Weekend 390.0 (“Come on, let’s drive across to the Palisades”)

Music on Parade“…when you are stuck, with nothing in your head but your memories, and memories of memories, which form a map, some more recent than others, some about music, which you can almost hear, smashed into the spilling sounds of the segmented, centre-less city below, a vast imaginary landscape waiting to be discovered, about how you find what you are looking for sometimes by not directly looking at it, not by skimming the surface, not by checking what others have said, or cross-referencing what the facts are, but by heading off into the next tunnel, which curves away from now, away from the facts, picking up speed, in the bold direction of what happens next, a beautiful and dangerous new world, arriving and departing at the same time, stirring under our feet, containing secrets, turning above our heads, in the open air, suddenly.” – Paul Morley from Earthbound

It was a musically-inspired weekend, reaching a crescendo (hear what I did there?) with a copy of Miami Vice on vinyl from the flea market for $4. This album includes songs from Glenn Frey, Phil Collins, Jan Hammer, Tina Turner and Chaka Khan (pure 80s goodness). It doesn’t include “Brother In Arms” by Dire Straights from the episode “Out Where the Buses Don’t Run” (S2/E3) but maybe it’s on the second album. The lesser known instrumentals from Jan Hammer like “Flashback” and “Chase” still sound contemporary.

I’ve also been trading YouTube videos with Felicia. Here’s a roundup of our video swap (now available on YouTube as a playlist). Felicia is a Green Day / Billy Joel / Punk Rock fan.

“Overkill” from Colin Hay / Men At Work
“Wish You Were Here” from David Gilmour
“Palisades Park” from Counting Crows
Alternative Ulster HQ from Stiff Little Fingers
Graceland from Paul Simon
I Wish It Would Rain Down from Phil Collins
Is There Anybody Out There? from Pink Floyd
Whatsername from Green Day
She’s Always a Woman from Bill Joel
Yet Another Movie from Pink Floyd
Still Breathing from Green Day
Tunnel Of Love from Bruce Springsteen
Oh Love from Green Day
High Dive from Andrew McMahon
I’m On Fire from Brice Springsteen

Another friend asked me for a Disney inspired pre-trip playlist which I’ve posted below. The timing of the request is ironic since “Palisades Park” (quoted in the title and already in the draft before the request) is a defunct amusement park that closed in 1971 (the same year Walt Disney World opened). Also, “Tunnel Of Love” from Bruce Springsteen features a carnival/amusement park rather prominently.

Disney 2016 / 26 Songs / 1 hour, 35 minutes

I’ve provided context for most of these songs in previous posts but email if you want details re: artists and albums (some songs are of the rarer-variety).

Part 1
(1) Sounds Of The Frontierland Train Station (2) Into the Sunset (3) Recognizer (4) Naruto’s Theme (5) Giorgio by Moroder (6) Soarin’ (7) Spaceship Earth – AT&T Introduction (8) Les Poissons (9) Quel Temps Fait-Il a Paris (10) Intro / Tokyo (11) One more time, One more chance (12) Kingdom Hearts™ (Live)

Part 2
(13) Alone In Kyoto (14) Tomorrowland Transit Authority (15) Space Mountain Entrance (16) Star Tours (17) If You Had Wings (18) Walt Disney and the Sherman Brothers Sing (19) Canada (You’re a Lifetime Journey) / Wonders of China / Fiesta In Mexico (20) Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire (21) No Myth (22) A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes (23) Father and Son (24) River Flows in You (25) We’ll Meet Again (26) Rhapsody In Blue

My postscript for Weekend 390.0 is from Mark Knopfler (and my second city).

Weekend 389.0 (Cosmos ‘Versailles Tetra’)

“Envision the extraordinary brilliance and effects of the light in sun and moon and stars, in the dark shades of a glade, in the colors and scents of flowers. Then there is the grandeur of the spectacle of the sea as it slips on and off its many colors like robes. All these are mere consolations for us, not the rewards of the blessed. What can such rewards be like, then, if such things here are so many, so great, and of such quality?” – St. Augustine

Weekend 388.0

(1) World’s Fair Beer Relaunches With a New Recipe (Knoxville Mercury)

(2) Will the high-tech cities of the future be utterly lonely? (The Week)

Write this story…

Mind the Gap…winner gets homemade fish n chips or bangers and mash.

