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From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

The Embers of History
by Steve Sailer

April 24, 2019

The Embers of History

Last week’s fire in the world’s most famous Gothic cathedral, Notre-Dame de Paris, reminds us of the increasingly awkward political issue posed by the immense achievements of the European past.

In the current year, liberal individualism is falling out of fashion. As our culture becomes more demographically diverse, our assumptions revert back to more atavistic ways of thought. The rising ethnicities who look to comic-book author Ta-Nehisi Coates as their leading intellectual assume that one’s worth is not dependent upon Jeffersonian abstractions about individual dignity, but upon the renown of one’s ancestors. Thus, in today’s Coatesian Age, it looms larger than it did a generation or two ago whether one’s forebears built Notre-Dame or a hut.

In an era when our most influential voices attempt to unite our increasingly diverse and therefore divisive ethnicities around demonizing the forefathers of Europeans, the overwhelming beauty of the cathedrals of the high Middle Ages is, as they say, problematic.

As Paul Johnson wrote in his 2003 book Art: A New History:

The medieval cathedrals of Europe—there are over a hundred of them—are the greatest accomplishments of humanity in the whole theater of art.

After such knowledge, what forgiveness?

Read the whole thing there.

April is one of the three months of the year (along with December and August) when I hassle you for donations. I sometimes find myself discouraged, but then my loyal readers chip in with cash in its manifold forms, which I find highly encouraging. Say not the struggle nought availeth.

Here are eight ways for you to contribute to me, iSteve:

First: You can use Paypal (non-tax deductible) by going to the page on my old blog here. Paypal accepts most credit cards. Contributions can be either one-time only, monthly, or annual. (Monthly is nice.)

Second: You can mail a non-tax deductible donation to:

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Please don’t forget to click my name at the VDARE site so the money goes to me:

Screenshot 2017-12-23 15.25.23

VDARE has been kiboshed from use of Paypal for being, I dunno, EVIL. But you can give via credit cards, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, check, money order, or stock.

Note: the VDARE site goes up and down on its own schedule, so if this link stops working, please let me know.

Fourth: if you have a Wells Fargo bank account, you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Wells Fargo SurePay/Zelle. Just tell WF SurePay/Zelle to send the money to my ancient AOL email address steveslrAT aol.com — replace the AT with the usual @). (Non-tax deductible.) Please note, there is no 2.9% fee like with Paypal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.

Fifth: if you have a Chase bank account (or even other bank accounts), you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Chase QuickPay/Zelle (FAQ). Just tell Chase QuickPay/Zelle to send the money to my ancient AOL email address (steveslrATaol.com — replace the AT with the usual @). If Chase asks for the name on my account, it’s StevenSailer with an n at the end of Steven. (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with Paypal or Google Wallet, so this is also good for large contributions.

Sixth: send money via the Paypal-like Google Wallet to my Gmail address (that’s isteveslrATgmail .com — replace the AT with a @). (Non-tax deductible.)

Seventh: [Warning: Does this still work?] You can use Bitcoin using Coinbase. Coinbase payments are not tax deductible. Below are links to two Coinbase pages of mine. This first is if you want to enter a U.S. dollar-denominated amount to pay me.

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in U.S. Dollars)

This second is if you want to enter a Bitcoin-denominated amount. (Remember one Bitcoin is currently worth many U.S. dollars.)

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Eighth: At one reader’s request, I recently added Square as an 8th fundraising medium, although I’m vague on how it works. If you want to use Square, send me an email telling me how much to send you an invoice for. Or, if you know an easier way for us to use Square, please let me know.

Thanks.

 
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  1. Alternatively, the reigning dogma might assert that since the cathedral wasn’t built by diverse peoples, Notre-Dame therefore can’t be beautiful.

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it.

    Yes, well, they’re going to take care of that problem, aren’t they?

    If I remember correctly, it was Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe that introduced the word “Jewess” to me. The Jewess was supposed to be beautiful, but exotically beautiful, being, as she was, exotic. I don’t recall the Black Knight being, you know, black, either.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    " The Jewess was supposed to be beautiful, but exotically beautiful, being, as she was, exotic."

    There were a fair few femme fatales of trans-Oder extraction in the penny dreadfuls and thrillers of late Victorian, Edwardian and 20s fiction. There'd been a wave of immigration from the East and there wasn't a ban on noticing. Here's an example (a sad line - "the actual regular flock which attends the church itself is small, rarely exceeding three hundred and fifty members").

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Resurgent_Mysteries
    , @Desiderius

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it.
     
    And Michelle famously did, with the glint of the conqueror in her eye. It wasn't beauty she was beholding.
    , @David
    Scott's second note to Ivenhoe is about including in that novel, set in medieval England, what we'd call blacks:

    The severe accuracy of some critics has objected to the complexion of the slaves of Brian de Bois-Guilbert, as being totally out of costume and propriety. I remember the same objection being made to a set of sable functionaries, whom my friend, Mat Lewis, introduced as the guards and mischief-doing satellites of the wicked Baron, in his Castle Spectre. Mat treated the objection with great contempt, and averred in reply, that he made the slaves black in order to obtain a striking effect of contrast, and that, could he have derived a similar advantage from making his heroine blue, blue she should have been.

    I do not pretend to plead the immunities of my order so highly as this; but neither will I allow that the author of a modern antique romance is obliged to confine himself to the introduction of those manners only which can be proved to have absolutely existed in the times he is depicting, so that he restrain himself to such as are plausible and natural, and contain no obvious anachronism. In this point of view, what can be more natural, than that the Templars, who, we know, copied closely the luxuries of the Asiatic warriors with whom they fought, should use the service of the enslaved Africans, whom the fate of war transferred to new masters? I am sure, if there are no precise proofs of their having done so, there is nothing, on the other hand, that can entitle us positively to conclude that they never did. Besides, there is an instance in romance.

    John of Rampayne, an excellent juggler and minstrel, undertook to effect the escape of one Audulf de Bracy, by presenting himself in disguise at the court of the king, where he was confined. For this purpose, “he stained his hair and his whole body entirely as black as jet, so that nothing was white but his teeth,” and succeeded in imposing himself on the king, as an Ethiopian minstrel. He effected, by stratagem, the escape of the prisoner. Negroes, therefore, must have been known in England in the dark ages.
     
  2. Johnson is wrong, mind. The greatest accomplishment of humanity in the whole theatre of art is Venice.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    'See Naples and die' - which I used to think was a rather nasty slur on that city.
    , @Colin Wright
    'Johnson is wrong, mind. The greatest accomplishment of humanity in the whole theatre of art is Venice.'

