Pre-Weekend Marginalia

The return of the six-flat; Michael Jordan in winter; the barest form in which architecture can exist; game over for Atlanta; house sparrows; Jonathon Brandmeier; and more

Chicago sunset

 

After spending the better part of the past couple days on two long posts that fried my brain, I looked around to see what the big news of the day was.

Cain, in a speech to supporters in South Carolina, didn’t disclose whether he would drop out of the race for the GOP nomination after this week’s allegation that he had a 13-year-long extramarital affair. He told supporters simply to stay tuned.

I would be surprised if Cain dropped out, seeing as the campaign clearly put a lot of time into the new website Women for Herman Cain. Presidential campaigns are embracing the Internet, particularly sophisticated uses of social media, and the Cain campaign is the first to successfully integrate the tone and aesthetics of Livejournal.

If he dropped out over an extramarital affair, he would clear the way for… a thrice-married, self-confessed adulterer. I’m ambivalent to the importance of sexual fidelity to the office of the presidency, and if you correlate the data, it would seem to suggest—based on the general popularity of presidents—that we should seek out the divorced and unfaithful to run: GWB (one-woman man), Clinton (cheater), GHWB (insufficient data), Reagan (divorced), Carter (faithful and how), Nixon (faithful as far as I know), etc.

But I’m not ambivalent to logic, so I’m throwing the white flag on the week.

* In a recession, Crain’s reports on the return of the six-flat.

* Eric Zorn on Jonathaon Brandmeier, circa 1986.

* Waterline Chicago, a film commissioned by SOM’s Philip Enquist for a course at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design on the Chicago River (via Archdaily).

WATERLINE CHICAGO from Spirit of Space on Vimeo.

* The Loop.

The Loop from Michael Salisbury on Vimeo.

* ”The Barest Form in which Architecture Can Exist: Some Notes on Ludwig Hilberseimer’s Proposal for the Chicago Tribune Building":

The Chicago Tribune competition, in contrast, went beyond the possibility of economic value being derived from land speculation to the possibility of that derived from representation. Architectural representation – the power of a building’s image – was here rediscovered not as a tool for political representation, but rather as one of economic interest, as branding. The remarkably heterogeneous responses to the competition, which presented designs inspired by wide-ranging Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque or Art Deco styles as well as some modernist ones, showed the abstract and non-representable nature of economic interests when it comes to giving it a definitive form. In its pervasive and fluctuating nature, economic interest can assume any kind of stylistic or formal expression.

* “His Airness in Winter”:

When Jordan asserts himself as a hardline owner, in effect, he’s reclaiming his identity, effectively branding himself as the same MJ we always liked, or loathed—the spite and the grandeur are inseparable by now. He’s never going to excel at running basketball teams, but at very least he can stab at the enemy like in the old days. Irrelevance is far preferable to emasculation. Jordan has found his niche as the only owner capable of towing the hard line without coming off as a sniveling kook.

* “If All the Human Race Had Perished”:

Most House Sparrows are so spoiled by the year-round food supply our cities provide and the warm, protected cavities they find everywhere in our architecture that they have even forgone their old migratory tendencies. They are like distant relatives who, unaccompanied by invitations, came to visit with us for a week, remained a month, then three, then six, and now spend all four seasons snoozing on our sofas.

* “HIV/AIDS and the 99 Percent”:

As yesterday marked World AIDS Day, I can’t help but remember that both issues—the economic inequality that Occupy protesters are railing against and the disease plaguing more than a million people in the U.S.—are in fact two sides of the same coin.

* “Is It Game Over for Atlanta?”

The biggest infrastructure issue for Atlanta is transportation. Atlanta’s freeways are among the world’s widest, but this disguises the extent to which its roadway infrastructure is woefully insufficient. Atlanta has a simple beltway and spoke system similar to Indianapolis and Columbus, much smaller cities. Other big cities like Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis and Detroit have much more elaborate systems that don’t rely on a single ring road, but instead webs of freeway with multiple “crosstown” routes.

* Eleventh Dream Day, Coffin Pricks, and the Cairo Gang play the Empty Bottle tomorrow night. I’m unfamiliar with Coffin Pricks, but heartily recommend the other bands. Here’s Eleventh Dream Day with Green (!) circa 1990:

* Annals of promising University of Chicago grads: An old college coffee-shop co-worker of mine is the Thomas Lynch of Jezebel. “Ask a Mortician” is a really neat idea.

 

Photograph: Monika Thorpe (CC by 2.0)

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