IN THE RANK OF UNFLATTERING monikers for an artistic style, “Brutalism” has got to score near the top. Like the much kinder-sounding “Fauvism” or “Impressionism,” it was a term of abuse for the work of architects whose buildings confronted their users — brutalized them — with hulking, piled-up slabs of raw, unfinished concrete. These same architects, centered on the British couple Alison and Peter Smithson, enthusiastically took up Brutalism as the name for their movement with a kind of pride, as if to say: That’s right, we are brutal. We do want to shove your face in cement. For a world still climbing gingerly out of the ruins of World War II, in need of plain dealing and powerful messages, this brand of architectural honesty was refreshing.
Oh yes. So refreshing, this imposition of literal brutality in a world regrouping from war.
It’s lauded, of course, for having its concrete heart in the right place:
Honesty in materials was allied to the rough, prosaic goals of social democracy. Brutalism is, as the critic Michael J. Lewis has pointed out, the vernacular expression of the welfare state. From Latin America to Europe to South Asia, Brutalism became the style for governments committed to some kind of socialism, the image of “the common good.”
And the common good shall be expressed with monuments of the state that have no individual touches, and impress you with their immovable bulk and overwhelming scale.
Still, Brutalism wasn’t fully popular with a broad public, whose members were never convinced that awe-inspiring concrete dourness was what society was truly missing
Idiots, right? Right. The article ends with praise for the Trellick tower, which was designed by Erno Goldfinger. Apparently that’s who Fleming named his villain after.
Behold: the masses vs. the individuals.
AMAZON A new music service - four bucks for your Echo. This I’m considering, if it has more classical music. I keep saying that the Echo is the thing that Apple should have made. Same with my home security system. And thermostat. Apple should be Wham-O.
People only remember Wham-O for the Frisbee, but for a while they made the best toys. It was as if they had this big secret lab where they kept inventing stuff. The superball was the best; throw it hard and it bounced a mile. I believe they made a wrist-rocket, too.
This killjoy hates them all. "11 Horrible Wham-O Toy TV Ads From The `60s You Won't Believe." Oh, stop it already.
SPACEHeadline: Universe has two trillion more galaxies than previously thought
The article disproves the headline:
There are a dizzying two trillion galaxies in the universe, up to 20 times more than previously thought, astronomers reported on Thursday. The surprising find, based on 3D modeling of images collected over 20 years by the Hubble Space Telescope, was published in the Astronomical Journal.
My first thought: if dark matter - and you know I hate dark matter - was posited to explain the missing mass . . . is this the missing mass? Probably not. Nothing will disprove dark matter until we find out something else we can’t even imagine right now.
Second thought: sometimes you’re overwhelmed by the number of stars, but to find the number of galaxies - to be incomprehensible is something else. You are unable to imagine even the unimaginable.
No more floors; this part might have topped out.
But lest you think this is . . . underwheming, the entire block is now covered with the Works of Man, the deep pit filled into street level with ramps and foundations. The street-level retail, which I suspect will go unrented for a long, long while, is two stories up.
The hospital addition has topped out as well, I think; don't see an evergreen.
Over at the Opus project, the screens around the site are cinched tight and I couldn't see in.
Lots of excavation, though.
The walls have been framed with steel, down at least two stories. They're fast.
Back to music cues for "The Little Things in Life," Peg Lynch's last continuously running sitcom. The cues run from substandard 60s cues to cringingly 70s, and I'm surprised at how few there were. I think I'm already repeating what I previously played. In fact I know I'm already repeating the fact that I think I'm repeating myself, but on we go: this is the sound of narrative radio in its strange last gasp.
I'm going to be so glad when these are done.
The orchestral equivalent of tuneless whistling
Loopy jazzy hah-hah good times music:
What, is everyone drunk?
I'm curious how they thought all these different styles would work from day to day. They don't give the show a consistent feel; they make it seem hodge-podge. I'm not sure they cared.
My file for this is named ADElmerblurt. What could that possibly mean -
This is actually painful.
Thanks to the low bitrate of some of these encodes, the entire show is sometimes smaller than some of the standalone bits. So here you go:
The whole thing! 59.07.23
Well, isn't this cheerful.
Wartime memories. I didn't find this one in the Goodwill bins, obviously. Charlie was an American, but his fame came in Great Britain. Wikipedia: "Kunz's rhythmic piano style remains unique, a relaxed flowing interpretation of popular melodies played with subtle soft and loud accents, a style which he called "melody and rhythm with expression "
As opposed to other forms of music, I guess.
One song just bleeds into another.
Well here we are, and there we were. Hope you enjoyed this week's editions. Something quite different on Monday - see you then!