The illustration was done by Clarke Hutton for A Picture of Britain.

Weekend 387.1

A quote from The Prayer of Love and Silence by a Carthusian.

“In order to free oneself and become detached from things, one must see them in their true perspective, value them at their true worth, and give them their proper due. One needs as much judgement to renounce the things of the world as to acquire and keep possession of them– more in fact!”

Weekend 387.0

(1) Dust My Shoulders Off (YouTube)

(1a) Edward Hopper related posts from the Limestone Archives:

Weekend 272.0 (22.2 x 21.5 x 9.8 inches)
Weekend 270.0 (…in the shape of a MetroCard®)

(1b) Edward Hopper books:

Hopper (MoMA)
Hopper Drawing (Whitney Museum of American Art)
Edward Hopper Paints His World
Staying Up Much Too Late: Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and the Dark Side of the American Psyche

(2) A quote from 1984 by George Orwell:

“These rich men were called capitalists. They were fat, ugly men with wicked faces, like the one in the picture on the opposite page. You can see that he is dressed in a long black coat which was called a frock coat, and a queer, shiny hat shaped like a stovepipe, which was called a top hat. This was the uniform of the capitalists, and no one else was allowed to wear it.”

*Scan is from Hopper Drawing

Weekend 386.0 (I am old and I wouldn’t mind dying)

(1) Monasteries of the Mind by Victor Davis Hanson

“In reaction to the growing globalization of the Roman Empire, elite corruption, the banality of bread-and-circuses, and the end of the agrarian Italian Republic, the Stoics opted out, choosing instead a reasoned detachment from contemporary life. Some, like the worldly court philosopher Seneca, seemed hypocritical; others, such as the later emperor Marcus Aurelius, lived a double life of imperial engagement and mental detachment.”

Weekend 385.0

“I have found the still point around which the whole country revolves without knowing it.” – Thomas Merton

A quote from The Prayer of Love and Silence by a Carthusian.

“The faithful soul finds its good in everything that affects it; a principle more profound than that which governs the life of nature causes it to derive strength and development from its contact with everything. When it is not so with us, when we allow the accidents of life to upset us and turn us from our path, it is surely because our life is not sufficiently interior. We must descend into the depths of our being, remain patient and still and re-find in the solitude where God dwells that divine intelligence, that mysterious force, thanks to which we are again able to assimilate harmoniously without exception all that happens to us and around us.”

Illustration: Sarah John

Weekend 384.0 (…you know I never meant to see you again…but I only passed by as a friend)

(1) How great were the 80s (asks the aged Xer)? Phil, Clapton, and Jeffrey Tambor in the same video. (YouTube)

Weekend 383.0 (…try to catch the deluge in a paper cup)

(1) Super Tunnel: Join engineers as they build a massive new railway deep beneath the streets of London. (NOVA)

(1a) 5 Key Lessons from 10 Cities at Transforming Transportation 2017

(2) Text exchange with my best friend… (Flickr)

Weekend 382.1

(1) The British Castle—A Symbol in Stone / Friday, April 7, 2017 – Sunday, August 6, 2017 (Yale Center for British Art)

(2) Creative Space: Jane Smith

Weekend 382.0

Two quotes from The Prayer of Love and Silence by a Carthusian.

“Obedience and patience, we must remember, are not ends in themselves. ‘Art for art’s sake’ is nonsense, since nothing created can be its own end. It is the same with virtue. ‘Virtue for virtue’s sake’ as an ideal is meaningless and discouraging, because it can never be realized. Anyone leaving the world for the paltry pleasure of thinking himself perfect, or who accepts the world’s challenges from a sense of spiritual pride or to increase his self-esteem is simply ending up where he began—with himself!”

“The divine life can only take possession of us when we have done all we can, on our part, to become detached from created things. Death to self and life in God are inseparably linked: the one without the other remains sterile.”

