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Behold: The embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China, Washington DC, a fortification undreamed of in the most garish nightmares of the Marquis de Vauban. Only this death-star was designed by American architect, the late I.M. Pei’s outfit, Pei Partnership. What were the Chinese expecting back in 2007? Godzilla? Well, now that they have gifted us with the Covid-19 virus, perhaps they’ll eventually get mobs of laid-off DC lobbyists attacking the place with attache cases full of soon-to-be worthless US dollars. Note: the Chinese characters painted on the gateposts are recent grafitti. Pronounced “chai,” the word means “to demolish,” and the Chinese authorities used it to mark buildings that would soon be razed during their great urban rebuild earlier this century. Somebody’s just a leetle ticked off. Shout-out to Roger Chitty for nominating this beauty.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

20 Responses to “April 2020”

  1. par4 April 2, 2020 at 6:13 pm #

    Please get over the silly idea that this is a ‘Chinese’ virus.

    • holdfastspike April 3, 2020 at 1:10 pm #

      I was a silly little Med Tech in the military and i can assure you that this is of Chinese manufacture.

  2. tucsonspur April 2, 2020 at 9:04 pm #

    It is definitely not the Liuhe Pagoda. It is more like Architectural Murder on an Oriental Abscess.

    Where is the timber, the beam and joist, the sweeping roof?

    The ‘Red Dragon’s’ flame has turned to cold, somber stone and turned a giant rice bowl upside down. Not surprised that it’s the Pei people that formulated this frowzy fortress, after Pei’s pyramidal perpetration on the Louvre.

    The ‘Sleeping Giant’, the ‘Red Dragon’, maybe Frank Gehry could have put some life into this Oriental outpost.

  3. Chris at Fernglade Farm April 3, 2020 at 5:11 am #

    Hi Jim,

    Maybe it is just me, but the masonry work over the lobby looks an awful lot like an architects impression of a Victorian era masonry chimney. If we’re lucky someone could knock a hole in the top of it, and then with a fire in the middle of the lobby the smoke would probably draw out of the building nicely. I’d call that an un-documented feature! 😉

    Had a nice long chat with an old timer I met by sheer chance on Thursday, and he was originally a brick layer by trade. He mentioned that back in the day he constructed chimneys and did set out on strip footings and brick piers. All good stuff and we were able to swap old-school construction technique war stories for about an hour. It is nice to have the time with which to do so.

    The new times suit me.



  4. dowd April 3, 2020 at 5:51 am #

    The embassy looks like a modern Catholic Church and just as closed off as nearly all of them now are. Reminding us all that “Pope” Bergoglio is accommodating the Chinese Communist Party in every way he can.

    For a daily update in how Communism is infiltrating the Catholic Church see Canon 212 https://canon212.com/

  5. peter m April 3, 2020 at 9:16 am #

    Finally the catholic church gets infiltrated after having infiltrated government with their pestilential ideology for over a thousand years.

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  6. holdfastspike April 3, 2020 at 1:13 pm #

    I love the little Chinese coolie hat at the entrance. it says me Chinese me play joke me put Covid in your coke!

  7. holdfastspike April 16, 2020 at 1:31 am #

    Just as i thought the silly little Wuhan Institute of Virology. Dr. Shi Zhengli aka the bat woman. a lazy mistake? not following simple lab protocols? or perhaps an act of eco-terrorism?

  8. swhite April 17, 2020 at 9:51 am #

    Interesting comment above about a church. That was my first thought when I saw it; it’s a church. I don’t recall exactly what thoughts might have come next, but I think it also reminded me a bit of a funeral home.

  9. bymitch April 24, 2020 at 12:37 am #

    The plans for the pyramid were folded by a novice before they were issued to the contractor. The effect may well have gone unnoticed hadn’t the single eye been displaced. It gazed out over the forked tongue, perilously supporting the universe like a bitter pill, and everything froze in a moment. While the gateposts stepped aside and laughed at the spectacle.

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  11. JCalvertNUK April 28, 2020 at 2:10 pm #

    I’m sure it will look better once they get the roof onto it.

    I like that sort of “turned-up eaves” thing they do.

  12. periodictable May 8, 2020 at 3:59 am #

    A magnificent fortress, this American architect is indeed talented, I like the architecture of this fortress. A magnificent fortress, this American architect is indeed talented, I like the architecture of this fortress.

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  15. Night Owl October 9, 2020 at 9:30 am #

    In 2035, the embassy will be renamed the Ministry of Love as the former United States of America transitions to a plot of land on the global plantation.

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