Life, II. Twin Towers in my lifetime: before & after.

In a lifetime. Rise, fall, rise again.

Before.

The Twin Towers rose in my youth. Sometime during 5th or 6th grade, they were completed, dedicated, populated. They took up residence at that spot in my heart previously occupied by the Empire State Building where I childishly believed that America dreams big, plans big, and builds big. 

Life magazine, issue dated March 31, 1972, took me back to that space in my youth when the World Trade Center (WTC) was still incomplete, still someone’s dream, still a plan in motion.

Life magazine, Two tall towers for world trade, March 31, 2972.

Remembering is too interesting. Here is the text in full:

New York City’s World Trade Center is another year or more from completion, and the grounds around it are now still ugly with the paraphernalia of construction. But these photographs, made using the architect’s scale models, show what the massive center will look like in time and suggest some of its superlatives: it is the tallest (110 stories), costliest ($700 million) and most spacious (nine million square feet for rent) office complex on earth. It is also a fright to many critics who worry about straining the Wall Street area’s already overloaded electrical, communication, and transportation facilities with another 50,000 employees and 80,000 visitors daily. In his handling of the project’s sheer mass, however, architect Minoru Yamasaki conceived some notably graceful solutions — particularly at ground level. The complex will emphasize open spaces and maximum exposure to sunlight. At its center is a huge plaza (seen at center above and as the background photograph on these pages) that is bigger than St. Mark’s Square in Venice. It will include five acres of flowers, fountains, sculptures and trees. To see what the Trade Center has done to the New York skyline, turn the page.

Two tall towers for world trade. (1972, March 31). Life. 
New York skyline as Twin Towers are built.

Large buildings are inorganic structures that require infrastructure and complicated systems to support a populace not distributed across a land mass but concentrated vertically. Skyscrapers are efficient. Essentially, the infrastructure — heating and cooling, water supply, electricity, communications, waste management — needs to support the population of a mid-size city. 

And for 28 years, the Twin Towers came alive and lived and breathed and supported. And they were infused into my understanding of America. Big plans, big buildings, we get ‘er done.

After 

I recently made my first trip to New York City with Mr. Viva and in our itinerary was the 9/11 Memorial at the site of the Twin Towers.

WTC Memorial, November 2018

I did not make it to New York when the towers were there. Those two cities reaching to the sky were demolished by terrorists. The towers fell. People died. The memorials are appropriately two big holes left by the towers’ footprints. 

And there is a hole left at that spot in my heart, too. We are not unique because we build big dreams from big plans. Someone else’s big dreams and big plans killed ours.

The winged structure in the background looks like the Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Just sayin’.

Rise again.

I can’t leave on a low note. 

As part of the rebuild of the World Trade Center complex, the One World Trade Center building surpassed the height of the Empire State Building on April 20, 2012

Picture of the sky over New York in November 2018. That may or may not be One World Trade Center. Photo taken using selfie-setting on phone.

On a windy day, tall buildings sway. Or they sway more. We passed on taking a trip up to the observation deck. 

This time. 

But we’ll be back, too. 

Life, I. The magazine.

tl;dr? Imma blogging on Life — the  magazine between now and the new year. Specifically the March 31, 1972 issue. Enjoy! Or not.

A note. I republished this post about 3 minutes after first hitting publish. Laurene Powell Jobs was quoted in a recent NYTimes article. Not the 1972 Life magazine. Ms. Powell Jobs was 9 years old in 1973. Her fame and fortune were not yet a thing. 


I am in possession of the March 31, 1972 issue of Life magazine. 

As a child, George Wallace was a candidate in the first Presidential election of which I was aware and his name popped up in a discussion of the current racist resident of the White House with FAL*. When she tripped across a Life with an article on Wallace, she sent me the whole enchilada. 

And what a time capsule!       

*Not her real name. FAL is an acronym. Favorite Aunt L.                       


Former FLOTUS on magazine covers

Is the plural of FLOTUS, FLOTII?


Look was a contemporary magazine of LifeLook folded in the early 1970’s, Life died later. Thumbing through this issue of Life, magazines with curated news heavy on photos are a treasure.

In a recent NYTimes, I read with great interest,  an interview with Laurene Powell Jobs who is investing heavily in media:

Both magazines have managed to create unique journalistic platforms that help foster empathy and a better understanding of the world. – Laurene Powell Jobs

” … narrative moves people more than anything else.”

