They Swore By Concrete

“They swore by concrete. They built for eternity.”
― Gunter Grass

The Horseshoe, Trinity River Bottoms, Dallas, Texas

The Horseshoe, Trinity River Bottoms, Dallas, Texas

“When Armageddon takes place, parking is going to be a major problem.”
― J.G. Ballard, Millennium People

Advertisements

To Enlist the Confidences Of Madmen

“I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.”
― J.G. Ballard

The Horseshoe, Under Construction, Dallas,  Texas

The Horseshoe, Under Construction, Dallas, Texas

What You See Over There Aren’t Giants, But Windmills

“Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.”
“What giants?” Asked Sancho Panza.
“The ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”
“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
“Obviously,” replied Don Quijote, “you don’t know much about adventures.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

(click to enlarge)Wind Turbine Blade on a tractor trailer, Interstate 35, just south of the Kansas/Oklahoma border.

(click to enlarge)
Wind Turbine Blade on a tractor trailer, Interstate 35, just south of the Kansas/Oklahoma border.

Like Spiders Across the Stars

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Wind Turbine blades on Tractor Trailers, Interstate 35, Oklahoma (click to enlarge)

Wind Turbine blades on Tractor Trailers, Interstate 35, Oklahoma
(click to enlarge)

All up and down Interstate 35 you see trucks hauling giant turbine blades, destined for the wind farms that have been growing like mushroomy weeds all across the wind-swept plains.

“Shaw banged on the door of the shack and explained to the farmer what had happened. The farmer started his tractor and the two men rode back to the car. After tugging, digging, and a push from the tractor, they were able to free the Model-T. Shaw continued toward Clayton. Anxious, thinking about the baby, worried about more drifts, he kept the speed up, pushing the car to its limit. When he came to a sudden swerve in the road, he was going too fast to correct his speed. The Model-T teetered on two wheels and tipped on its side. For an instant, Shaw thought he was pinned. He was bruised and bleeding but otherwise all right. As he crawled out the window, he saw two wheels still spinning in the dust. He was able to pry the car out of the dust and tip it back, right-side up. The engine started. He finished the drive and made it to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Just as Hazel went into her high contractions, in walked a bruised, bleeding, dusty man, his eyelids clogged with mud, his fingers oiled and dirty. Hazel gave birth to a girl late that day, April 7, 1934. They named her Ruth Nell. She was plump and seemed healthy, but the doctor was concerned about taking her outside. The air was not safe for a baby. He ordered Hazel to stay in the hospital for at least ten more days and remarked that the young family might want to consider moving out of No Man’s Land. Others were buttoning up their homes and getting out before the dust ruined them. But the Lucas family had planted themselves in this far edge of the Oklahoma Panhandle at a time when there wasn’t even a land office for nesters. They were among the first homesteaders.”
― Timothy Egan, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

Traffic

I think the key image of the 20th century is the man in the motor car. It sums up everything: the elements of speed, drama, aggression, the junction of advertising and consumer goods with the technological landscape. The sense of violence and desire, power and energy; the shared experience of moving together through an elaborately signalled landscape.
We spend a substantial part of our lives in the motor car, and the experience of driving condenses many of the experiences of being a human being…, the marriage of the physical aspects of ourselves with the imaginative and technological aspects of our lives. I think the 20th century reaches its highest expression on the highway. Everything is there: the speed and violence of our age; the strange love affair with the machine, with its own death.
—-J.G. Ballard, Narration for Crash! (1971), a short film by Harley Cokeliss

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

“In a sense life in the high-rise had begun to resemble the world outside – there were the same ruthlessness and agression concealed within a set of polite conventions.”
― J.G. Ballard, High-Rise