Jan 27 2008

“Brutalist Jaunt”

A photo-essay.

Apart from his academic work, Robinson hardly ever leaves the flat except to go to the supermarket

For him, shopping is an experience of overwhelming poignancy

- Patrick Keiller, London

Jan 26 2008

One Of God’s Prototypes

To paraphrase HST: “too weird to live, too rare to die”.


Nicholas van Hoogstraten, 62, is no stranger to controversy and his list of previous convictions includes ordering a grenade attack on the home of a business associate, a Jewish clergyman who he claimed owed him money. For that he spent four years in Wormwood Scrubs in the 1960s, but he would later face much more serious charges.

Mr Van Hoogstraten also hit the headlines during an ugly spat with ramblers over a public footpath through the grounds of the enormous mansion near Uckfield in East Sussex.

Called Hamilton Palace, after Bermuda’s capital, it is neo-classical, with a copper dome. It was estimated to have cost around £40m and was reportedly the most expensive private house built in Britain for a century.

It is bigger than Buckingham Palace and has a 600ft art gallery and a mausoleum designed to hold Mr van Hoogstraten’s body for 5,000 years. The mausoleum’s walls are three feet thick because he said he wanted to “make the building last for ever”.

Monstrous man, and yet the world is altogether more interesting.

Jan 25 2008

Anti-Wind Farm Campaigner

This annoys me.

Plans to build one of Europe’s biggest wind farms on the Isle of Lewis are set to be turned down, BBC Scotland understands. The BBC’s Gaelic news service, Radio nan Gaidheal, has learned that Scottish Government ministers are “minded to refuse” the 181 turbine scheme. More than 5,000 letters of objection to the proposals were received by the Scottish Government.

It is believed environmental concerns are behind the decision.

Yeah, because there were no environmental concerns about the cost of not building these things. How much more coal and oil gets burned because this plan doesn’t go through? How many more fossil-fuel barons get fatter because people were worried about “visual impact” and busy roads.

We need energy. There’s no way back: we have to go with progress, embrace it. Slam on the anchors and we crash. There’s no return route to some idealised pastoralist Eden. We don’t want to die of pollution, and so we have to find ways of generating clean energy. Yet whenever I see a positive proposal for how to do this, I see moaning and complaining from a huge range of malcontents. Middle class Not In My Back Yards, Greenist zealots who would rather we all did with out those inessentials like light and warmth.

I’m inclined to think that Anti Wind Farm campaigners are essentially selfish buggers who can’t appreciate the aesthetics of a good windmill, and that anti-nuclear campaigners are sadly deluded hippies with no real wish for people to live happy lives in the real world. We need clean energy, people. Climb down from those towers and start helping us fix it.

Jan 10 2008

Looping Vader Fight Rave

Jan 2 2008

Big Air