The site contains more contradictions, unresolved and perhaps unresolvable, than any other eight acres in Manhattan. A celebration of liberty tightly policed; a cemetery that cowers in the shadow of commerce; an insistence that we are here to remember and an ambition to let us tell you what to recall; the boast that we have completely started over and the promise that we will never forget—visitors experience these things with a free-floating sense of unease. The contradictions are already so evident that they’ve infuriated critics, from right to center to left. The theocrats in First Things deplore the absence of any common patriotic imagery, while Patrick L. Smith, in Salon, asks if those who worked in what was admittedly a center for world trade—global capital—are truly “innocents.” Michael Kimmelman, in the Times, protests the way that the new complex seems to deny the city around it, both by hedging itself off from the streets and street life and by creating that hyper-security mini-state within Manhattan. (via Stones and Bones - The New Yorker)

The site contains more contradictions, unresolved and perhaps unresolvable, than any other eight acres in Manhattan. A celebration of liberty tightly policed; a cemetery that cowers in the shadow of commerce; an insistence that we are here to remember and an ambition to let us tell you what to recall; the boast that we have completely started over and the promise that we will never forget—visitors experience these things with a free-floating sense of unease. The contradictions are already so evident that they’ve infuriated critics, from right to center to left. The theocrats in First Things deplore the absence of any common patriotic imagery, while Patrick L. Smith, in Salon, asks if those who worked in what was admittedly a center for world trade—global capital—are truly “innocents.” Michael Kimmelman, in the Times, protests the way that the new complex seems to deny the city around it, both by hedging itself off from the streets and street life and by creating that hyper-security mini-state within Manhattan. (via Stones and Bones - The New Yorker)

"Stuff your eyes with wonder … live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories."
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (via liquidnight)

(Source: captainstormwind)

All Power to the Pack Rats | Jacobin →

ifiwereahoarder:

Notwithstanding its gross simplifications and misguided paranoia, Ian Svenonius’ Jacobin blog post “All Power to the Pack Rats” merits a quick read by those interested in the invention of the hoarder because it understands contemporary hoarding discourse in relation to digital technologies.

[This relation has long been a refrain on If I Were a Hoarder: I am convinced that the outpouring of hoarding discourse since around 2008, which includes novels, memoirs, network television series, documentaries, installation art, and the inclusion of “Hoarding Disorder” in the DSM-Vhas has everything to do with digital technologies. I believe that the interest in people who accumulate material possessions is symptomatic of larger anxieties about the immateriality of much of what we experience and consume in the age of digital technologies….]  

Anyway, Svenonius doesn’t put it quite like that: he offers up a paranoid fantasy that equates modern minimalism with Apple, and Apple with authoritarianism. Attributing intentionality to cultural phenomena, he makes the contemporary invention of the hoarder the work of a terrifying power controlled by Apple and the ‘cyber lords,’ ‘anti-stuff crowd,’ ‘cyber-elite,’ ‘computer lords,’ ‘computer overlords,’ ‘internet lords,’ and ‘digital super-despots’ who would have us send our books, magazines and records to the landfill along with, eventually, our severed limbs. He asks: “How long before we’re convinced that hands, arms, legs, and appendages are just bothersome?” 

Watch out! 

For more reasoned defense of hoarding, I’d recommend William Davies King’s “In Defense of Hoarding" published on PopMatters four years ago.

Of course, I’d also recommend my own writing here, both about my father’s hoarding and about Jill, the Pumpkin Lady from Hoarders. 

* *

Obliquely related to the sleek minimalism with which Svenonius takes issue is a recent article in the Tampa Bay Times about people who live in staged homes, meticulously effacing all traces of their presence: “Human Props Live in Luxury Homes but Live like Ghosts.” Recall Walter Benjamin’s note in The Arcades Project: “To dwell means to leave traces.” 

Such spectral inhabitants may also be the “type and genius of deep crime”: like Poe’s man of the crowd, “[sie lassen] sich nicht lesen.” Perhaps these two forms of illegibility, of eluding individuation, (that of never being never alone, and that of leaving no material traces), are not anomalous iterations but rather indications of a larger cultural shift between Poe’s 1840 and the Tampa Bay Times’ 2014? Perhaps. And though such a question may involve a gross simplification not unlike those that litter “All Power to the Pack Rats,” it is nonetheless interesting to think about. 

"Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes."
Henry David Thoreau (via fuckyeahthoreau)

all-thats-interesting:

Some Of The Greatest Photos Ever Taken (With An iPhone)

Selected by a panel of star judges: heroes of iPhone photography like Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Miley… I can’t. I can’t make the joke last any longer, and these photos are no laughing matter. In fact, they’re remarkable. These are photos taken with iPhones. Yes, seriously, iPhones. Makes you want to delete Instagram and say “Fuck it” altogether.

Source: Twisted Sifter

calumet412:

Clark and Evanston Ave (later renamed Broadway), north from Diversey, 1910, Chicago.

calumet412:

Clark and Evanston Ave (later renamed Broadway), north from Diversey, 1910, Chicago.

slavin:

(via 10 Tree Roots Winning Their Battle Against Concrete | Bored Panda)

Not sure who wins this round. But long term, my money’s on the tree.

slavin:

(via 10 Tree Roots Winning Their Battle Against Concrete | Bored Panda)

Not sure who wins this round. But long term, my money’s on the tree.

fuckyeahexistentialism:

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill." 
True Detective

fuckyeahexistentialism:

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill."

True Detective

(Source: giphy.com)

"If I knew what the meanings of my books were, I wouldn’t have bothered to write them."
Margaret Drabble (via theparisreview)