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January 22, 2008



i've been thinking about yr post for a few days now, and two thoughts keep recurring:

1. have you seen the japanese film afterlife? it's about dying, and going to this sort of limbo (very office-like setting) where you're asked what one memory you'd like to take to heaven with you, and then that memory is recreated (to amusing, poignant, low-budget effects) and filmed, and when you're done you've got a videotape to take with you to heaven. it's all very sweet, and yr mentioning of recreating those photos and those instances of coming upon those places and moments, made me think of that.

2. not to get silly/zen/etc on you, but is a ruin still a ruin if nobody notices it? part of what transforms decay into a Ruin proper is how we come into contact with that space/site, and how we (re)frame it. in other words, part of what makes a ruin a ruin is that we choose to experience it as such. this is all to say: it absolutely sucks that you don't have a pictoral document of 2007 anymore -- but in yr various encounters with, say, the red hook waterfront, you've done the important work of choosing to have those experiences to begin with, to engage meaningfully with those spaces. there may not be 'evidence' of those encounters, but you've an important service to collective memory all the same.


I wish I could lose (most of) 2007. But maybe I already did.

Andreas Huyssen is (over) fond of quoting Robert Musil's definitely quotable quotation: "there is nothing as invisible as a monument".


it was huyssen's' over-quoting of that musil line that kept it from ending up in my own dissertation. i shake my angry fist at you, andreas huyssen!


I always meant to see Afterlife. Adding it to my queue.

The experiences are what count but there's still that sadness I'll never be able to share them.

2006 is definitely the year I'd like to delete but it's there in hideous vivid vibrant color.


the recent death of my wondrous panasonic lumix might mean that i've lost 2008 before it even really got started.

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  • If Ayn Rand and Walter Benjamin got in a cage fight and then made up over foie gras, single malt scotch and indie pop, you'd have the delightful adventures of "That Was Probably Awkward." Plus or minus the single malt and foie gras, depending on the week's finances. But always the indie pop. Sad, stirring indie pop. And a decent happy hour.

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