    Well, there is Saint Mark's in Venice. What's the math for that?
  3. Anonymous[415] • Disclaimer says:

    On a side note, as every schoolboy knows, the enormous cost of building the basilica of St Peter in the Vatican led to the ‘sale of indulgences’ by Papal authorities – in order to pony up ready cash – and this in turn led to Martin Luther’s disgust, protestantism, the reformation and subsequent religious wars.

    Perhaps if there was no taste of desire for magnificent cathedrals, all west Europeans and North Americans would still be catholics.

    • Replies: @anon
    Someone - Brian Micklethwaite at Samizdata? - has a theory that when an organisation starts planning to build its fancy new headquarters, that's a sign that the organisation has already slipped into dysfunction and will soon collapse, even as the new building rises. Something to do with management taking their eye off the ball.

    There are a surprisingly large number of examples.
    , @Anonymous
    Smh, no.

    “So things have gone. We have reached at last, as the final result of that catastrophe three hundred years ago, a state of society which cannot endure and a dissolution of standards, a melting of the spiritual framework, such that the body politic fails. Men everywhere feel that an attempt to continue down this endless and ever darkening road is like the piling up of debt. We go further and further from a settlement. Our various forms of knowledge diverge more and more. Authority, the very principle of life, loses its meaning, and this awful edifice of civilization which we have inherited, and which is still our trust, trembles and threatens to crash down. It is clearly insecure. It may fall in any moment. We who still live may see the ruin. But ruin when it comes is not only a sudden, it is also a final, thing.

    In such a crux there remains the historical truth: that this our European structure, built upon the noble foundations of classical antiquity, was formed through, exists by, is consonant to, and will stand only in the mold of, the Catholic Church.

    Europe will return to the Faith, or she will perish.

    The Faith is Europe. And Europe is the Faith.”

    -Hilaire Belloc, Europe and the Faith (1920)
     

    , @Buffalo Joe
    Anon, nice comment and as the product of 16 years of Catholic Education I know you are a heretic. Just kidding.
    , @Dube
    The official - not to say officious - docent in St. Peter's, a cleric, briskly walked us from one brass marker in the floor to the next, standing at each to declare the floor length of specific lesser cathedrals. I don't remember the list, but I did wonder whether the comparison/contrast was necessary. In a way, it was. It is a natural question for visitors to such structures. But, can it be a sinful question?
    , @Colin Wright
    'Perhaps if there was no taste of desire for magnificent cathedrals, all west Europeans and North Americans would still be catholics.'

    ...but then we wouldn't have the cathedrals.
  4. @dearieme
    Johnson is wrong, mind. The greatest accomplishment of humanity in the whole theatre of art is Venice.

    ‘See Naples and die’ – which I used to think was a rather nasty slur on that city.

  5. Jared Kushner embraces the Ross Douthat/Reihan Salam reformicon position on immigration: https://www.axios.com/immigration-reform-jared-kushner-proposal-neutral-e0e1bc82-8a8d-4fdb-b169-0f00e1f36d11.html

    In his private briefings on his yet-to-be-released immigration plan, Jared Kushner has told people his plan will be “neutral” on immigration numbers, multiple administration and Hill sources familiar with the proposal tell Axios.

    Why it matters: By neutral, Kushner says he means it will neither raise nor lower the overall number of legal immigrants coming into the U.S.

    Kushner has told Axios’ sources, which includes a handful of Republican lawmakers, that he wants the plan to increase the numbers of high-skilled immigrants entering the U.S. and to decrease the number of immigrants coming based on their family ties.

  6. Reminds me of the time the UK’s Prince Charles basically nixed ‘futurist’ architect Richard Rogers planned extension to the National Gallery by describing it as a ‘monstrous carbuncle’.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Prince Charles has his uses, and his successful campaign against modern architecture is probably his most useful service.
  7. Anonymous[415] • Disclaimer says:

    …and then you have Frederick Gibberd’s futurist Liverpool RC cathedral.

    Variously dubbed ‘Paddy’s WigWam and the ‘Mersey Funnel’.

    Apparently the roof started leaking from the moment it was consecrated.

    The strange story is that Gibberd’s design replaced a commenced plan to build the largest cathedral in the world based on a design by Lutyens – which would have been a truly magnificent behemoth.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    'The strange story is that Gibberd’s design replaced a commenced plan to build the largest cathedral in the world based on a design by Lutyens – which would have been a truly magnificent behemoth.'

    Knowing what I do about leftists and the malgnancy of modern architects id say this was not a coincidence.
  8. Notre-Dame will be rebuilt.

    Time for an iSteve commenter poll. For the exterior look, should there be:

    1) The same roof and spire as just before the fire

    2) The same roof, but with the original medieval spire

    3) The same roof, but no spire

    4) An entirely new design, with or without a spire

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Glass roof for a green house for growing pot.
    , @slumber_j
    This may be a very unpopular position, but...

    3) No spire, emphatically. When my wife the architectural historian and I went with our children to Notre Dame almost exactly one month before the fire, we all agreed that the spire looked awful and did nothing but detract from the building's architectural unity.

    A month later I finally persuaded my wife to stop watching the streaming fire on her computer, because it was making her weep.
    , @Desiderius
    (3) She's a sublimely stately, solid, steadfast mother. No pointy bits.
    , @John Pepple
    Any of the first three would be fine with me.
  9. “Alternatively, the reigning dogma might assert that since the cathedral wasn’t built by diverse peoples, Notre-Dame therefore can’t be beautiful.

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it.”

    Problem easily solved: destroy it.

    If they had possessed Modern implements of destruction, the Anglo-Saxon Puritans may well have destroyed everything built before the Reformation that could not be turned into something pro-Protestant or at least anti-Catholic. Before the French Revolution, French Protestants attacked various Catholic masterpieces of architecture. As befits a revolution focused on theology, their Taliban-like assaults were concentrated on areas that taught pre-revolution theology. Altars were routinely desecrated. In Britain as well as France, a number of altars were removed to be made into some tough for feeding livestock or something similar.

    All revolutions are but spines in the umbrella of The Revolution against Christendom. The most devout Protestants are on the side of The Revolution along side Jews and Mohammedans and atheists. The most devout Novus Ordo Vatican II Catholic is on the same side of The Revolution against Christendom.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    You might as well say that the Great Papal Flounce-Out of 1054 was an assault on Christianity. In fact, if you said that you might well be right.
    , @Desiderius

    The most devout Protestants are on the side of The Revolution
     
    You couldn't be more mistaken.

    https://www.amazon.com/Everything-That-Rises-Must-Converge/dp/B001OKOECA
    , @Farrakhan.DDuke.AliceWalker.AllAgree

    The most devout Novus Ordo Vatican II Catholic is on the same side of The Revolution against Christendom.
     
