7 days ago
807: Architexture Shows
- Design critic Justin McGuirk finds the heartbeat in Latin America’s architectural revolution.
- Writer Peter van Buren talks about setting fictional tales in the real-life economic collapse.
- Historian Ray Raphael talks about what we talk about when we talk about the Constitution.
- Laddie O F5′s your FCC/net neutrality news feed and still blames FDR for the whole thing.
- Jeff Dorchen looks forward to looking back to the future of the present day.
If you’re looking for the future of architecture, avoid the staid pleasure-domes of the rich. Instead turn your attention to the growing, responsive, cellular constructions of the global South. As mass urbanization across the world changes our ideas about urban planning and civic life, Latin America has emerged as a blueprint for the architecture of the 21st century.
Design critic Justin McGuirk tours through the new reality of housing, humans and economics in the book Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture. He calls in to talk about the successes and challenges of slum housing, what happens when citizens build their own cities from the bottom up, and how the favelas can influence leftist politics and ideas about the collective good.
Justin McGuirk is a journalist, design critic and Director of Strelka Press.
From real life battlefields in real life Iraq to metaphorical battlefields in fictionalized Ohio, Peter van Buren‘s books detail lives caught up in failing systems, both real (We Meant Well) and imaginary (his first novel: Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent.)
In Peter’s third appearance on This is Hell!, he discusses how his years in Iraq inform his ideas about the current violence wrecking parts of the nation, how government surveillance in the US has radically changed the character of American democracy, and the real world ghosts haunting the protagonist of his new book.
Peter van Buren is a writer and retired 24-year veteran of the US State Department.
Ray Raphael: “We have a creation of a national story about this unique moment, and that story is what we celebrate – but it’s a fabrication. That lie is not particularly destructive, but a lot of other ones are.”
In America, we like our Constitution the way we like our Bible – sacred, immutable and barely understood. This makes discussions about the history and future of our democracy harder to talk about, but much easier to yell about. The yelling is fun for a few minutes but doesn’t exactly lead to Jefferson’s idea of an enlightened citizenry.
Historian Ray Raphael enlightens us on Jefferson’s (and other founder’s) ideas on citizenry and government in his book Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get It Right. Ray celebrates the day after the day two days after we should be celebrating American independence by talking with Chuck about what the Tea Party (and everyone else) gets wrong about the founding of the US, why our simplification of history excludes the radical ideas of early American politics, and how the myth of the individual distracts us from the realities of our collective history and future.
Ray Raphael is a writer, historian and senior research fellow at Humboldt State University.
Laddie O: “Something is always stopping the FCC from doing the right thing, and it’s baffling. And it’s why we really need to blame FDR for the whole problem.”
We’re in the middle of the public comment period for the FCC’s plans to end net neutrality by promoting their plan to protect net neutrality, so consider this Laddie O‘s public comment – it’s still FDR’s fault! Laddie explains and celebrates X-Day, recaps what happened since his last primer on net neutrality, explains how the FCC will never solve the net neutrality problem and why the public comment period might be our last chance to weigh in on the process before most of us are trapped within buffering ghettos. So do that here.
Laddie O has covered web news for This is Hell! since 1998. When he’s not doing that, he’s acting like a big-time multimedia producer for Maryland’s university system and walking around the place in a most haughty fashion.
Jeff Dorchen: “Why should we feel stuck with the now we have now? We can prepare for a better now… which will come later.”
He might have read the article last week. Or maybe next week. Anyway it got Jeff Dorchen so confused he lost track of when it is – past, present or future. Does it matter? Is this what the future looks like? Would you have thought so in the past?
According to his contacts on LinkedIn, Jeff Dorchen can do just about anything. He’s a visual artist, songwriter/musician, actor, essayist, poet, playwright and screenwriter. His many unfinished novels are still unfinished.