 Kara Swisher, “Can Laurene Powell Jobs Save Storytelling? NYTimes, November 27, 2018. 

Looking through the Life relic, I believe Ms. Powell Jobs is on to something. The photos were lush and contained another 1000 words each, they made me curious. The writing was smart and sharp, edited, considered, worthy of ink and paper, not of-the-moment and gone.

The unfiltered, uncurated internet increases connection without adding to understanding. Although the purchase of Pop-Up — a company that specializes in performance type art — can’t be held in your hands, I’m ready for a Look or Life reboot. Please?


And the Life March 31, 1972 issue is chock-full of reminders that some things never change.

In April 1971, Richard Nixon ran interference between a pending antitrust suit and a hearing at the Supreme Court for I.T.T.! And I love that the NYTimes has an online archive and that in 1973, they were the paper of record! Now? Eh, not so much, but I digress.

Ranan Lurie cartoon, Life, p. 12. March 31, 1972

In The Presidency op-ed, Hugh Sidey quoted Lyndon B. Johnson: 

Business,” snorted Lyndon Johnson once when he was battling the big interests, “is what makes the mare go.”

Hugh Sidey, The Presidency: What makes the mare go, Life, March 1972, p.12.

My bold. And this is comforting maybe things do never change! Remember John Mulaney’s observation that “Trump is a horse loose in the hospital.” This makes perfect sense since business is what makes Trump go.

Forty-six years on, the mare goes horse is unhinged and loose. 


Change a few names, tweek a situation or two, and Hugh Sidey’s op-ed would bring you up to speed on the Trump Administration’s political acrobatics. In the Nixon era:

“Even more fascinating was the story of Herbert Kalmbach, an obscure California attorney who happens to be Nixon’s private lawyer. According to one Washington authority, he now “has the goddamnedest bunch of clients lined up outside his door that you’ve ever seen.”

Hugh Sidey, “The Presidency:What makes the mare go,” Life, March 31, 1972, p.12.

Michael Cohen is Herbert Kalmbach to Trump’s Nixon. I cannot make this stuff up.


Last paragraph of the Life op-ed:  

Up on the Hill at the ITT hearing room a few days ago a young man with fire in his eyes waited for a seat. What for? “Because I want to hear them lie,” he spat.  … this new bitterness … began in the secluded chambers of power which this administration still seems to think are its private preserves, where matters too lofty and complex for common comprehension are dealt with. It is, once again, a policy of non-communication, and it is an added insult to the American intelligence.

Hugh Sidey, “The Presidency: What makes the mare go,” Life, March 31, 1972, p.12.

My bold. Jim Acosta could play the part of the young man with fire in his eyes. Ignore the mention of ITT, replace “them lie” with Sarah Huckabee Sanders lie” and that paragraph could have been written yesterday.

Today that paragraph would be updated to pile on more insult to the American intelligence with reference to Trump’s “gut tells him more than anybody’s brain.” 

Just wondering, what with his gut and Fox & Friends talking to him, maybe we should track his daily horoscope, too? He is a Gemini.


Finally, general observations from the bleacher seats decades removed from George Wallace:

  • George Wallace is a reminder that racists persist — he made four runs for the White House.
  • Wallace ran as a Democrat. Historically, racism has not been limited to party. (And we hope that has changed.) 
  • He was a ‘segregationist’ which is just a fancy bow tied around the gift of a racist. (To be clear, racists are a curse, not a gift. See also, sarcasm.) 
  • As a judge and an early adopter of voter suppression, he blocked federal review of voting lists. 
  • His wife’s name was Lurleen. She sat in for him as governor to get around term limits. Ugh. Political dynasties. Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes, who’m I missin’? 
  • An early adopter of shooting people to gain fame made an assassination attempt on Wallace in 1972. Wallace was left paralyzed for the remainder of his life.
  • And hope. Hope that minds and hearts can change. In 1979, Wallace apologized for the physical, literal stance he took at the door of a school to impose segregation demonstrate racism in action. “I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over.” –Edwards, George C.

A Poetry PSA: Vote!

tl;dr? If you’re not sure if you’re registered to vote, CHECK TODAY! This is the last day to register in a long list of states.