    Expound, please. Your credibility here has you being heeded.
  10. For example, Erika Harlitz-Kern wrote in the Daily Beast:

    “Give Notre Dame a Modern Roof the Alt-Right Will Hate. Medieval Europe was a crossroads of global influence, not a mythical all-white past. The new Notre Dame should reflect that.”

    Then why doesn’t Notre Dame as it has always been reflect that? And why is the bigoted Jewess so resentful of the remarkable French and Christian Notre Dame?

  11. anon[290] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    On a side note, as every schoolboy knows, the enormous cost of building the basilica of St Peter in the Vatican led to the 'sale of indulgences' by Papal authorities - in order to pony up ready cash - and this in turn led to Martin Luther's disgust, protestantism, the reformation and subsequent religious wars.

    Perhaps if there was no taste of desire for magnificent cathedrals, all west Europeans and North Americans would still be catholics.

    Someone – Brian Micklethwaite at Samizdata? – has a theory that when an organisation starts planning to build its fancy new headquarters, that’s a sign that the organisation has already slipped into dysfunction and will soon collapse, even as the new building rises. Something to do with management taking their eye off the ball.

    There are a surprisingly large number of examples.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    Uh-Oh . . . . Time to dump my Apple stock.

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/UoH0A4QlN6Y/maxresdefault.jpg
    , @Peter Johnson
    That is from the brilliant Dr. Laurence J. Peter in his classic book "The Peter Principle." Do not let anyone else claim it.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    A prominent example: $1.23 billion new headquarters for obsolete NATO.

    https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2018_05/20180507_1805-factsheet-nnhq-en.pdf.pdf
  12. Envy drives much of today’s woke left – it drives them batty that so much of our modern world can be attributed to European or European-derived nations and people, usually men to boot. The narrative is that absent colonialism, great societies and contributions to human history would have arisen in Africa, SW Asia, South America, etc. They don’t want to contemplate the possibility that some societies just don’t have the same amount of human capital as others, or that they did have potential but took a wrong turn along the way.

    TNC has commented on this before – I cannot remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that he *has* to believe in this narrative, as the alternative is that his ancestors are just basically history’s losers.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910

    TNC has commented on this before – I cannot remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that he *has* to believe in this narrative, as the alternative is that his ancestors are just basically history’s losers.
     
    It's déjà vu all over again:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/sailer-in-takis-the-real-wakanda/#comment-2204950

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/genius-t-coates-on-glowing-amulet-of-whitenesss-eldritch-energies/#comment-1998146

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/these-crime-misery-graphs-dont-imply-what-ta-nehisi-coates-says-they-imply/

    https://www.vox.com/2015/9/15/9329727/tanehisi-coates-incarceration-racism

    I think it’s a lot easier to talk about individual behaviors, to just say that if people would act better it would all be okay.

    To me, that logic leads to racism. And let me try to make that plain for you, so I’m not being extreme. If you say the problem in the African-American community is a lack of individual responsibility, you’re talking about 40 million people. If you’re saying there’s less responsibility among those people, well, why would that be? And you say, a culture has developed in the last 30 or 40 years. But the problem is the crime rates have been higher in the black community at least since the time we came out of slavery. Was something wrong with the culture of those people, too?

    It quickly and easily leads to the idea that something must just be wrong with those people. And I just reject that. I guess I have to reject that.
     
    , @res

    TNC has commented on this before – I cannot remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that he *has* to believe in this narrative, as the alternative is that his ancestors are just basically history’s losers.
     
    From https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/04/the-ghost-of-bobby-lee/38813/

    I know how this goes. For us, it's coping with the fact that people who looked like you sold you into slavery. It's understanding that you come from a place that was on the wrong side of the Gatling gun. It's feeling not simply like one of history's losers, but that you had no right to win. The work of the mature intellect is to reconcile oneself to the past without a retreat into fantasy--in either direction. Claiming to be the descendant of kings and queens is just as bad as claiming to be thankful for the slave trade.
     
    That seems more sensible than your version (surprisingly sensible for TNC IMO). Though perhaps this is a matter of "do as I say, not as I do"?
  13. anon[290] • Disclaimer says:

    One of those hundred or so cathedrals was St. Michael’s in Coventry, sadly destroyed in the war.

    They built a new one right next door. (They left up the ruins of the original as a monument to the folly of war or something.) To my eye it looks perfectly nice, but I am an uncultured swine.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Rod Dreher on that cathedral: "The Nazi barbarians destroyed a medieval cathedral. Christians replaced it with Our Lady of The Department Of Motor Vehicles."
  14. This is a problem for the conventional wisdom, which propagandizes that, in the words of Dan Quayle, diversity is our strength.

    It’s really unfortunate that the word “diversity” has been so abused. The people who built and financed the construction of Notre Dame would have been diverse, just not in the way it’s meant now. Before the homogenizing effects of television, mass public education and the railways, Europe would have been a very complex and diverse place.

    Of course that’s not the current meaning of the word. I only make my above point because more than a few people argue in favour of imposing a monoculture in response to the human Noah’s Ark they’re unloading every day at our airports. That kind of diversity only weakens us but so does the enforced homogenization and regimentation. The answer to their “diversity” is not the kind of bullying and soft genocide the French Third Republic did on the regions of France.

  15. @Chrisnonymous

    Alternatively, the reigning dogma might assert that since the cathedral wasn’t built by diverse peoples, Notre-Dame therefore can’t be beautiful.

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it.
     
    Yes, well, they're going to take care of that problem, aren't they?

    If I remember correctly, it was Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe that introduced the word "Jewess" to me. The Jewess was supposed to be beautiful, but exotically beautiful, being, as she was, exotic. I don't recall the Black Knight being, you know, black, either.

    ” The Jewess was supposed to be beautiful, but exotically beautiful, being, as she was, exotic.”

    There were a fair few femme fatales of trans-Oder extraction in the penny dreadfuls and thrillers of late Victorian, Edwardian and 20s fiction. There’d been a wave of immigration from the East and there wasn’t a ban on noticing. Here’s an example (a sad line – “the actual regular flock which attends the church itself is small, rarely exceeding three hundred and fifty members“).

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Resurgent_Mysteries

  16. On the subject of “retroactive diversity” in historical dramas (that is, casting black/Asian/etc. actors for medieval European settings), the response should be to heighten the contradictions.

    In that spirit: When can we expect to see:

    (A) Blacks and others cast as Nazis in a World War Two movie?

    (B) Whites cast as Indian tribesmen in the Old West, or as Zulus (or Wakandanese?) in a jungle adventure?

    • Agree: Coemgen
  17. @Jake
    "Alternatively, the reigning dogma might assert that since the cathedral wasn’t built by diverse peoples, Notre-Dame therefore can’t be beautiful.