Weekend 381.0

‘Even though an old proverb says, “too much special knowledge makes you stupid” I, as a craftsman, must say that having gone through an apprenticeship in the field of applied art, gives me certain advantages in the difficult art of design, as compared to those who partly or completely work from theoretical knowledge.’ – Kay Bojesen 

(1) Made in the U.K. (YouTube)

(2) A Water Lily by Jia Peng Fang

Weekend 380.0

(1) Frank Lloyd Wright’s unbuilt Trinity Chapel is realised in images by David Romero (dezeen)

The Unfinished Pietà

“Good and evil have not changed since yesteryear, nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

I’ve managed this blog since 2000. It was originally on Blogger and initially launched as something called ‘Unfinished Architecture.’ I moved to WordPress in 2010 after Blogger deprecated publishing via FTP. The old content was available via the current site (as static HTML) but it was hacked and injected with some redirect ridiculousness. I still have the old content and plan to sanitize and republish it one day -or- maybe Burgoyne can while picking through the detritus.

The one problem with blogging for sixteen years is that you eventually forget what books, poems, paintings, and themes you reference and quote in posts. You would think I’ve accrued enough literary capital to add something original at least once a week, but as eclectic as this mess is, the interests in my life follow broad patterns and themes (most of which I return to time and time again). I wonder if that’s normal or if my life is really that boring?

I also very rarely publish original content, preferring to aggregate content (long before curation and social media were careers). Blogging has gone through so many phases (may even be passé at this point) and I never really believed that anyone gave a rats a** what someone was posting to a blog. WHO really cares what anyone has to say on the internet (unless it’s inflammatory)? More critically, my blog is a distillation (a digital journal) of the 4-6 hours I spend every weekend reading and researching broad categories of interests in-between home and work (and mostly work).

That rather lengthy intro was a segue to the real point of this post. Current events have pushed 1984 to the best sellers list (again). Orwell is generally seized by the left and the right whenever it’s convenient, but if you remove politics, the warnings are quite blind. Here’s Winston Smith on obliterating the past via the memory hole and the hammer of whatever ‘ism’ is fashionable at the moment:

“One could not learn history from architecture any more than one could learn it from books. Statues, inscriptions, memorial stones, the names of streets – anything that might throw light upon the past had been systematically altered.”

He doesn’t quite answer the why in that passage, but Winston sensed that objects, places, and words were part of the essentialness of being human. The past is as immutable as 2+2=4:

“What appealed to him about it was not so much its beauty as the air it seemed to possess of belonging to an age quite different from the present one…The thing was doubly attractive because of its apparent uselessness, though he could guess that it must once have been intended as a paperweight…It was a queer thing, even a compromising thing, for a Party member to have in his possession. Anything old, and for that matter anything beautiful, was always vaguely suspect.”

Why are those useless objects so critical to our humanity? Alain de Botton provides part of the answer in The Architecture of Happiness:

“The desire to remember unites our reasons for building for the living and the dead. As we put up tombs, markers, mausoleums to memorialize lost loved ones, so do we construct and decorate buildings to help us recall the important but fugitive parts of ourselves. The pictures and chairs in our homes are the equivalents – scaled for our own day, attuned to the demands of the living – of the giant burial mounds of Paleolithic times. Our domestic fittings, too, are memorials to identity…at its most genuine, the architectural impulse seems connected to a longing for communication and commemoration, a longing to declare ourselves to the world through a register other than words, through the language of objects, colors and bricks: an ambition to let others know who we are – and, in the process, to remind ourselves.”

In sixteen years, I’ve probably quoted Why I Write at least a half-dozen times. In this seminal essay Orwell previews the very limited separation between himself and the fictional character of Winston Smith. He writes:

“So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information.”

The past, and the objects that keep us attached to it, are part of our identity. And to rewrite, disavow, or obliterate the past cuts us loose from our humanity– ripe to be molded by any ism -or- to devolve into trousered apes.

Limestone is now a near two-decade old collection of my own digital scraps of useless information.