Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Two random thoughts

by Rick Blechta

I found Tom’s post yesterday quite interesting. Here are a couple of riffs that his description of Washington inspired in me.

I’ve never been to Washington (despite growing up in the New York City area which is reasonably close), but I have been to several other world capitols (London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Ottawa). They all have one thing in common: government buildings all have rather self-conscious grandiosity incorporated into their designs. I suppose this is supposed to reflect each country’s feelings of importance and standing. Tom is right in his comment about the use of marble. It is a very common feature in all government buildings.

Viewing them up close, somehow, I always come away feeling a bit, well, squashed. I suspect that’s a deliberate function of the architecture of Important Government Buildings.

For instance, have you ever noticed how huge the main doorways are? A Tyrannosaurus rex could walk through one without worrying about bumping its head! There might be a smaller door-within-a-door, but you can’t help but be aware of how small and insignificant you are.

Just the thing any government would want from its citizens, I think…


Even though I was born and brought up in the States, I’ve lived in Canada since I was 20, so I guess I’m more “Canadian” than “American” these days — whatever that means.

So why am I completely consumed by the political shenanigans in the States? I mean, it’s got so bad that I actually find myself with an online subscription to the Washington Post (even though it Fake News).

Who else is suffering from this?

I used to not really follow politics all that much, just gleaning what I needed from various news sources to be an adequately informed citizen. Now I find myself wanting to check into the Post on a nearly hourly basis.

But that in turn has led to other thoughts. They’ve managed to turn Trump’s trials and tribulations into click-bait, haven’t they? It’s almost like an addiction, and is sort of frightening.

Well, last night I decided I’m only going to check in when I sit down at the computer in the morning, and then just after dinner. That’s it. My life is too busy to spend a half hour here and an hour there reading breathless reports on just what is happening. Between times, I’m going to resist the urge to see what new bombshell has landed in our laps.

Wish me luck…


Sybil Johnson said...

I'm staying away from a lot of the impeachment stuff other than to read the newspaper in the morning. It's better for my mental health because, really, I can't look at "him" right now.

Anna said...

Rick, you and Sybil are so right about the need to guard our time, energy, and mental health as we endure this stuff.

But your comment about government buildings reminds me of what Andre Codrescu said sardonically in one of his very early books. I've misplaced it, so this is a paraphrase: "All government buildings all over the world are connected by a long giant underground tunnel...." I believe he was waiting in a long line to prepare for becoming a U.S. citizen, and recalling similar lines in the government buildings of his native Romania.

Rick Blechta said...

It would not surprise me in the least, Anna!

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