"What matter who's speaking, someone said, what matter who's speaking."
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Eat your frowns!
Anyone who thought this blog was too hard on Owen Hatherley has to read this. It is staggering. It's really difficult to believe the Guardian would print it. But it is really (financial) war propaganda now.
Crossing the river brings you to the infotainment part of the expo. Here, the eco Pavilion of Footprint is directly opposite the Oil Pavilion, decorated in blaring blue neon, just like the city's expressways. Elsewhere, there's some adaptive reuse – the Piranesian China Shipping Pavilion is an embellished shipyard, and the Pavilion of Future a decommissioned power station, just like Tate Modern. Here, tomes on the city of the future, from Thomas More to David Harvey, are piled up, with no sense that each was critiquing existing society through their visions of the future. In the next room, the underwater city of the future sits next to a lime-green illuminated model of a petroleum refinery. Any implication that one might lead to the other is wholly unintentional.
Mao Zedong, the face on the banknotes used to purchase the sweatshop-made merchandise, considered contradiction the motive force of the class war. So it's no surprise that all these opposing forces are held in some kind of balance – but how long can it be kept up?
The Queen is on the banknotes with which Hatherley's prose is bought and which he then trades for his sweatshop and conflict marmite and biros, and she has always considered the British Constitution a puzzle. Always was and always will be says the sage lady. More mystery than muddle, happily, and a mystery - like how do Zaha Hadid's forms levitate? whom did Cheney's assassination squads kill? why is Owen Hatherley vending these shallow ressentimental rants of imbecile racist clichés to these venerable old progressive publications? - has a thrilling and intriguing aspect, whereas muddle...esmisss....esmooor....
As everything animal, vegetable and mineral, social, political, historical, architectural and economic, in China is another expression of yin yang, everything about the English nation can be explained in a single idea; taste is a virtue. It is the only virtue. The virtue of the idle rich. The consumer's virtue. The essence of virtuous fanaticism.
They can't make the really good porcelain or weave the really good rugs but those who do don't know what they are doing or what it's worth any more than bees and ants, while the Englishman, any Englishman, or Englishwoman, a fifth rate journalist with a tweflth rate education, can go to these places where the really good porcelain and rugs and silks are made and stand astride the drones like an intellectual colossus, with expertise in sinopop and New Confucianism acquired on a single flight from London without the least knowledge of Chinese language, interpretating at a breathless rate, transforming mere artisan craft into Critique the humanoid occasions of his brilliance will never comprehend, and driving a firm but fair bargain. - How long can it be kept up? The deuce knows. But for now, they calmly carry on.