Two things from Dissent Magazine...

One is a review of Richard Serra's work at MoMA, and the other is on my favorite topic, 1968. G'head! Dig in!
Jeffrey Toobin was on Bill Moyers Journal, and he also has an interesting piece in the New Yorker regarding the future of the court if McCain is elected. There's a lot at stake this year... like, the future.
Having been born in the 20th century near New York, it was always something to travel away from that metropolis at night and discover that there was a blanket of stars above, not just the few constellations that you could find on a clear night in the NY Metro Area. For years, my mother lived in the NW corner of Connecticut, and it was always a joy to be there around chilly Christmastime and to look up into the heavens and see the Milky Way. Light pollution is a problem, and it is something that keeps us from looking skyward in awe as our ancestors did, making us focus on the surface of our planet and not on the universe as a whole. For those of you who miss the night sky, read David Owen's The Dark Side from the New Yorker last year. Our kids and their kids deserve to see the cosmos.

Friday... time to groove.

Using the WAYBAC machine (er, YouTube), I give you The Spencer Davis Group performing "I'm A Man" (with lovli subtitles, reminiscent of those in Monty Python and the Holy Grail).

Next up, we've got Steve Winwood and his compatriots in The Spencer Davis Group appearing at the local mall, singing "Gimme Some Lovin'".

Staying within the 60s, let's swing with Thelonious Monk in Paris - "Straight, No Chaser", from 1969.

Jumping to 1993, here's Paul Weller with Jools Holland performing the Marvin Gaye classic "What's Going On?".

To wrap up, let's have Paul Weller sing "Going Places".

Best Wishes for a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! Peace!

In honor of this week's UEFA Cup Championship in Moscow, I give you the beautiful game as it was meant to be played...

Paul Krugman points out the advantages of mass transit and a different urban development model. As an architect who has seen a bit of the world and lived abroad, I can only hope that we in the U.S. will finally accept the fact that we can't spread ourselves so broadly across the landscape and expect to thrive given limited and expensive resources. The coming energy crisis will force us to re-think our way of living, and a new urban model must be developed if we are to continue to prosper.

I, for one, would be happy to have one car and to use mass transit for most of my travels and commuting. It's one of the reasons my family and I moved to Portland; people out here get the idea that these problems have to be solved regionally. Individuals in cars going to the same places just isn't as efficient as mass transit.

Just think - if our government had pumped large sums into research and development of alternative energy sources and mass transit systems instead of trying to democratize the Middle East, we'd be on the way to a better world, instead of being stuck in a situation with no clear solution, with untold loss of life and treasure. If we reduce the amount of oil we use, that will weaken the despotic governments in the Middle East. If the Saudis didn't have all that cash, they couldn't built madrasas all over the world spreading a fundamentalist creed. Energy conservation isn't a radical idea; it is a necessity, and it's benefits can make our society a better one. Let's get started before it's too late.
I found this on The Daily Dish this morning. Racial issues in this country are far from settled, and it's basically frightening how deeply embedded these feelings are among certain demographics. Interesting how Al Jazeera can dig up this stuff but CNN cannot.

Gary Kamiya looks at the HBO movie that airs Sunday night - The Ugliest Election.

Not listening.

Guy ends up in Gitmo, charges are dropped and he is released after five years, and our elected representatives don't even bother to listen to his tale.

In The Know: Are Politicians Failing Our Lobbyists?
Sometime last year, I had a discussion with a friend about how Western starchitects have been working for various despots and such over the last few years. This article in Foreign Policy isn't actually enlightening (architects like working for powerful people who give them the money and authority to create pretty much whatever they dream up - in other words, it's all ego and greed, surprise!), but I'm glad someone wrote about the subject. In contrast to the early Modernists who worked on competitions inside the (young) Soviet Union (Corbu comes to mind), today's architects know better just what dictators and totalitarian governments or "less-than-free" countries are capable of, and what they do to their citizens. I like a lot of Rem Koolhaas' work - have done for years - but when he agreed to build the headquarters for China's state-run TV ministry, the governments primary propaganda arm, I think he crossed a line from which there is no return. I've read his defense of accepting the job and it just doesn't cut the mustard. Most of these starchitects were around in 1968, so it becomes even harder to accept their arguments for accepting these jobs and aligning themselves with these despots and tyrants. Here's a link to some images of the projects mentioned in the Foreign Policy article.
I suppose that since China owns so much of our national debt, we're more than willing to to do the dirty work for them. Instead, it might be a good idea to follow Scott Horton's lead.

The Neverending Story

I'm back after a wonderful but too brief trip to see old and new friends, and despite a bit of jet lag around the edges, I'm feeling refreshed.

Something about the Democratic primary process is beginning to remind me of that children's book The Never Ending Story. According to Wikipedia, the story depicts the world of Fantastica being destroyed by Nothing (read Billary). Andrew Sullivan has the right call on Hillary's latest contortions and distortions, and I couldn't agree with him more. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Just who is this man they call McNasty? And what sort of Supreme Court would he give us if he became president? It may be a moot point - George Packer discusses the Fall of Conservatism.

Here's an interesting article about the rise of Muslim terrorists from The New York Review of Books. Doesn't sound as if they hate us for our freedom or way of life. Sorry, Dubya. How (Not) to Spot a Terrorist.

Don't worry, be happy. I really gotta visit Iceland one of these days.

Here's Obama's Iowa speech, just in case you missed it.

Cities at night

Hello, all. I've been traveling the last few days and I apologize for the dearth of posts. I'll be back on schedule tomorrow, and I'll be watching the primaries today closely. Meantime, enjoy this...