Thursday, 6 January 2022

oรญche na gaoithe mรณire

Otherwise remembered as the Night of the Big Wind, a major windstorm swept across the British Isles on this day in 1839, causing extensive property in Dublin and wrecking ships in Liverpool with gusts reaching over a hundred knots per hour before dissipating. Some one hundred and twenty individuals died and feedstocks dispersed and destroyed resulting in a famine for farm animals, and the storm—which some regarded as a harbinger of Judgement Day as Irish folklore held that the End of Times would happen on the Feast of the Epiphany—and reportedly inspired the invention of the cup-anemometer to clock wind-speeds.

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

mmxxi

As this calendar draws to a close and we look forward to 2022, we again take time to reflect on a selection of some of the things and events that took place in 2021. Thanks as always for visiting. We’ve made it through another wild year together and we’ll see this next one through together as well.

 january: In the US state of Georgia’s run-off election, Democrat candidates prevail and thus switch the Senate’s controlling majority. The joint session of Congress to certify the votes of the Electoral College in favour of the Biden-Harris ticket is interrupted by a violent insurrection on the Capitol incited by Donald

Trump, yet the proceedings are resumed undeterred. For his gross incompetence and treasonous actions, the US House of Representatives impeaches Trump for a second time. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are inaugurated president and vice-president of the United States of America in a socially-distanced ceremony held on the same portico where the violent coup attempt occured two weeks prior. Across Russia, thousands protest the arrest and detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.  English filmmaker Michael Apted (*1941), entertainer Siegfried Fischbacher (*1939, see also last May) and baseball players Tommy Lasorda (*1927) and Hank Aaron (*1941), actress Cloris Leachman (*1926) as well as accomplished star of stage and screen Cicely Tyson (*1924) pass away.  

february: A military uprising in Myanmar wrests power from the government of Aung San Suu Kyi.  Actor Hal Holbrook (*1925) and veteran become fund-raiser who raised millions for the National Health

Service Sir Captain Thomas Moore (*1920) himself succumbed to COVID-19.   French screen-writer and director Jean-Claude Carriรจre (*1931) passed away, and so veteran actor Christopher Plummer (*1929). The US Senate again convenes as jury to vote on whether to acquit or prosecute Donald Trump’s impeachment.  Larry Flynt (*1942), publisher, pornographer and self-styled anti-censorship champion, passed away, as did jazz virtuoso and twenty-three-time Grammy Award winner Chick Corea (*1941).  The US Senate votes not to acquit Donald Trump a second time after his second impeachment.  A polar vortex brings severe winter storms to Texas and Mexico, leaving millions without heat and electricity has the power grid is overwhelmed.  Talk radio provocateur Rush Limbaugh (*1951)  dies after a year-long struggle with lung cancer.  Poet and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti passes away, aged 101. Martian probe Perseverance touched down on the Red Planet to begin a search for signs of past life. The US rejoins the Paris Climate Agreement.  

march: Oprah Winfrey interviews the estranged, self-exiled Sussexes about Meghan Markle’s treatment

by the Royal Family, causing consternation and many to question the institution of the monarchyPhantom Tollbooth author Norton Juster (*1929) passed away aged ninety-one.  A container ship gets lodged in the Suez Canal, hindering global trade and could potentially be stuck for weeks.  Legislators in the American state of Georgia pass selectively restrictive laws to disenfranchise Black voters.   Children’s book author Beverly Cleary (*1916) writer of the Ramona Quimby series passed away, aged 104.  The usurping military forces in Myanmar gun down dozens of pro-democracy protesters.  Islamic rebels besiege the city of Palma in Mozambique.  Undercover operative whose missteps brought the Watergate scandal to the press and public, G. Gordon Liddy (*1930) died, aged 90, as did author Larry McMurtry (*1936) who penned Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show and Terms of Endearment.

april: Prince Phillip passes away, aged 99.  As tensions escalate between Russia and NATO with a troop

build-up along the border with Ukraine, US President Joe Biden proposes to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to normalise relations and restore diplomatic ties.  The police officer who murdered George Floyd is found guilty on all charges.  Walter Mondale (*1928), former vice president under Jimmy Carter, and presidential candidate with running-mate Geraldine Ferraro passed away, aged ninety-three.  Astronaut Michael Collins (*1930) who orbited the Moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored the lunar surface passed away, aged ninety.