And November 6, 2018, VOTE!


A poetry Public Service Announcement: VOTE!

Today, we take time to remember that the struggle for a more perfect union is long. Protests and protesting can seem futile. This weekend the GOP steamrolled Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court. In the wake of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, many laid down their own stories of sexual violence, assault, and rape on the track to slow or stop the train, but the Old White Guys and Gals persisted. Old age and treachery.

And so the long view. Some, poetry written, and read by Daniel Berrigan, (Hat tip: photo dropped by John Cusack on Twitter):

SOME by Daniel Berrigan

“Some walked and walked and walked” – Keep walking.

A few notes:

  • Poetry speaks to the soul. SOME reminds us that some battles are lost. Keep standing. Keep walking.  It’s the future, it’s not a war, and it might not be your future, but stand, walk, protest. Not once. Not twice. Continuous.
  • John Cusack tweeted this photograph of SOME on October 7, 2018, 5:19PM. His parents received this from Daniel Berrigan with a heart! and I thought how wonderful to receive poetry like this in the mail! From the poet!

And, who is Daniel Berrigan? And why do I not know this?

  • Slipping down the Wikipedia rabbit hole, Daniel Berrigan was a Jesuit priest, activist, and poet. He took an active role in the protest of the Viet Nam War, (Catonsville Nine), and he was born in Virginia, Minnesota! And so were we! But I digress.
  • I’ve seen John Cusack movies, BI – Before Internet. And so in this age of the internet, it is a totally pleasant surprise to find that John Cusack is a political activist with serious chops. His reasoning and arguments go beyond slogans. Agree or disagree with him, his arguments are thoughtful, weighty, considered.

And on that note, I’ll end with this rally cry: Buckle up!

Stand, walk. We’ve work to do.


General Election Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Vote. Vote. Vote.

(Actually vote once and only once, but VOTE!)

Let America Vote!

Spam!

Spam! An all-purpose 4-letter word.

As we struggle a more perfect union, I observe that more and more vowels are taking a knee replaced with an asterisk to mask the pedestrian words that have merged into the fast lane on the public discourse freeway. She*t. P*ss. F*ck. Low words abundant in high places. But just like we know it’s Superman hiding behind a suit and glasses, we can still read all the words Clark Kent has cleaned up. When the headline includes the word ‘b***h’, Superman knows it isn’t a blush or brush Clark’s talking about.

And so dear reader, when editing or masking words, I’ve taken the tack that vowels remain in place and instead choose to mask select consonants. Sh*t becomes s*it. P*ss becomes pi*s. H*ll becomes he*l, or *ell. Still readable. You still know of what we speak. S*it could be slit and pi*s could be pits but you know they’re not and you do not need to buy a vowel. You’ve got the puzzle covered.

But then the conundrum of how to censor f*ck. F*ck is not so simple. Censored any other way it still sounds like it reads. Maybe *uck? Nah. And so taking a trick from the Monty Pythons, I propose that ‘spam’ be used as a substitute for the words that are still too robust, still too raw, still too pedestrian to walk by the editor’s blue pencil. Spam, a four-letter word, it can be a noun, an adjective, or it can be verbed and we can leave the asterisk alone. Totally flexible that spam:

  • Go to spam.
  • Spamhead.
  • Spam it.
  • What the spam?
  • Spam right off.
  • He hasn’t a spamming clue.

Spam! Bonus: suitable as a substitute for longer words too:

  • That spam better have my money.
  • Grab them by the spam.

You know what’s been said. And the Pencesniffians can read through all that spam too!

Spam. Spam. Spam.

It works.


I offer this clip of Monty Python’s ‘Spam’ in the event you think I used too much spam in this post:

Labels.

My rewrite of some select headlines:

  • African American’s Increasingly Erratic Behavior Comes At a Price for Tesla Shareholders (Forbes)
  • African American calls Thailand diver ‘child rapist’ in new baseless attack (The Guardian)
  • Elon Musk: The African American Architect of Tomorrow (Rolling Stone)

For your consideration today, please consider the labels used to describe others.

A Sundry Assortment of Updates

General Election Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Vote. Vote. Vote.

(Actually vote once and only once, but VOTE!)

Wisconsin Residents: Information at MyVote Wisconsin.


