Wallpaper

This is my current screen backdrop.  It’s the Scottish town of Inverary, with its castle in the foreground. (right-click to embiggen)

It will come as some surprise, perhaps, to learn that because of the whole hereditary thing, some childlessness and tangled family trees, the current (and next) Duke of Argyll is South African.

Johnny Not-So English

Mr. Bean has created a stir:

Rowan Atkinson has reportedly finally moved into his ‘space age petrol station’ mansion after a decade-long planning row with neighbours. The Blackadder star, 67, initially bought the 1930s quaint English home – known as Handsmooth House – and its 16 acres of land for £2.6million in 2006.

He shocked locals in the charming seventh century village of Ipsden in Oxfordshire when he knocked it down and installed a modern 8,000 sq. ft. glass and steel mansion designed by top U.S. architect Richard Meier in its place.

Oy.  From this:

…to this:

Now I’ll grant you that House #1 needed a lot of restoration.  And I’ll also grant you that House #2 is located where nobody can see it (at least from the road).

But seriously?

I note, by the way, that he has ample space to park his supercar collection:

Small wonder that it took him ten years to get permission to build this dropping of visual excrement.  It should have taken longer.

And One More Thing

After the British Virgin Islands were smacked by not one but two Cat 5 hurricanes in quick succession, most of the islands suffered massive property damage.

Since then, a lot of the wreckage has been rebuilt, and not to World Emperor Kim’s liking, either.  Try this little piece of heaven:

The caption for the pic was “Paradise restored”.

Paradise was not restored;  it was beaten to death with a lead pipe, driven over a few times by a Chieftain tank, and the remains wrapped in concrete and barbed wire.

Would it be wrong for me to wish for a Category 10 hurricane to come calling over there some time soon?

Swoopy

Following on from last night’s post, I happened on this little photo essay:

Eero Saarinen’s outlandish air terminal for TWA at New York’s JFK International Airport was sculpted as an abstract symbol of flight.

Now most Readers. knowing my abhorrence for Modernist architecture, would be forgiven for thinking that this post will be a diatribe against this building.  But on the contrary, I think it’s beautiful — for one thing, there aren’t any hideous straight lines and corners such as found in Bauhaus monstrosities.  As the writer of the article puts it:

Unlike most air terminals, which seemed intent on depressing passengers, Saarinen’s not only raised the spirits but also showed that concrete structures could be truly delightful.

And it is.  In the time it was built, I would imagine that its space-age, swoopy shape would be very much in keeping with the age of early space travel of the late 1950s and early 60s.  As the designer himself put it:

“…the architecture itself would express the drama and excitement of travel… shapes deliberately chosen in order to emphasize an upward-soaring quality of line.”

The first tragedy is that Saarinen died the year before his creation was finished.

The second tragedy is that the beautiful building has of course been “modernized” to make it “more efficient”.

Ugh.

There’ll be a parallel essay to this topic on Saturday.

Getting Worried

Not me, for a change, but the Modernists certainly are.  Note the panic in this piece:

This time around, the traditionalist lunatics have succeeded in taking over the asylum. Reactionary ideas hostile to the cosmopolitan, to Modernism, to modernity itself, are in the ascendant. Tory placemen (and they are generally men) are being appointed to the boards of cultural institutions such as the British Museum and the BBC. The thoroughly middle-class National Trust is under attack as “woke” for exploring colonialism.

I am so pleased that our ideas so hostile to Modernism and all that Le Corbusierian ugliness are starting to alarm the Left.

I also love the fact that the author of this nonsense reveals his bias and prejudices so clearly, such as referring to respected philosopher Sir Roger Scruton as “tweedy” — tweed being the clothing fabric of the hated upper classes, don’t you know — and saying that we conservatives are the lunatics simply for wanting to keep and maintain our heritage (as opposed to “rebuilding better” every generation or so).  And gawd forbid that more men are becoming influential in the cultural wars…

Note too that this Lefty asshole is a “a member of the Mayor of London’s Diversity in the Public Realm Commission“.  Diversity in the public realm?

Never let it be forgotten that people of his ilk perpetrated crimes against the “public realm” such as the infamous Red Road housing units in Glasgow:

…which were recently demolished, to the relief of everyone including the residents.

A pox on Modernism and all its adherents.

Aweful

When an article begins with:

“Recently I spent a couple of days in Dubai-on-Thames, formerly known as London”

…you just know you’re in for a rant of the kind you will often see on this back porch, only with (far) fewer Bad Words.  And indeed, Theodore has still more gems, like:

“That anyone capable of uttering such drivel should be appointed (with the prime minister’s approval!) to a position of such importance demonstrates that the country has long since passed the point of no return as far as its decay is concerned.”

…and my personal favorite (about another writer):

“In a sensible world, the writer of this would be charged with crimes against the English language and forbidden from ever writing again.”

Under the reign of World-Emperor Kim, such charges would be accompanied by public floggings, but let’s not get distracted here.

Also:

“On and on goes this saccharine semi-prayer that made me want to throw a brick through the window.”

Or put a .45 bullet into the miscreant writer, but that punishment would be reserved for the editors of various newspapers (you can guess their names).

Anyway, go ahead and read the whole article, because I’ve only touched on the vitriol.


The title of this post reverts to the original spelling of the word, i.e. something that inspires awe, and is being used sarcastically.