Child Safe, Fact Free

Kids Explain The Darnedest Things

John Emerson’s Social Design Notes blog studies recent self-explanations by museum and presidential library creators, and sums up the their evil work:

I keep seeing this trend: stories of monuments and memorials sold on infantilism, using the lens of “childhood” to conjure an air of authenticity and gravitas.

Emerson quotes the Washington Post on presidential library market maker Ralph Appelbaum’s Nigeria project:

What does it take to make a Nigerian child?’ It’s an unanswerable question, but it provided the necessary aha moment that made it all come together, a positive theme that finesses some of the philosophical problems of a presidential library in a country riven by corruption, violence, and religious, ethnic, linguistic and economic divisions.”

Stiff Competition

Applebaum’s firm is the American equivilant of Lenin’s embalmers touching down in Angola and Vietnam, loosing upon the world our packaged solutions for immortality.

Tool Time

Complex Questions soviet-palace-of-soviets.jpg


The New York Times reviews the morality of architects building for the lovely regimes of China, Abu Dhabi, and Kazakhstan, and such past patrons as Hitler, Stalin, the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein.

“The ideological issue is as old as architecture itself. By designing high-profile buildings that bolster the profile of a powerful client, do architects implicitly sanction the client’s actions or collaborate in symbolic mythmaking?”

Lucky Bush Library architect Robert A. M. Stern is joined to the ranks of tyrant handmaidens, but unbowed.

“I’m an architect,” he said. “I’m not a politician.”

Sadly we’ve seen no Bush drawings yet to add to the Times’ slide-show [no real ones anyway].

The Truman Show [Trial]

Witness for the Prosecution truman-stalin.jpg

truman-mushroom-cloud-couple.gif The impetuous youth of Long Island’s Ward Melville High School are taking Harry Truman to trial, charged with crimes against humanity for the Hiroshima bombing.


Joseph Stalin is among the witnesses summoned from beyond to make the case against Ol’ Harry.

The defense bizarrely offers intimidating the Russians as part of Truman’s bomb drop alibi, usually a point offered by Truman critics. [Or un-slick Truman apologists like this Enola Gay pilot-related site.]

Crime Seen truman-mushroom-cloud.jpg