Wednesday, November 5, 2008

no ideas but in things [a cautionary tale]


It started with a set of blocks. A standard, unexceptional set of blocks, squares and rectangles and columns and arches and triangles, a set offering all of the principles of shape and balance but lacking the necessary mortar to hold the creations together. Precarious castles constructed in the hallway, ephemeral fortresses defending against the loss of the afternoon and the enemy of bedtime approaching under cover of darkness.


The set of blocks supplemented by a set of Legos, the brightly colored interlocking plastic squares forming a substructure beneath the geographic demarkations of the wooden blocks. Entire regions: mountains, bays, bridges, rivers rendered in 4" by 4" by 1" blocks and arches, the sinew of Lego roads and houses and buildings meandering through the landscape.

The stability of the tightly meshed Legos could survive the earthquakes of passing dogs and the tsunamis of the encroaching vacuum cleaner, but the nature rendered in wooden blocks, lacking the connectivity of mortar, collapsed into the city, detritus of destruction onto the fantastic domestic creations.


To which were added a set of mismatched letter blocks, 2 inch squares with raised letters, detailed in colors vibrant and unlikely. The destroyed city now acquired a newspaper, blocks forming a tickertape announcement echoing the mosaic of the evening news broadcast.


The citizens, two inch plastic PlayMobil worthies functioning as the politicians and newscasters and firemen,


half-inch scrawny Lego people swarming desperately as the residents and school teachers and mailmen and children; the citizens were now presented with broadsides which to the uneducated illiterati proclaimed:
        [yellow] A [red] J [yellow] X [blue] Z
        [green] B [blue] E [yellow] M
        [orange] R [green] N [red] S [blue] T [green] I





reading The writings of the Gilbreths, edited by William R. Spriegel and Clark E. Myers.

weather cold dark & raining

thanks to amazon.com, Lego, PlayMobil, etc., for the use of the images