A calendar check tells me that while I’ve been off not blogging, I have completed another trip around the sun! And although an annual holiday is a good time to reflect, review, and renew personally, here are some updates on previous posts as we, the US of A continue to struggle a more perfect union:


Kava-nah!

Brett Kavanaugh. From 7th-grade civics classes, I understood that selecting a Supreme Court Justice was a really.big.deal. Appointments are for a lifetime or the remainder thereof.

And then McConnell blocked any hearing at all for nominee Merrick Garland for 264 days or so and again, I was reminded that selection of a Supreme Court Justice is a really.big.deal.

And then Gorsuch was confirmed in record time and I learned that Mitch McConnell is a racist, treasonous, hypocritical lyin’-SOB and if karma is a bi*ch, a chunk of the rotunda would fall on him literally symbolizing his contribution to the death of our democracy but I digress …  

So the update is that after watching this political circus s*its*ow for a few decades, selection of a Supreme Court Justice is not as big a deal as I thought it was, or that Mitch thought it was during the Obama Administration. Mitch has matured past those archaic mores that Supreme Court justice picks are a really.big.deal.  He has embraced public life as the racist, treasonous, hypocritical lyin’-SOB he’s kept hidden under his white suit in plain sight but I digress …

It’s a race. The final race starting gun sounded this morning with confirmation hearings. Call your Senators – (202) 224-3121. Script:

  • Hi, my name is your name and I’m a constituent of Senator name calling from City, State.
  • I’m calling regarding President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh whose records have been withheld for review and whose stated ideology is out of step with the vast majority of Americans. 
  • I urge Senator name to oppose the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh. He has a troubling record on guns, he would put reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, the environment, and health care for millions of Americans at risk.

Or say what you want. Script lines were lifted and modified from multiple sites.

Kava? Nah.


Where is Jeff Sessions?

Well, he’s still Attornery General.

Oh, a spontaneous word-mash! ‘Attorney’ plus ‘ornery’ gives us ‘attornery’.

After predicting that the penalty for Jefferson bull*hit-Beauregard-no-regard Sessions, III White Lying under oath would be that he would still be Attorney General in a month, I will state that I was so wrong! It has been 550 days and we’re still counting. I wonder what the odds were in Vegas?

Well, I’m sure as the target for Prescedense Orangangutang’s Tweets, Jeff Sessh is an attornery.

But he’s in good company: Don McGahn and Stefan Passatino are leaving or have left too! They can form a veritable firm of Trump attornerys.


C.K., I

Louis C.K. and do we even know what the C.K. stands for? Well, Louis C.K. decided his times up now,  he’s been bad but now he’s exited the penalty box to resume his day night job “without apparently grappling with what he done.[sic]”  The commentary at the end of this article “Standup Comedians Explain Why Louis C.K.’s Return Was So Infuriating” is everything.

Louis C.K.? Wrong. How about Louis I.C.K.? Just another OWG back to his OWG schtick.

Maybe keep it in your pants this time Louis.


C.K., II

Colin Kaepernick! After celebrating Colin Kaepernick’s standing up by way of kneeling down to protest systemic racism by putting the anthem run-up to his livelihood on the line, I wondered how much we would hear from or about him in the future. But GO NIKE! Yesterday, Nike announced they had kept Kaepernick under contract and that he is the face of their 30-year ‘Just Do It’ campaign!

Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.

Colin Kaepernick, or Nike …

In contrast to C.K., I., C.K., II interrupted his career. The NFL put him in a permanent timeout-side-the-stadium penalty box. And Nike? sure, they’ll make millions but it’s a bigger world outside the stadium and Colin Kaepernick will continue to Just Do It — play, protest, be heard.

Make a difference for those left out of stadium seating.


Celebrate! The GOAT.

Serena Williams. Gonna end this on a positive note, I celebrated that Serena Williams is in the army supporting Fearless Girl come-to-life here. And when Serena was restricted from wearing a catsuit to play tennis, she sported a tutu. (And I’m not sure I can rock bumper Nikes with a tutu, but I’ll try. Frood, you have been warned.)

And here is a celebratory thread link to a Serena history lesson with pictures and video of why she is the GOAT. Enjoy!

(Twitter thread by @khalilmsaadiq, 2018 Aug 31, ThreadReaderApp unroll.)

Acronym GOAT: Greatest of All Time

Have a terrific day, why not?