~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Thursday, June 30, 2005

"The darkness at ground zero just got a little darker."

I sooooooooooooooooo want to smack this guy.

"Somber, oppressive and clumsily conceived, the project is a monument to a society that has turned its back on any notion of cultural openness. It is exactly the kind of nightmare that government officials repeatedly asserted would never happen here: an impregnable tower braced against the outside world."

"The earlier twisted glass form... lacked grace or fresh ideas. The new obelisk-shaped tower, standing on an enormous 20-story concrete pedestal, evokes a gigantic glass paperweight with a toothpick stuck on top. [...] The temptation, of course, is to dismiss it as a joke... Unfortunately, the tower is too loaded with meaning to dismiss. For better or worse, it will be seen by the world as a chilling expression of how the United States is reshaping its identity in a post-Sept. 11 context."
What in the hell are you trying to... Oh! You think it's UGLY! Why didn't you just say so? And by extension, Americans are ugly, as well?

"The effort fails on almost every level. As an urban object, the tower's static form and square base finally brushes aside the last remnants of Libeskind's master plan, whose only real strength was the potential tension it created between the site's various structures."
Potential tension?

"The alleyway, [in the original design] was fraught with tension; it is now a formless park littered with trees."
Fraught with tension!? Oh my!

"The author of this critique, in the original design, was fraught with pretentiousness; alas, he is now a formless object of ridicule littered about with empty Starbucks containers."

America hasn't "turned it's back on cultural openess" by approving a memorial you find aesthetically unpleasing, you self important poseur. Our cultural openess over the past two hundred years has been a key contributor in producing a society wherein someone like you is free to publicly lament how an ugly memorial is "an ideal symbol for an empire enthralled with its own power, and unaware that it is fading."

Pour another latte, Chicken Little. Relax.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse thinks the author should be commended for finding words to write about architecture. And I see her point. Writing about such a visual medium is difficult. She also admits that his assumptions about his readers' politics is "grating." Well, put me in the "thoroughly grated upon" category. I can't see past his pessimism which I most definately do not share. The memorial tower could be shaped like a thousand foot Barney the Purple Dinosaur (an uglier image I could not fathom) and still I would insist America's future remained bright. One ugly building does not a crumbling "empire" make.

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