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it."

    Problem easily solved: destroy it.

    If they had possessed Modern implements of destruction, the Anglo-Saxon Puritans may well have destroyed everything built before the Reformation that could not be turned into something pro-Protestant or at least anti-Catholic. Before the French Revolution, French Protestants attacked various Catholic masterpieces of architecture. As befits a revolution focused on theology, their Taliban-like assaults were concentrated on areas that taught pre-revolution theology. Altars were routinely desecrated. In Britain as well as France, a number of altars were removed to be made into some tough for feeding livestock or something similar.

    All revolutions are but spines in the umbrella of The Revolution against Christendom. The most devout Protestants are on the side of The Revolution along side Jews and Mohammedans and atheists. The most devout Novus Ordo Vatican II Catholic is on the same side of The Revolution against Christendom.

    You might as well say that the Great Papal Flounce-Out of 1054 was an assault on Christianity. In fact, if you said that you might well be right.

  18. Coates has made himself a fortune promoting an antiquarian theory about how whites made themselves rich by the “plunder” of blacks.

    My reaction to that is, ok, maybe. But how did whites manage to plunder blacks? Because they colonized them. Why were they able to colonize them? Well, because they had advanced weaponry. Why didn’t blacks have advanced weaponry? Because…etc.

    As with feminism, after a lot of argument-archeology the fundamental idea turns out to be that both groups are exactly the same, but the current equality is the result of one random advantage thousands of years ago, if not actually in prehistory. After that it just got compounded and compounded and compounded. If that one little thing had been different, the roles would have been reversed.

    Religions and civilizations have come and gone, but we’ve never been able to get over the time when Ug The White beat Ug The Black over the noggin with his new polished hand-axe.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    If you're taking him seriously you've already lost.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    kihowi, Coates has made a living off the fact that one white woman had the temerity to move his son out of her way as she exited an escalator. He should worship the ground that one woman walks on...oh that would be magic dirt.
  19. Isn’t the Greatest Achievement in Art … Video Games?

    Think of it – Thousands of of years of incrementally better mathematics and incrementally better engineering, mass production and commodization of exquisitely minuscule cathedrals of complexity and the immense towers of software on top, continent-wide support infrastructure – from energy production to silica mining, blue-hair triggering fearless cultural appropriation and integration of story telling memes … landing on everyone’s desk … so that one can gawk at made-up 3D constructions in misty countrysides!

    From Greg Egan’s “Our Lady of Chernobyl”

    We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for surely there is no such splendor or beauty anywhere upon earth.

    —The envoy of Prince Vladimir of Kiev, describing the Church of the Divine Wisdom in Constantinople, 987.

    It is the rustiest old barn in heathendom.
    —S.L. Clemens, ditto, 1867.

    There was nothing in the room but a bed, a chair, and a VR rig—plugged into the phone socket. Vienna had kept up with the times; even this dilapidated apartment had the latest high-bandwidth ISDN [eurotelecom? does this story date a bit?].

    I glanced down at the street; there was no one in sight. I put my ear to the door; if anyone was ascending the stairs, they were far quieter than I’d been.

    I slipped the helmet over my head.

    The simulation was a building, larger than anything I’d ever seen, stretching out around me like a stadium, like a colosseum. In the distance—perhaps two hundred meters away—were giant marble columns topped with arches, holding up a balcony with an ornate metal railing, and another set of columns, supporting another balcony … and so on, to six tiers. The floor was tile, or parquetry, with delicate angular braids outlining a complex hexagonal pattern in red and gold. I looked up—and, dazzled, threw my arms in front of my face (to no effect). The hall of this impossible cathedral was topped with a massive dome, the scale defying calculation. Sunlight poured in through dozens of arched windows around the base. Above, covering the dome, was a figurative mosaic, the colors exquisite beyond belief. My eyes watered from the brightness; as I blinked away the tears, I could begin to make out the scene.

    A haloed woman stretched out her hand —

    Someone pressed a gun barrel to my throat.

    I froze, waiting for my captor to speak. After a few seconds, I said in German, “I wish someone would teach me to move that quietly.”

    A young male voice replied, in heavily accented English: “’He who possesses the truth of the word of Jesus can hear even its silence.’ Saint Ignatius of Antioch.”

    Then he must have reached over to the rig control box and turned down the volume—I’d planned to do that myself, but it had seemed redundant—because I suddenly realized that I’d been listening to a blanket of white noise.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Too soon.
  20. Anonymous[388] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    On a side note, as every schoolboy knows, the enormous cost of building the basilica of St Peter in the Vatican led to the 'sale of indulgences' by Papal authorities - in order to pony up ready cash - and this in turn led to Martin Luther's disgust, protestantism, the reformation and subsequent religious wars.

    Perhaps if there was no taste of desire for magnificent cathedrals, all west Europeans and North Americans would still be catholics.

    Smh, no.

    “So things have gone. We have reached at last, as the final result of that catastrophe three hundred years ago, a state of society which cannot endure and a dissolution of standards, a melting of the spiritual framework, such that the body politic fails. Men everywhere feel that an attempt to continue down this endless and ever darkening road is like the piling up of debt. We go further and further from a settlement. Our various forms of knowledge diverge more and more. Authority, the very principle of life, loses its meaning, and this awful edifice of civilization which we have inherited, and which is still our trust, trembles and threatens to crash down. It is clearly insecure. It may fall in any moment. We who still live may see the ruin. But ruin when it comes is not only a sudden, it is also a final, thing.

    In such a crux there remains the historical truth: that this our European structure, built upon the noble foundations of classical antiquity, was formed through, exists by, is consonant to, and will stand only in the mold of, the Catholic Church.

    Europe will return to the Faith, or she will perish.

    The Faith is Europe. And Europe is the Faith.”

    -Hilaire Belloc, Europe and the Faith (1920)

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Sorry, most of the text was cut. Here’s the full chapter: https://oldthunderbelloc.blogspot.com/2015/12/europe-and-faith-chap-x-conclusion.html
  21. Here’s Steve the Beggar’s manipulative donation pitch:

    1. I’m a good ole’ American salt-of-the-earth good guy. Aren’t I cute as a boy?
    2. Look at the loving relationship I have with my dad? Don’t you want this?
    3. I’m working hard to return us to a time when this was possible.

    4. SEND ME MONEY!!!!!!!!

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    You say that like it was a bad thing.
  22. Anonymous[388] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    Smh, no.