may: Accomplished actor Olympia Dukakis (*1931) passed away, aged eighty-nine.  Architect Helmut Jahn (*1940) behind the Messeturm in Frankfurt and the Post tower in Bonn died in a bicycle accident.  Dozens of rebel priests across German defy the Catholic church and offer benedictions to same-sex couple.  Israel airstrikes in Gaza escalate.  Actor, author, televangelist and TV’s Captain Merrill Stubing Gavin MacLeod (*1931) after suffering a long bout of ill-health.  

june: G7 leaders meet in Cornwall, in person.  A coalition government in Israel unseats Netanyahu after a

dozen years as prime minister.  The US government establishes Juneteenth as a new federal holiday though new laws to disenfranchise Black voters continues apace in many Republican controlled polities.  The space station Tiangong receives its first crew.  Software and computer security pioneer John McAfee (*1945) found dead in a Spanish jail cell awaiting extradition to the US over charges of tax evasion.  Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, was disbarred for peddling the lie that that the election was stolen from his former client.  The US government issues a declassified report to congress regarding unidentified aerial phenomenon.  A twelve storey condominium complex near Miami, Florida collapses with dozens injured and unaccounted for.  

july: Outrage as more mass-graves of indigenous pupils found at historic Canadian residential schools.  Hundreds perish from record heatwaves and wildfires along the Pacific coast of North America.  Angela Merkel makes her last official visit to the United Kingdom, addressing the Houses of Parliament, the last

foreign leader to do so since Bill Clinton in 1997.   Richard Donner (*1930), film director behind The Goonies, Superman and the Lethal Weapon franchise passed away.  England plans to fully reopen with no COVID-19 restrictions late in the month despite a resurgence in cases and the rapidly spreading Delta variant.  Jovenel Moรฏse, the Haitian president, was assassinated.  Continual and torrential rains exacerbated by the climate emergency caused severe flooding in western Germany and the Henan region in China.  The Special Committee on the January 6th Capitol Insurrection heard opening testimony from law enforcement on the scene of the terror attack.  Inventor and infomercial pitchman Ron Popeil (*1935) passed away.

august: The UN Panel on Climate Change issues a stark, bleak forecast for the planet’s future as a suitable place for life as we know it.  Wildfires rage throughout the Mediterranean, Siberia and the North American west coast.  As coalition forces depart, the resurgent Taliban takes several regional capitals in weeks with Kabul poised to soon collapse as authorities flee and embassies are evacuated.  A massive earthquake strikes Haiti.  Tragically, most Afghani government officials flee the country and the capital falls as the Taliban retakes power and restores the emirate after nearly two decades of warfare.  US army installations in Germany assist with Operation Allied Refuge (OAR) as thousands of Afghans are airlifted from the country.  Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts (*1941) passes away. 
Just days ahead of the deadline imposed to complete evacuation missions out of the Hamid Karzai international airport, an Islamic State affiliate and sworn enemy of the Taliban for being too Westernised, lax, undisciplined detonated twin suicide bombs outside the gates, killing dozens.  Veteran actor and advocate Ed Asner (*1929) passed away as did Jamaican musical giant Lee “Scratch” Perry (*1936).  On the sixteenth anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina, a destructive storm called Ida makes landfall.  The Taliban celebrates with fireworks and firing rifles in the air the departure of the last US flight from the Kabul airport, declaring victory.

