Miscellaneous: November 2005 Archives

More Buckley


A satirical hagiography from David Brooks circa 1983 transcribed for your pleasure by Sean Gleeson.

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On Language


One of my least favorite words in this language of ours is healthful. I was about to write a diatribe against it when I came across this page which explains that the recent increase in the use of this hideous word is actually a return to the proper use. I still don't like it: almost every time I hear it used, the context is politically correct/sterile/manipulative. I put it in the same category as going forward, impact used as a verb and proactive. Unfortunately, in this instance I am beat; healthful is proper English.

The linked page also has some other interesting language tidbits, though most of them are already pet peeves of mine. One, however, was new to me: apparently the word prevalent was originally used pejoratively. So, "happiness is a prevalent emotion" is somewhat contradictory (unless you don't like happiness). "Cockroaches are prevalent in Chicago" would be a more appropriate use.

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Speaking of WFB


NRO has put up about a dozen flashbacks of Buckley's writings and speeches. My favorite: Buckley gives thanks for peanut butter.

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Best. First. Line. Ever.


From this Opinion Journal piece on homeschoolers and what they read:

Home-schooling is sort of like a college student's virginity: People figure it's a mark of religiosity, but nearly as often it's just personal taste, or a lack of better options.

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Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin was interviewed on Tom Ashbrook's On Point about her new book on Lincoln. If you have the time and any interest, take a listen.

She also talked to Terry Gross about the book.

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Baseball parks are better than office buildings


In the summer '05 City Journal, I found a piece whose subtitle says it all: Today's new baseball stadiums offer a lesson in smart urbanism.

George Steinbrenner’s plan to build a new Yankee Stadium is part of a new and different kind of sports-building boom. What everybody calls “ballparks”—intimate, charming fields, with flourishes of historical design that fans love—are springing up everywhere, and New York will soon join the fun with a Yankee Stadium that incorporates some features of the original, but in a cozier, viewer-friendlier setting. It’s too bad that office-tower developers (and the firms that rent space in the offices) haven’t followed suit with people-centric buildings. The builders continue to uglify American cities with soulless modern office monstrosities; Daniel Libeskind’s inhuman glass Freedom Tower for the World Trade Center site, even as modified by architect David Childs, would be only the latest example.


Predictably, the modernist- and postmodernist-dominated architectural establishment hates the new stadiums. Former New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp, for instance, dubs them “America’s most diseased building type,” rising out of baseball’s “sickly longings for a past that never existed, a pastoral, even anti-urban, vision.”

In fact, the new parks are anything but anti-urban. One of their key appeals is how they respectfully integrate with the urban landscapes around them. San Diego’s Petco Park, an exemplar of the new-old style, for instance, incorporates elements of the local Spanish-mission style, including a lovely sandstone and tan stucco exterior. Similarly, designers finished off the facade of Pittsburgh’s PNC Park in rough limestone to match its setting in a former industrial area.

By contrast, the modernists largely ignore the idea of architectural context, believing that it shackles their imaginations. It’s a shame that developers and business executives have caved under elite pressure and erected and occupied so many alienating modernist office buildings. It’s rare to find a developer who’ll actually live in a home built in this arid style. And it’s worth noting that CEO offices in today’s Corbusian towers often boast wood paneling and other warm features sharply at odds with the cold environments encasing them. Yet the modernist eyesores keep going up, perhaps because those who commission them don’t want to look behind the times.

It's a great piece, and the fact that it disparages U.S. Cellular Field doesn't influence my opinion at all.

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Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Miscellaneous category from November 2005.

Miscellaneous: October 2005 is the previous archive.

Miscellaneous: December 2005 is the next archive.

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