    “So things have gone. We have reached at last, as the final result of that catastrophe three hundred years ago, a state of society which cannot endure and a dissolution of standards, a melting of the spiritual framework, such that the body politic fails. Men everywhere feel that an attempt to continue down this endless and ever darkening road is like the piling up of debt. We go further and further from a settlement. Our various forms of knowledge diverge more and more. Authority, the very principle of life, loses its meaning, and this awful edifice of civilization which we have inherited, and which is still our trust, trembles and threatens to crash down. It is clearly insecure. It may fall in any moment. We who still live may see the ruin. But ruin when it comes is not only a sudden, it is also a final, thing.

    In such a crux there remains the historical truth: that this our European structure, built upon the noble foundations of classical antiquity, was formed through, exists by, is consonant to, and will stand only in the mold of, the Catholic Church.

    Europe will return to the Faith, or she will perish.

    The Faith is Europe. And Europe is the Faith.”

    -Hilaire Belloc, Europe and the Faith (1920)
     

    Sorry, most of the text was cut. Here’s the full chapter: https://oldthunderbelloc.blogspot.com/2015/12/europe-and-faith-chap-x-conclusion.html

  23. Anonymous[350] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Notre-Dame will be rebuilt.

    Time for an iSteve commenter poll. For the exterior look, should there be:

    1) The same roof and spire as just before the fire

    2) The same roof, but with the original medieval spire

    3) The same roof, but no spire

    4) An entirely new design, with or without a spire

    Glass roof for a green house for growing pot.

  24. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Notre-Dame will be rebuilt.

    Time for an iSteve commenter poll. For the exterior look, should there be:

    1) The same roof and spire as just before the fire

    2) The same roof, but with the original medieval spire

    3) The same roof, but no spire

    4) An entirely new design, with or without a spire

    This may be a very unpopular position, but…

    3) No spire, emphatically. When my wife the architectural historian and I went with our children to Notre Dame almost exactly one month before the fire, we all agreed that the spire looked awful and did nothing but detract from the building’s architectural unity.

    A month later I finally persuaded my wife to stop watching the streaming fire on her computer, because it was making her weep.

    • Agree: Endgame Napoleon
  25. @Anonymous
    Reminds me of the time the UK's Prince Charles basically nixed 'futurist' architect Richard Rogers planned extension to the National Gallery by describing it as a 'monstrous carbuncle'.

    Prince Charles has his uses, and his successful campaign against modern architecture is probably his most useful service.

  26. If Steve is responsible for the stellar composition of that photo at the top, then he made a big contribution to humanity, in that photos might provide the only documentation of such great Western works in our factional future.

  27. Various pundits and architects such as Norman Foster are now calling for Notre-Dame to be rebuilt in some steel-and-glass modernist style, like a vast Apple store, that they assert would be more fitting for our age of diversity. […]

    Ironically, they don’t realize that contemporary starchitects with their egomaniacal hatred of tradition represent white maleness at its most Promethean and annoying. As my old friend John McCarthy, a founder of artificial intelligence, observed, “When architects get prizes, the people suffer.”

    The notion that anything should be done to Notre Dame in order to be more politically or demographically or contemporary-religiously fitting or whatever is of course completely stupid. If that were the right approach, France should have spent the last century or so just demolishing the Cathedral stone by stone: it would be perfectly in line with the soi-disant evolution of everything, and we wouldn’t have this problem at all.

    And certainly it’s true that big-time architects are egomaniacal jerks. That’s what they get paid for.

    Nevertheless, I’m always surprised by the common knee-jerk hatred around here of–as far as I can tell–absolutely all modern architecture. I find the good stuff beautiful, just as I find all good architecture beautiful.

    No matter what anyone wrote in the early 20th c., one absolutely can allow oneself to enjoy modern architecture without rejecting what came before–just as one can appreciate both a beautiful Gothic spire and the dome Brunelleschi designed in rejection of that aesthetic.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    There's no knee-jerk hatred of modern architecture per se, there is hatred of it sticking its dick where it doesn't belong, as modernism had a habit of doing in whatever field of endeavor had the misfortune of drawing the attention of its steely gaze.
    , @Alden
    The big problem with modern architecture is the bad proportions. Humans have an instinctive feeling for good proportions.

    All architects since 1900 pride themselves on bad proportions. Even if observers don’t consciously realize anything about the proportions, the bad proportions and aggressive asymmetry makes observers uneasy. They can’t explain why, just say the building is ugly. And they don’t like it

    Build a bland brutalist box with good proportions and people might like it.

    Don’t architecture schools teach that good proportions should never be used and asymmetry and bad proportions always be used?
    , @Alden
    Mayor Deblasio of NYC has decreed that no more glass and steel high rises can be built in NYC as they are not Green and emit destructive emissions.

    Do buildings give off emissions? Maybe it’s the high air conditioning and heat bills caused by glass walls? High utility bills harm Mother Earth seems to be the point.

    There’s a modern State of Illinois office building in Chicago. It’s sort of a blob shape that’s OK. The walls and even parts of the of the roof are mostly glass.

    First problem was the sunlight made it impossible to see the computer screens. So workers brought in umbrellas and covered their work stations with 3 umbrellas covering the computers.

    Then the state got the summer air conditioning and winter heat bills.

    I gather modern architects aren’t taught about different building materials. So they are absolutely unaware that heat and cold come right through glass, unlike all solid materials that block heat and cold in various degrees.

    Can Deblasio just outlaw glass walls by imperial decree? I don’t think it’s possible to build a 40 story building without a supporting steel structure.
  28. @Chrisnonymous

    Alternatively, the reigning dogma might assert that since the cathedral wasn’t built by diverse peoples, Notre-Dame therefore can’t be beautiful.

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it.
     
    Yes, well, they're going to take care of that problem, aren't they?

    If I remember correctly, it was Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe that introduced the word "Jewess" to me. The Jewess was supposed to be beautiful, but exotically beautiful, being, as she was, exotic. I don't recall the Black Knight being, you know, black, either.

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it.

    And Michelle famously did, with the glint of the conqueror in her eye. It wasn’t beauty she was beholding.

  29. @slumber_j

    Various pundits and architects such as Norman Foster are now calling for Notre-Dame to be rebuilt in some steel-and-glass modernist style, like a vast Apple store, that they assert would be more fitting for our age of diversity. [...]

    Ironically, they don’t realize that contemporary starchitects with their egomaniacal hatred of tradition represent white maleness at its most Promethean and annoying. As my old friend John McCarthy, a founder of artificial intelligence, observed, “When architects get prizes, the people suffer.”
     

    The notion that anything should be done to Notre Dame in order to be more politically or demographically or contemporary-religiously fitting or whatever is of course completely stupid. If that were the right approach, France should have spent the last century or so just demolishing the Cathedral stone by stone: it would be perfectly in line with the soi-disant evolution of everything, and we wouldn't have this problem at all.