september: The legislature of the state of Texas passes a tranche of new laws curtailing voting access, restricting teaching of America’s racist past and present, mandating the national anthem at sporting events, permitting universal carry laws for firearms and doing away with licensure or training requirements and

essentially banning abortion by placing a bounty on abettors and deputising neighbours to litigate the ban against neighbours.  New Wave actor Jean-Paul Belmondo (*1933), whose roles defined the genre and called the French counterpart of Marlon Brando, James Dean and Humphrey Bogart, passed away.  El Salvador becomes first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.  “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” singer Marรญa Mendiola (*1952) of Baccara passed away in Madrid.  An effort to recall and replace Democrat governor of California fails and Gavin Newsome retains his place, though the balloting and counter-campaigns cost taxpayers of the state in excess of a quarter of a billion dollars.  The first commercial, all-amateur space tourism mission safely splashes down after three days in orbit.  Entrepreneur, inventor and computing pioneer behind the ZX Spectrum, Clive Sinclair passed away, aged 81 (*1940).  Justin Trudeau’s party retains power following national elections.  After three years under house arrest in Canada and fighting extradition to America on charges of espionage and circumventing sanctions against Iran, business executive Meng Wangzhou, daughter of the head of Chinese communications giant Huawei, is released. 

october:  US president Biden’s agenda is derailed, diminished by moderate voices in his party.  A vaccine for malaria is trialled in Africa.  Amid a growing corruption scandal, Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz

tenders his resignation, though choosing to remain leader of his political party and will retain his seat in parliament.  William Shatner, aged ninety, as a space tourist becomes the oldest human to enter the Earth’s orbit.  Attending an open-advice surgery for his constituents from Leigh-on-Sea, long-time MP David Amess was murdered by an attacker with a knife.  Former US Joint-Chief-of-Staff and Secretary of State, Colin Powell (*1937) dies from complications arising from COVID-19.  President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, under pressure from elements of his own party, is rather austerely pared back, dropping proposed benefits like universal college tuition and paid family-leave.  Garbage social media network rebrands its parent company as Meta as it prepares to build and embrace its concept of the metaverse.  A military coup in Somali plunges the country into chaos with no signs of peaceful resolution.

november: A powerful storm-flood in western Canada cuts off Vancouver from the rest of British Columbia.  Weaponised refugees massed at the EU frontier by a provoking Belarus at enormous personal

cost are slowly being repatriated to the lands they fled.  After exonerated in a gross miscarriage of justice, Republicans acclaim a teenage, white supremacist murderer as their new hero.  Award winning Broadway songwriter Stephen Sondheim passes away, aged ninety-one in the same week as Schoolhouse Rock! lyricist Dave Frishberg (*1933).  The COVID-19 Omicron-variant, first detected in South Africa, is causing major concerns as convention cases rage resurgent in Europe, poised to be more widespread and deadly than the same time a year ago.  Inflation and supply-chain issues threaten global economic recovery.  On the anniversary of its independence from the UK in 1966, Barbados becomes the world's newest republic, with Sandra Mason as the island’s president. 

december: Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows releases Power Point slide-deck that outlined options for Trump to hold on to the presidency in the chaos of the 6. January insurrection to the commission investigating the attempted coup.  Monkees singer Mike Nesmith (*1942) passes away.  An unseasonal tornado rips through western Kentucky, leaving over a hundred dead.   Gothic novelist Anne Rice (*1941 as Howard Allen Francis O’Brien) passed away.  Tensions continue to mount at the Russo-Ukraine border with Russia putting forward a litany of demands for NATO to avoid invasion.   Journalist and author Joan Didion (*1934) passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.   Borders close and travel-restrictions re-imposed over truly exponential spread of the the Omicron variant; preliminary findings suggest although less lethal, hospitals and other essential services could be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers and vulnerable populations still need protection.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu (*1931), anti-apartheid hero and moral-centre, passes away aged ninety.  Sadly veteran blogger Jonco, behind Bits & Pieces, passed away quite suddenly, leaving the blogosverse a dimmer place.  On the last day of the year and just weeks short of planned celebrations for her one-hundredth birthday, beloved talent and treasure with a career spanning over eight decades, Betty White (*1922) passed away.

 



Sunday, 26 December 2021

the year in photos

2021 beginning a continuation of the previous year in many ways and not the grand departure we were counting on, changes and improvements are incremental rather than escapingly exponential and so appreciated, these collections of superlative images that chronicle the course of the past twelve months. There were of course too many arresting and consequential photographs to include them all, but this one picture framed by Don Seabrook of after school band practice addresses that stepwise nature of best-practices trialled and abandoned, sometimes without explanation, like those directional arrows in supermarket aisles that aren’t apparently needed any more or the rules of masking at restaurants and how safety bumps and personal mitigation-measures up on the limits of science. Much more to explore from Kottke at the link up top aggregating the lists from various news outlets.

