing more good
than the market will bear; 
and if the President were to
play it right - an austere
refusal to be teased further
by a fanatical mystery cult -
he could allow his successor
a campaign slogan to drive
a stake through the mongrel
Right at the same time. Even

Not to affect indifference,