    And certainly it's true that big-time architects are egomaniacal jerks. That's what they get paid for.

    Nevertheless, I'm always surprised by the common knee-jerk hatred around here of--as far as I can tell--absolutely all modern architecture. I find the good stuff beautiful, just as I find all good architecture beautiful.

    No matter what anyone wrote in the early 20th c., one absolutely can allow oneself to enjoy modern architecture without rejecting what came before--just as one can appreciate both a beautiful Gothic spire and the dome Brunelleschi designed in rejection of that aesthetic.

    There’s no knee-jerk hatred of modern architecture per se, there is hatred of it sticking its dick where it doesn’t belong, as modernism had a habit of doing in whatever field of endeavor had the misfortune of drawing the attention of its steely gaze.

  30. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Notre-Dame will be rebuilt.

    Time for an iSteve commenter poll. For the exterior look, should there be:

    1) The same roof and spire as just before the fire

    2) The same roof, but with the original medieval spire

    3) The same roof, but no spire

    4) An entirely new design, with or without a spire

    (3) She’s a sublimely stately, solid, steadfast mother. No pointy bits.

  31. @Jake
    "Alternatively, the reigning dogma might assert that since the cathedral wasn’t built by diverse peoples, Notre-Dame therefore can’t be beautiful.

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it."

    Problem easily solved: destroy it.

    If they had possessed Modern implements of destruction, the Anglo-Saxon Puritans may well have destroyed everything built before the Reformation that could not be turned into something pro-Protestant or at least anti-Catholic. Before the French Revolution, French Protestants attacked various Catholic masterpieces of architecture. As befits a revolution focused on theology, their Taliban-like assaults were concentrated on areas that taught pre-revolution theology. Altars were routinely desecrated. In Britain as well as France, a number of altars were removed to be made into some tough for feeding livestock or something similar.

    All revolutions are but spines in the umbrella of The Revolution against Christendom. The most devout Protestants are on the side of The Revolution along side Jews and Mohammedans and atheists. The most devout Novus Ordo Vatican II Catholic is on the same side of The Revolution against Christendom.

    The most devout Protestants are on the side of The Revolution

    You couldn’t be more mistaken.

    https://www.amazon.com/Everything-That-Rises-Must-Converge/dp/B001OKOECA

  32. @Arclight
    Envy drives much of today's woke left - it drives them batty that so much of our modern world can be attributed to European or European-derived nations and people, usually men to boot. The narrative is that absent colonialism, great societies and contributions to human history would have arisen in Africa, SW Asia, South America, etc. They don't want to contemplate the possibility that some societies just don't have the same amount of human capital as others, or that they did have potential but took a wrong turn along the way.

    TNC has commented on this before - I cannot remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that he *has* to believe in this narrative, as the alternative is that his ancestors are just basically history's losers.

    TNC has commented on this before – I cannot remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that he *has* to believe in this narrative, as the alternative is that his ancestors are just basically history’s losers.

    It’s déjà vu all over again:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/sailer-in-takis-the-real-wakanda/#comment-2204950

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/genius-t-coates-on-glowing-amulet-of-whitenesss-eldritch-energies/#comment-1998146

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/these-crime-misery-graphs-dont-imply-what-ta-nehisi-coates-says-they-imply/

    https://www.vox.com/2015/9/15/9329727/tanehisi-coates-incarceration-racism

    I think it’s a lot easier to talk about individual behaviors, to just say that if people would act better it would all be okay.

    To me, that logic leads to racism. And let me try to make that plain for you, so I’m not being extreme. If you say the problem in the African-American community is a lack of individual responsibility, you’re talking about 40 million people. If you’re saying there’s less responsibility among those people, well, why would that be? And you say, a culture has developed in the last 30 or 40 years. But the problem is the crime rates have been higher in the black community at least since the time we came out of slavery. Was something wrong with the culture of those people, too?

    It quickly and easily leads to the idea that something must just be wrong with those people. And I just reject that. I guess I have to reject that.

  33. Reading the Wikipedia entry for Sainte-Chapelle all the indignities that it has suffered is painful. It doesn’t seem that much is original, however pretty the photos are.

  34. @Arclight
    Envy drives much of today's woke left - it drives them batty that so much of our modern world can be attributed to European or European-derived nations and people, usually men to boot. The narrative is that absent colonialism, great societies and contributions to human history would have arisen in Africa, SW Asia, South America, etc. They don't want to contemplate the possibility that some societies just don't have the same amount of human capital as others, or that they did have potential but took a wrong turn along the way.

    TNC has commented on this before - I cannot remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that he *has* to believe in this narrative, as the alternative is that his ancestors are just basically history's losers.

    TNC has commented on this before – I cannot remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that he *has* to believe in this narrative, as the alternative is that his ancestors are just basically history’s losers.

    From https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/04/the-ghost-of-bobby-lee/38813/

    I know how this goes. For us, it’s coping with the fact that people who looked like you sold you into slavery. It’s understanding that you come from a place that was on the wrong side of the Gatling gun. It’s feeling not simply like one of history’s losers, but that you had no right to win. The work of the mature intellect is to reconcile oneself to the past without a retreat into fantasy–in either direction. Claiming to be the descendant of kings and queens is just as bad as claiming to be thankful for the slave trade.

    That seems more sensible than your version (surprisingly sensible for TNC IMO). Though perhaps this is a matter of “do as I say, not as I do”?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Some of his columns were flagrantly edited/ghostwritten. You can really tell in some articles but unfortunately he deleted his twitter (couldnt deal with criticism from other black academics) so you cannot see a long list of his real time thoughts/ writings. If you ever watch his performances in a live debate on youtube you will see how out of character that self awareness in the passage just quoted is. He really is as bad as Sailer makes out.
  35. I have admired Notre Dame several times but I have no memory of having noticed its spire. I suspect that this means that it is de trop.

    It’s a pity that that ruddy eye-sore the Sacré-Cœur hasn’t burnt down. They could replace it with an artificial ski slope.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Personally, I think it looks better without the spire, but the original design had one, so I defer my judgement.
  36. A controversial blogger, 2019:

    Alternatively, the reigning dogma might assert that since the cathedral wasn’t built by diverse peoples, Notre-Dame therefore can’t be beautiful.

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it.

    A future president, 1995:

    It wasn’t that Europe wasn’t beautiful; everything was just as I’d imagined it. It just wasn’t mine.