Sunday, 5 December 2021

hawkmen diiive!

With a spectacular soundtrack by Queen and with a cast that includes Timothy Dalton as Prince Barin, a Robin Hood like character who rules the woodland region called Arboria and subjects our titular hero to the “wood beast” ritual that’s a lot like the pain box in Dune, Brian Blessed as the above Prince Vultan of Sky City, Topol as Dr. Hans Zarkov, Mariangela Melato as General Kala, Max von Sydow as (problematically) the ruler of planet Mongo, Ming the Mercliless, the cinematic adaptation of the King Features Syndicate comic-strip, Flash Gordon (previously), premiered on this day in 1980 in US markets (a week later in the UK). The Earth beset with natural disasters, Gordon—a star quarterback for the football team the New York Jets is sidelined during a short airplane journey where he and travel agent Dale Arden encounter a scientist (Zarkov) who believes that the climatic catastrophes are being caused by a malevolent and extraterrestrial source and lures Arden and Gordon to help him on a mission to determine the source, ultimately confirming Emperor Ming’s involvement. The trio are soon captured and Ming orders Arden prepared for his harem, Zarkov’s useful knowledge extracted and reprogrammed and Gordon executed.

Friday, 5 November 2021

kwade zaterdag

Also known by the titular “Evil Saturday,” Saint Felix’ Flood (Sint-Felixvloed) occurred on this day in 1530, inundating and washing away significant parts of Zeeland and Flanders, reportedly taking over a hundred thousand lives. The only surviving municipality was a city called Reimerswaal, whose residents witnessed and endured the destruction, which itself was depopulated after repeated storms, considered a lost city, remnants are buried under the delta works (see also) and major construction project the Oesterdam.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

field camp

Via Messy Messy Chic, we enjoyed learning about Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs whose mission is to promote efficient and collaborative operations among the seventy permanent research stations scattered across the continent from nearly thirty countries and
reduce redundancies that might further jeopardise this more pristine environment through the profiles of the facilities of its constituent members. We especially liked the more veteran stations whose architecture and style dates them, like the Belgian Federal Science Policy and Polar Secretariat’s Princess Elisabeth Base research centre or the Taishan lab of China. Much more to explore at the links above.

Friday, 10 September 2021

bi-valve or blast me barnacles

Even more threatened than their beleaguered colonial cousin the corals reefs, we learn that over eighty-five percent of coastal oyster beds, living shorelines, have been destroyed by human activity over the last two centuries through dredging, development, pollution and overfishing. Recent efforts to restore the habitat of this indicator species, however, are demonstrating that oysters are keystones of their ecosystem, purifying, filtering waters, recycling organic materials and preventing algal blooms, building a sheltering environment for various fishes and crustaceans, sustenance for water fowl, carbon sequestration in their shells, and acting as a breakwater structure to reduce the impact of storm surges and runaway erosion. Learn more at Kottke at the link above.

Friday, 27 August 2021

the devil at four o’clock

Peaking on this day in 1883 with the destruction of island and surrounding archipelago, the violent eruption of Krakatoa in the Sunda Straits is among the largest and deadliest in recorded history, some forty thousand lives lost to the volcano and subsequent tsunamis and the sonic wave of the blast heard around the globe seven times over. Seismic activities continued for weeks with destructive after-shocks and environmental effects, climate-change from the released ash lasted for years afterwards, captured in the painting The Scream, it is theorised. The title refers to the prequel to the 1968 disaster film that notoriously got the geography wrong, and when the error was pointed out to them, the producers still went with east, feeling it sounded more atmospheric and exotic, released in the seventies amidst a spate of other disaster films simply as Volcano.

