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Behold: Zaha Hadid’s addition to Antwerp’s Port House, some kind of giant techno-mutant insect from another world either devouring, having sex with, or taking a shit on a 1922 Beaux Arts administrative building designed to express truth, beauty, and order in a human realm that needs to be constantly reminded of the existence of these qualities because life is difficult for everyone. Alas, Ms. Hadid passed away in 2016, so she did not get to witness the climactic battle between psychopathic technocracy and traditional humanism now ongoing and vectoring toward a massive economic and social collapse. One thing this means: the end of Star Trek type techno-grandiose fantasies of which this horror is an exemplar.

Thanks to Mark Sofman for the nomination.


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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.

19 Responses to “October 2022” Subscribe

  1. Zoltar October 3, 2022 at 7:20 pm #

    Consider how pleasant working by a window in the original building might be, and how wretched work life would be in the new, ill-shaped, windowless thing.
    The architect certainly didn’t.

    • your uncool niece October 4, 2022 at 10:51 am #

      Consider how pleasant it might be working by a window on an even moderately sunny day in a building across from that toaster oven.

  2. Brother John October 3, 2022 at 7:26 pm #

    Willful desecration.

  3. paul scott October 3, 2022 at 7:31 pm #

    Staggering, I am staggered, I would not have believed it unless I saw it.
    I don’t think I could make it worse even in photoshop. it is a thing of wonder

    • sonnyL October 3, 2022 at 7:42 pm #

      If that is actually real, her name should have been HaHa Hadan Aneurysm

  4. sonnyL October 3, 2022 at 7:39 pm #

    It’s like Primo Carnera’s head on the body of Mona Lisa.

  5. anti_republocrat October 3, 2022 at 10:44 pm #

    “the end of Star Trek type techno-grandiose fantasies?” Not if the trans-humanists have their way. Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated.

  6. Chris at Fernglade Farm October 4, 2022 at 7:51 am #

    Hi Jim,

    What the heck is it with architects and cantilevered constructions? How hard could it be to put in a few supporting posts? Far out. And the rooms near the bow (if that is what it is) would be super hard to furnish due to the angles of the walls. Looking out the windows into the decent fall would make me feel ill.

    Jim – Mate, it’s probably the Titanic, and it’s taken a massive dump on the roof! 🙂

    Cheers

    Chris

  7. Freddie October 4, 2022 at 11:57 am #

    It’s obviosly a gigantic metallic katydid using its ovipositor to emplant its eggs inside of a building.

  8. tom clark October 4, 2022 at 8:09 pm #

    Photoshopped, no doubt, but then, I’m a lover of “fake news”.

  9. tucsonspur October 4, 2022 at 8:54 pm #

    ‘….the climactic battle between psychopathic technocracy and traditional humanism now ongoing and vectoring toward a massive economic and social collapse.’

    Splendidly expressed Jim, pithy and profound.

    Is this the ‘Glass Bottom Boat’? If not the movie boat, perhaps the urban dictionary definition of this boat is more than appropriate, incorporating scatological and sexual perversions into a new, naughty, nautical realm.

    I can understand the desire to create, but why the need to desecrate as you do so? I think that a container ship would have been worse, although better suited to Antwerp’s status as a port. An aircraft carrier was opposed because of jet noise and the concern for worker safety.

    I’ve heard of ships going aground, but ships going a roof is something new to me, but if going a roof is the theme, this is what should have been done:

    Choose among say a bark, schooner, brig or clipper, or maybe a couple of ketches or yawls or cutters and place one or two of these strategically atop the building considering wind, view, etc.

    The artists in the community would now have more canvas upon which to express themselves than they ever dreamed of. Some might want to masterpiece the mainsail, some the spinnaker, some the jib.

    It would be no problem to provide wind from the rooftop with fans if so needed, and art would fill the air. Just imagine, someone’s ‘Monet’ on
    the mainsail, someone’s Turner on the topgalant, or someone’s Hopper on the headsail!

    • KappaJoe October 7, 2022 at 6:41 pm #

      Visceral incongruity – all these eyesores have it, but this one in spades – the literal domination of unintelligible tech over aesthetically functional tradition.

      • tucsonspur October 31, 2022 at 2:32 am #

        Yes indeed, well put!

        Katydids and Xorpts, funny stuff!

  10. Dr. Coyote October 5, 2022 at 10:38 pm #

    It seems that another Xorptsshchhian star cruiser has made a bad landing on a primitive planet. Salvage crews should be along any day now. Don’t let them catch you; we supposedly taste like catnip to the Xorptsshchhians.

  11. holdfastspike October 7, 2022 at 2:52 pm #

    This speaks to me in second level meditation through the head wound of my third death. it’s as if a mighty unnatural force has descended upon human existence at the apex of history and is both raping, defecating, and murdering us all at once. this actually gives me great hope as i see now my darkness is really pretty light.

    • tucsonspur October 31, 2022 at 2:41 am #

      Yes, things could be worse you know. 🙂

  12. JackStraw October 19, 2022 at 5:45 pm #

    It’s the new Orvis headquarters. They’re big on caddis flies and technology.

  13. spaingaroo October 24, 2022 at 8:08 pm #

    I just found her top ten. well worth the look, although I don’t read French

    lumieresdelaville.net/portfolio-view/top-10-oeuvres-zaha-hadid/

    a couple are quite fetching.
    You’ll never guess which one comes out as number one.

    • Ishabaka October 31, 2022 at 9:52 am #

      “Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who died March 31, 2016 remains one of the most influential figures in modern architecture. Let’s look at her creations which are genuine gems of design”.