  37. I submit that the most famous Gothic cathedral is Chartres (Notre Dame de Chartres), not Notre Dame de Paris. Kenneth Clark, who recently made an appearance on this blog, certainly thought so.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Chartres' fame is well-deserved. But it's well out in the exurbs of Paris, not absolute dead center. And there's no "Hunchback of Chartres."
  38. @The Beggar Blogger
    Here's Steve the Beggar's manipulative donation pitch:

    1. I'm a good ole' American salt-of-the-earth good guy. Aren't I cute as a boy?
    2. Look at the loving relationship I have with my dad? Don't you want this?
    3. I'm working hard to return us to a time when this was possible.

    4. SEND ME MONEY!!!!!!!!

    You say that like it was a bad thing.

  39. A pedantic comment on the longer Takimag version: Hugo’s heroine wasn’t a gypsy, she was a French girl who had been kidnapped by gypsies. Her mom basically went bonkers as a result and became an anchoress.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks.
  40. Talking about the embers of history.

    Can somebody please put the UK of its misery? I think about 600 Megaton-equivalent TNT, properly placed, would suffice.

    So, why exactly can’t we call a boat a ‘she’ anymore?

    (Actually it’s a ship, not a “boat”. Boats are submerged and *kill* ships.)

  41. @anon
    Someone - Brian Micklethwaite at Samizdata? - has a theory that when an organisation starts planning to build its fancy new headquarters, that's a sign that the organisation has already slipped into dysfunction and will soon collapse, even as the new building rises. Something to do with management taking their eye off the ball.

    There are a surprisingly large number of examples.

    Uh-Oh . . . . Time to dump my Apple stock.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Apple's day of decline is coming, but maybe not very soon. Inertia has kept it going since Jobs died and could keep it going another several years, but eventually it will fall.
  42. … Erika Harlitz-Kern wrote in the Daily Beast:

    Give Notre Dame a Modern Roof the Alt-Right Will Hate

    Yeah baby.

    Rebuild the cathedral as a monument to your spitefulness.

    It should look just like the underground shopping mall over the train station at the rebuilt NYC World Trade Center.

    Right, bitch?

  43. Those are nice pictures of you and your dad. Thanks for sharing. Nice swordfish catch too, BTW.

    • Agree: MEH 0910, SunBakedSuburb
  44. Anonymous[382] • Disclaimer says:

    Not sure envy is at the center of anti-white hatred. In the past, even in the age of anti-imperialist struggles, plenty of non-whites will full of admiration and respect for the West. They studied in the West and came to visit with awe and reverence.

    What changed? White people got bored with their past and were effectively severed from it by mass culture. Jewish rise to elite status led to demonization of whites as all-purpose scapegoat. Oddly enough, non-white immigration to the West degraded whiteness, but much of this owed to white self-loathing as the new virtue. Non-white hatred of white is following the lead of white self-hatred. If someone in authority says, “I hate myself, and you should hate me”, well people are going to hate that person because he is the figure of authority. A clear proof that non-white hatred of whites isn’t really intrinsic to them can be seen in non-white and homosexual alliance. If non-whites are truly anti-Western, why are they pro-homo? The homo business is totally a Western thing. Again, non-whites are merely following in the lead of whites.

    The fact that so many tourists from all over go to Europe to see the sights proves that there is a lot of admiration. The problem is when non-whites move to the West as immigrants, they come under anti-white PC dogma, but most of this is disseminated by Jews and self-loathing whites. And if non-white ideology has spread over the globe, we need to ask who control much of globalist media? Africans watch BBC, Asians read NYT.

  45. @kihowi

    Coates has made himself a fortune promoting an antiquarian theory about how whites made themselves rich by the “plunder” of blacks.
     
    My reaction to that is, ok, maybe. But how did whites manage to plunder blacks? Because they colonized them. Why were they able to colonize them? Well, because they had advanced weaponry. Why didn't blacks have advanced weaponry? Because...etc.

    As with feminism, after a lot of argument-archeology the fundamental idea turns out to be that both groups are exactly the same, but the current equality is the result of one random advantage thousands of years ago, if not actually in prehistory. After that it just got compounded and compounded and compounded. If that one little thing had been different, the roles would have been reversed.

    Religions and civilizations have come and gone, but we've never been able to get over the time when Ug The White beat Ug The Black over the noggin with his new polished hand-axe.

    If you’re taking him seriously you’ve already lost.

  46. ” … today’s Coatesian Age …”

    In the minds of many white Brooklynites we are indeed in His Age.

    ” … as dumb Afrocentrist ideas have been encouraged.”

    As with the rise of Tee-Hee Coates, the blame for the above can be placed on white progressivism.

    ” … calling for Notre-Dame to be rebuilt in some steel-and-glass modernist style, like a vast Apple store, that they assert would be more fitting for our age of diversity.”

    Great writing again. Dead architecture for a dying culture.

    “the barbarous German.”

    The good ole days.

    ” … Northern Europeans excited that they had progressed beyond their backward barbarian heritage … ”

    Maybe Nordics should look for the future in the past in order to survive the coming Deluge. I can still wield a battle-ax and grow a red beard.

    ” … the casting of random blacks and Chinese as aristocrats in 16th-century Britain.”

    I wish I could snark on this trend. I can’t; I find it disturbing. The othering of whites is developing into the disappearance of whites. We have no future because we have no past.

    Thanks for the article, “Steve”.

  47. @Anonymous
    On a side note, as every schoolboy knows, the enormous cost of building the basilica of St Peter in the Vatican led to the 'sale of indulgences' by Papal authorities - in order to pony up ready cash - and this in turn led to Martin Luther's disgust, protestantism, the reformation and subsequent religious wars.

    Perhaps if there was no taste of desire for magnificent cathedrals, all west Europeans and North Americans would still be catholics.

    Anon, nice comment and as the product of 16 years of Catholic Education I know you are a heretic. Just kidding.

  48. @kihowi

    Coates has made himself a fortune promoting an antiquarian theory about how whites made themselves rich by the “plunder” of blacks.
     
    My reaction to that is, ok, maybe. But how did whites manage to plunder blacks? Because they colonized them. Why were they able to colonize them? Well, because they had advanced weaponry. Why didn't blacks have advanced weaponry? Because...etc.

    As with feminism, after a lot of argument-archeology the fundamental idea turns out to be that both groups are exactly the same, but the current equality is the result of one random advantage thousands of years ago, if not actually in prehistory. After that it just got compounded and compounded and compounded. If that one little thing had been different, the roles would have been reversed.

    Religions and civilizations have come and gone, but we've never been able to get over the time when Ug The White beat Ug The Black over the noggin with his new polished hand-axe.

    kihowi, Coates has made a living off the fact that one white woman had the temerity to move his son out of her way as she exited an escalator. He should worship the ground that one woman walks on…oh that would be magic dirt.

  49. @Chrisnonymous

    Alternatively, the reigning dogma might assert that since the cathedral wasn’t built by diverse peoples, Notre-Dame therefore can’t be beautiful.

