Friday, February 11, 2005

I returned home from Rocky's with PC. It was a decent night; we won the drunken Irish trivia contest and discussed sickening American jingoism in his mother's car up Mad. I sank into the faux Eames and switched between CNN and ESPN. The oblivious, fickle manner in which CNN will transition from a story of deep tragedy and disaster to one of mundane, idiotic human interest – cute pets, let's say – is debilitatingly surreal, disturbing and depressing. This is saying something. It's exceedingly bad, utterly symptomatic of the American condition of the early 21st century and a key to why we are reviled as a society and deserve to be reviled.

The Gates are going up in the park, earnest men and women of all ages wearing their Christo & Jeanne Claude vests and hoisting and steadying frighteningly heavy poles. Like the intrepid settlers of the Old West. Building a home or a work of art, but really an abstract barrier against chaos.

It's going to be incredible, the Gates, I already know it. The saffron color is utterly surprising against the wet gray trees and sky. It evokes candy, sun, pleasure, comic books. And the incongruously happy hue of industrial machinery sometimes: bulldozers, backhoes and cherry pickers. It unites the worlds of childish sensual delight and grim adult labor.

At least it will, I think.