Of Cities, Concrete, Commerce, and Contextualism

I'm a little behind on the posting, as was sure to happen. But here's the catch up.

Cincinnati: city of almost Kentucky. I visited the illustrious Charlie Campbell, and his institution, the University of Cincinnati. Or perhaps Charlie is the U of C's institution.

Either way, I had the pleasure of coming face-to-stomach with secretary of war/president/chief justice/pioneer of international arbitration/renowned "large man" of history, William Howard Taft.

I think it is interesting that his statue depicts him as the Chief Justice, which although he had a a much longer term in this position than as president, is certainly not what he is most famous for. Additionally, his career as justice certainly would be much more politically "embarrassing" from a current point of view, because of the strict contextualist readings of the constitution that upheld segregation, restricted the freedoms of the bill of rights, and passed on regulating child labor.

In addition to musing upon the career of Mr. Taft and constitutional construction, we considered 1970s-era poured concrete construction.

Such as in this fine example at the U of C.

I wish I had taken more photos of the rest of the surrounding complex and parking structures, that totally exemplify how the architects must have thought this technique was the wave of the future.

The entire area mimics the parallel/angular form, sort of appearing as if the thing was meant to fold together in some sort of Transformer style. Pedestrians are able to walk through the area without leaving what appears to be a solid, massive flow of uninterrupted grey concrete.

Charlie thought it reminiscent of Stalinist architecture. I thought it reminded me of Gattaca, a movie as horrible as the architectures it invokes.

This is a picture of Charlie holding court in what appears to be a bunch of left over building materials from the Chamber of Commerce, but what is most likely actually a monument to Commerce in some classical mode.

Frank Zappa is on Charlie's T-Shirt. Zappa was not into drugs, although he may have often partaken of commerce.

After Cincinnati it was on through Indiana, and into the midwest.You can see it is the midwest, because all of a sudden it is really flat.

You can not see the large number of anti-abortion billboards, because I did not take pictures of them.

I also saw (me, not you) a bumper sticker that read "God is Pro-life". I thought this was pretty ironic. God kills people, babies, animals, and whole cities all the time. I do not think that Job's family would think that God is pro-life.

The strange "portal thing" in the center of the windshield is where my rear-view mirror used to be. It fell off after Cincinnati. Just another brick crumbling out of the wall. I can't see out the back anyway because of all my stuff, so the loss is actually better, because now my forward-view is improved. The real tragedy is that the mirror fell on my poor succulent, Orchid, who is now struggling to regain his strength.

Next stop, sweet home Chicago. A sweet home, but not my home. Nor Jesus' home, because he left, and headed down to New Orleans. But I'm not going there, just to Chicago.

More Chicago pictures, and perhaps additional blues references, will follow. I would predict a "El" car or two, maybe a giant burrito, maybe a giant shiny bean, probably a Chicago-style wooden fire escape, and maybe even Steve Erickson. Only time and digital imagery will tell.

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