The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Vandalism in Defense of Slavery

Just remember: the Confederate flag has nothing to do with racism:

'White Power' banner hung on Westmoreland water tower

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Associated Press
Someone scaled a barbed-wire fence and hung a "White Power" banner on a water tower behind Mount Pleasant High School earlier this week.

State police in Greensburg said someone cut through barbed wire on top of the fence [...] before climbing the structure [and hanging] a Confederate flag and a banner saying "White Power," police said.

It's just that racists really like the flag flown by an army constituted to defend chattel slavery. No idea why they'd make that connection.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Frogward, March!

This could finally be it. The straw that breaks Rove's back. From TPM:
Waxman spoke to RNC Counsel Rob Kelner. According to Kelner, even after the RNC began saving Karl Rove's emails, in response to orders from Pat Fitzgerald, Rove himself apparently continued to delete the messages himself well into 2005.
That would be Karl Rove, under investigation by a Federal prosecutor, destroying evidence that he was directly told to preserve.

It's beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas....

Friday, April 06, 2007

You Shouldn't Take It So Hard

I haven't had anything specific to say about the Keith-Richards-snorted-his-dad's-ashes story. It befits his legend as rock's greatest hedonist, and part of me is impressed, but it's not exactly role model behavior, you know? Nonetheless, the faux outrage makes me want to come out foursquare behind ol' Keith.

Keith became my hero while I was in architecture school, pulling allnighter after allnighter. Why? It wasn't his stupendous drug use, but rather his story of staying up for 9 days straight, finally passing out against a guitar amp in a studio. His explanation? "Life was just too interesting to miss a single minute."

I no longer resent my body's need for at least 6 hours a night, but I certainly would like to experience as much life as possible. And sometimes, that means just staying awake for it all.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Natural Design

I've always hewed to the belief that we respond instinctively to natural beauty, and that capturing aspects of natural beauty is what makes for pleasing art and architecture. This is a commonplace in the art world, although exactly how "natural beauty" gets defined is at the core of a lot of historical debate: Classicists - the more rationally-minded - point to symmetry and mathematical proportion, while Romantics - who might be called organicists - focus on dynamic equilibrium and more and less abstracted naturalistic ornament.

All of this throat-clearing is just to note that I was struck this morning as I filled our Brita pitcher. Our faucet has lost a washer, and so the water spritzes out a bit, and as the stream entered the opening, droplets of water accumulated on the adjacent lid. And they did so in a pattern that was lovely. With a bit more forethought, I would've taken a photo, but you'll just have to picture a fan of droplets, bigger at the base (closer to the stream), tapering towards the edge of the gravity- and water pressure-defined distribution. Not entirely dissimilar to a peacock's fan, actually.

It never ceases to amaze me how simple, natural patterns like this please the eye. And of course fractal geometry has taught us that the distinction I made up above is superficial - once you get beyond the surface circumstances of symmetry and ornament, both schools of thought are looking at the same truth. Our minds, evolved in this world, respond with subconscious delight to the forms and arrangements that follow from natural laws.

The trick is reliably echoing natural beauty in artificial design. I'll let you know when I get there.