Friday, 13 August 2021

6x6

clink clink: a snappy little animated short of guests at cocktail hour 

samarkand: an East German couple’s tour of Uzbekistan fifty years ago with photography from 1971 and 2021  

expectation management: a comprehensive look into how the Delta variant changes the pandemic endgame—via Kottke  

noah’s violin: the twelve metre long wooden stringed instrument is a floating stage, inaugurated along with Project Moses to protect Venice from flooding  

the rural juror: a spoof streaming service (see also)—via JWZ  

the effect is shattering: a vodka advertising campaign that became a snow clone

Saturday, 7 August 2021

bildersturm

Due to the above titled iconoclasm movement that left many Catholic churches bereft of their religious symbols and saintly relics from Protestant furore that sought to destroy what was regarded as idolatrous figures (see previously) during the Reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Vatican ordered suitable replacements be found and promptly installed.

Thousands of skeletal remains were exhumed from the catacombs of Rome, lavishly dressed and decorated, like this day’s celebrant, Donatus of Mรผnstereifel, reportedly a second century Roman soldier and martyr. Quickly rising through the ranks after enlisting, Donatus (sharing his feast day with several other liked-named saints) was part of the famed XXII. Legion—known as Fulminatrix, the thundering ones, and was assigned to the personal security detail of Marcus Aurelius (previously). Engaged in the Marcomannic Wars on the Danube march, the legion was outnumbered and nearly defeated until saved by a sudden storm that frightened off the Goths and Samaritans. Although the emperor wanted to credit his magician with summoning the storm, Donatus insisted it was his Christian prayer circle and gave thanks to God. The emperor had them all killed. Said to have been entombed in the Catacombs of Saint Agnes, Donatus’ remains were re-discovered by Pope Innocent X in 1646 and translated to the town on the Rhein near Bonn, acclaimed patron and protector from lightning strikes and invoked for a good grape harvest. Popular throughout the Rhineland as well as Donauland, Donatus also enjoyed a cultus in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Luxembourg, Slovakia and Austria.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

turner d. century

A minor super-villain (see also here and here) that first appeared as Spider Woman’s nemesis in a December 1980 issue of the comic, the alter-ego of Clifford F. Michaels’ formative backstory has the character adopted by a wealthy business tycoon for whom his biological father was chauffeur and valet, the benefactor responsible for rebuilding much of San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake but was displeased with the moral turpitude and vice that emerged from the rubble.

The magnate attempted to launch a campaign to restore manners and mores to what they had been at the fin de siรจcle but failed and so sheltered himself and surrogate son from the degeneracy and idealise the past with the dress and affectations of a gentleman in 1900. Raging against progress and change with toxic nostalgia, Century tried depopulating the city in various ways in order to start fresh with society (possibly with wax figures as substitutes for actual residents) including a hypersonic weapon, flame-throwing umbrella and magic time horn that kills people under sixty-five (like high-pitched nuisance feedback that only young people can hear). Century’s plans were thwarted and the character killed off finally in 1986, along with a slew of other second tier criminals that needed to be culled from the Marvel paracosm, by vigilante assassin Scourge of the Underworld.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

ipa

Courtesy of our friendly artificial intelligencer (previously), not only are we reminded that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, pronounced Noah like the biblical figure) assigns names to hurricanes years in advance, we also glean some insight as to how a neural network might interpret this list with non-international phonetic alphabet guide to enunciation. Some delightfully mispronunciations ensued, especially when assigned storm seasons further in the future. 


Following the protocol, by 2051:
Harry HARR-held
George jar-ZHAY

By 2070:
Wanda way-DAHN-uh
Jason JAY-dree
Scott wess-tra 

And by the next year:
Georgia zheh-DRO-luh
Nelson NEH-suh-lihn
Victor VIK-suht 

We too would need these names spelt out for us the first time in order to say them right and with the . Much more to explore from AI Weirdness at the link up top.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

ice saints

Sainted fifth century bishop of Vienne in Gaul Mametus is venerated on this day as the first of three feast days that fall on the last possible—according to forecasters’ lore—frosty nights of the year—heralding the full onset of Spring and marching towards should we weather this last cold snap. Usually falling just before the Feast of the Ascension, Mamertus is credited with establishing the traditional Rogation Procession, a parade leading up to major holidays and is considered a ritual to stave off earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Monday, 19 April 2021

shake shack

In the aftermath of the April 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires that ravaged San Francisco over five thousand refugee shelters were constructed to replace the tent cities that emerged in Golden Gate Park and other areas to prevent a follow-on public health crisis. Most of the sturdier habitations—cottages (it reminds us of this image) for which tenants paid a $2 per month rent—have been demolished over the ensuing century but at least a few dozen remain, conserved by a following of dedicated residents. More from JWZ and the San Francisco Chronicle at the link above.

