Halftime show crankiness

We were walking around Harvard Square during the first half of the Super Bowl. Beautifully uncrowded. But not a lot was open. I guess this is what it’s like being Jewish during Christmas. And then we went to Foodmaster. Also beautifully uncrowded. But we made it back at halftime to see that the Eagles are putting up a good fight, and it’s tied. And now Sir Paul is playing.

Man, does Sir Paul look old. Is that Perry Farrell on guitar? Or Dave Barry? Sir Paul is wearing a vaguely Communistic red T-Shirt with a star in the center. And he’s singing a song about California Grass. But thank god, we’re not going to have to see his geriatric nipples. Actually, we were in Grendel’s in Havard Square during the pre-game show, and the wardrobe malfunction I feared most was Charlie Daniels’ massive belt buckle snapping and decapitating a Black Eyed Pea.

Sir Paul is now playing Live and Let Die, and just to prove it was a James Bond theme song, they keep showing Odd Job playing the drums.

Oh, Jesus, ths halftime show is over, and the background music is “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”, and damnable Joe Buck is on the mike. I’m not going to be able to watch this, am I?

Philip Johnson’s Naziism

In all the eulogizing last week, it’s kind of amazing that this didn’t get more press:

In its obituary, the New York Times described Johnson as “architecture’s restless intellect.” The Post proclaimed him a “towering figure.” Both articles, like most of the other obituaries, described Johnson as the “elder statesman” of American architecture. Both also mentioned, more or less in passing, Johnson’s “early admiration for fascism and anti-Semitism that he soon recanted.”

But read a bit more and it turns out that this “early admiration” lasted for the better part of a decade. During that time, Johnson didn’t merely sympathize, like Lindbergh, or make a juvenile joke, like Prince Harry. On the contrary, Johnson helped organize a U.S. fascist party. He worked on behalf of the Nazi sympathizer and radio broadcaster, Father Charles E. Coughlin. He attended one of Hitler’s Nuremberg rallies in 1938, and in 1939 he followed the German army into Poland. “We saw Warsaw burn and Modlin being bombed,” he wrote afterward. “It was a stirring spectacle.”

Vermillon, South Dakota librarians vs. Castro

Nat Hentoff (he’s getting up there, isn’t he?) in the Village Voice:

Fidel Castro, I’m sure, never heard of the small town of Vermillion, South Dakota, until late last year, when the Vermillion Public Library-founded in 1902, on the eve of the Progressive era in American politics-began to gain international attention by becoming the first, and only, American library to call attention to Castro’s imprisoning of 10 of Cuba’s independent librarians to sentences of more than 20 years.

Some letterpress links

Since I still don’t have all the equipment necessary to get the press up and in service, I am keeping myself busy with various surrogates. I spent some time this morning rearranging the space in the basement I’m putting the press for now. Still need some better lighting, but that’s for another day. Went to Paper Source this afternoon for inspiration.

And I’ve just spend some time poking around the web for some letterpress links, which I post below. Apparently, Somerville is home to the Firefly Press, which has no website, but Elsa Dorfman’s site has a page for them, with a video.

I like some of the stuff at Isle of Printing.

I’m interested in the photopolymer process as a way to design stuff digitally and get cuts made. It seems better than metal for a variety of reasons (namely, durability, non-toxicity (well, take your pick between weird photo-chemicals and lead…), and storage (they’re way thinner than metal blocks)). Having limited space, storage is actually my primary concern. Boxcar Press seems to have the best explanation of photopolymer engraving I’ve found on the web. Seems pricey to get them to do it, though. I’m sure there’s a cheaper supplier, but as I’m learning, it seems like a lot of the printing world is either web-invisible, or outright web-hostile.