Monday, 15 March 2021

snapshot

Via their excellencies Nag on the Lake and Everlasting Blรถrt, we are directed to a profound and touching curation and salvage operation a decade on launched by local photographer Munemasa Takahashi in the Lost & Found project, wherein volunteers gathered and conserved photographs scattered among the destruction caused by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant disaster that struck Japan on 11 March 2011. Ranging from candid snapshots, vacation photos, wedding portraits and class pictures, over seventy hundred and fifty thousand pictures have been preserved and digitised with almost half-a-million reunited with those who lost them along with everything else in the catastrophe. Prints and framed photos are of course fragile things exposed but the damage that they sustained and personal connections they represent in whatever form speak to how this disaster upended lives.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

6x6

flotus: the story and legacy of the wooden Melania Trump sculpture in Slovenia 

lightening never strikes twice: a meteorologist debunks some weather myths 

we shall come rejoicing: digging out the sheep—rescued after a heavy snowfall  

photobomb: animals interrupting wildlife photographers 

draw a tattoo of a mailbox: in a reversal of sorts, compete with other human sketch artist to prove to an AI who is the most accomplished—via Waxy 

conspiracist ideation: what to do about QAnon

Sunday, 10 January 2021

captain l'audace

Featured as the cover link of Nag on the Lake’s Sunday round-up (much more to explore there) we appreciated being acquainted with master of the disaster sketch Walter Molino (*1915 – †1997) whom excelled at illustrating dramatic near-death experiences and whose commission for a 1962 edition of an Italian weekly—the same publication that engaged Molino regularly, illustrating future visions which from our present (May 2020) looked quite prophetic, though this premonition made no reference to social distancing and pandemics.

Also contributing to comic books, his flair for the dramatic, style which references celebrities that the readership would recognise and subject matter recall a couple other pulp artists (here and here) we’d had the pleasure of learning more about recently. Much more snakes on trains, violence, wild beasts, natural disasters, omens, crashes (a fighter jet into said locomotive), armed pets and daring rescues at the links above.   



Sunday, 20 December 2020

honourable mentions

Via friend of the blog Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to see there as well), we are reminded of some of the other outstanding events that transpired in this most superlative year that we have quite summarily forgotten about if we even had the bandwidth remaining to register them in the first place that are well worth reviewing. We had certainly written-off the phoenix-like reincarnation of Mister Peanut and couldn’t mince technicalities with the Pentagon over Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon versus UFOs. What others are news bulletins for you? We were personally surprised to see that black-light platypodes and the genetic experiments on monkey brains straight out of Planet of the Apes failed to make the cut but there’s still a few days left in 2020.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

third protocol emblem

The global humanitarian movement comprising nearly a million volunteers and staff worldwide, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent, adopted on this day in 2005 the red crystal, officially referred to as the above, as an auxiliary symbol available to use when religious connotations of the previous emblems might be objectionable as an amendment to the Geneva Conventions, known as Protocol III. Neutral and without religious, political or geographic associations, it was meant to make the organisation more inclusive and not a vehicle of hegemony and privileging, allowing more groups to join and deploy this protective banner during times of conflict to render assistance to the wounded.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

o tannebaum

Much like that bellwether tree stood up in Rome four years ago, the poor sacrificial spruce (with stowaway, another climate refugee) left to slowly desiccate and die at Rockefeller Center, already bedraggled and reflective not only of this dreadful year but of our seemingly incipient and insurmountable toxic relationship with the environment, ought to be accorded the single dignity of being the last offering to this tradition born out of bleak austerity into this genuflexion before capitalism and conspicuous consumption. We could deck the place with a nice hologram instead.