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it.
     
    Yes, well, they're going to take care of that problem, aren't they?

    If I remember correctly, it was Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe that introduced the word "Jewess" to me. The Jewess was supposed to be beautiful, but exotically beautiful, being, as she was, exotic. I don't recall the Black Knight being, you know, black, either.

    Scott’s second note to Ivenhoe is about including in that novel, set in medieval England, what we’d call blacks:

    The severe accuracy of some critics has objected to the complexion of the slaves of Brian de Bois-Guilbert, as being totally out of costume and propriety. I remember the same objection being made to a set of sable functionaries, whom my friend, Mat Lewis, introduced as the guards and mischief-doing satellites of the wicked Baron, in his Castle Spectre. Mat treated the objection with great contempt, and averred in reply, that he made the slaves black in order to obtain a striking effect of contrast, and that, could he have derived a similar advantage from making his heroine blue, blue she should have been.

    I do not pretend to plead the immunities of my order so highly as this; but neither will I allow that the author of a modern antique romance is obliged to confine himself to the introduction of those manners only which can be proved to have absolutely existed in the times he is depicting, so that he restrain himself to such as are plausible and natural, and contain no obvious anachronism. In this point of view, what can be more natural, than that the Templars, who, we know, copied closely the luxuries of the Asiatic warriors with whom they fought, should use the service of the enslaved Africans, whom the fate of war transferred to new masters? I am sure, if there are no precise proofs of their having done so, there is nothing, on the other hand, that can entitle us positively to conclude that they never did. Besides, there is an instance in romance.

    John of Rampayne, an excellent juggler and minstrel, undertook to effect the escape of one Audulf de Bracy, by presenting himself in disguise at the court of the king, where he was confined. For this purpose, “he stained his hair and his whole body entirely as black as jet, so that nothing was white but his teeth,” and succeeded in imposing himself on the king, as an Ethiopian minstrel. He effected, by stratagem, the escape of the prisoner. Negroes, therefore, must have been known in England in the dark ages.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    I didn't remember any black slaves in that book (granted, it's been 30 years since I read it). However, this is just my point: Scott's recognition of the literary shock value of blacks in his book and the probable anachronism of including them points to the fact that everyone at the time recognized that medieval England was not multicultural.

    As for John of Rampayne, I think there are other explanations than that the court was aware of what black Africans looked like. In fact, the idea of a white person in makeup passing for a black for any length of time with people who are familiar with blacks is ludicrous.
  50. The medieval cathedrals of Europe—there are over a hundred of them—are the greatest accomplishments of humanity in the whole theater of art.

    Even the lesser ones can make an American feel small.

    Most mornings before class or an exam, the young math student who would become my wife would stop here to pray:

    Circa 1442-1447, just another old church in Europe, this one is in the old capital of Transylvania. I have never seen a tourist or another American when I have been there.

    My favorite part might actually be outside. Added there in 1902, MATHIAS REX might just be my favorite public sculpture in all the world, for its unabashed pride and presence:

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Wikipedia is weird. I linked to an article about the church, and it changed to one about Michael.

    Let's try the hyperlink again: Just another old church in Europe
    , @Desiderius
    Along the same lines:

    https://chapel.princeton.edu/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeton_Battle_Monument

  51. @Buzz Mohawk

    The medieval cathedrals of Europe—there are over a hundred of them—are the greatest accomplishments of humanity in the whole theater of art.
     
    Even the lesser ones can make an American feel small.

    Most mornings before class or an exam, the young math student who would become my wife would stop here to pray:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/St_Michaels_Cluj-Napoca_interior.jpg

    Circa 1442-1447, just another old church in Europe, this one is in the old capital of Transylvania. I have never seen a tourist or another American when I have been there.

    My favorite part might actually be outside. Added there in 1902, MATHIAS REX might just be my favorite public sculpture in all the world, for its unabashed pride and presence:

    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/06/76/c0/ae/king-matthias-corvin.jpg

    Wikipedia is weird. I linked to an article about the church, and it changed to one about Michael.

    Let’s try the hyperlink again: Just another old church in Europe

  52. Well,

    even the Twin Towers were gaudy monstrosities until they disappeared. Now we have freedom towers — silly this. They should simply have been rebuilt.

    They should simply restore Notre Dame’ as she was or is and leave at that.

    • Agree: Chrisnonymous
  53. The Pyramids of Egypt and the ancient Egyptians pose an inverse problem for today’s multi-culti warriors.

    90% of modern day Egyptians are not related to the ancient Egyptians. 90% of modern day Egyptians have black ancestry. Only 10% of their population is Caucasian. The average Egyptian IQ is 83 – the result of black ancestry. The “we waz kangz” theory is gone. DNA testing shows that ancient Egyptians were Caucasians, hence they had the IQs necessary to build their pyramids and other magnificent works of art. Modern day Egyptians have made Egypt a shithole.

  54. @Buzz Mohawk

    The medieval cathedrals of Europe—there are over a hundred of them—are the greatest accomplishments of humanity in the whole theater of art.
     
    Even the lesser ones can make an American feel small.

    Most mornings before class or an exam, the young math student who would become my wife would stop here to pray:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/St_Michaels_Cluj-Napoca_interior.jpg

    Circa 1442-1447, just another old church in Europe, this one is in the old capital of Transylvania. I have never seen a tourist or another American when I have been there.

    My favorite part might actually be outside. Added there in 1902, MATHIAS REX might just be my favorite public sculpture in all the world, for its unabashed pride and presence:

    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/06/76/c0/ae/king-matthias-corvin.jpg
  55. All I gotta say is; Steve, you have the most patient, long-suffering Dad in the world, calmly allowing you to saw off his foot and all.

  56. Let me be perfectly clear – I type on this keyboard as A Citizen Of The World. The GOP never defeated me.
    You are like those bitter small town people in Pennsylvania. Clinging to your religion.
    And you probably reached for your guns when you read that fire “accidentally” started in two different places.

    But just as I can begin the lowering of the ocean levels, my fellow Globalists can cover up the real start of that fire. To make sure there is no proven connection with the “New French” who also think the call to prayer is the most beautiful sound, as do I. Remember, I am who we were waiting for.

    One more thing about that building you cling to – you didn’t build that.

    For once, I am correct. It was your ancestors who built that. He he. Some of my trademark sophisticated humor, a product of a Harvard man with a nice crease in his slacks. But let me be perfectly clear, that comment by Chris Matthews about a thrill up his leg creeped me out.

  57. Someone seriously needs to go after the Coates cult. That guy single-handedly changed the conversation in America — by influencing the editors who in turn shape the narratives around the news. Like, a really deep dive, not this off-hand “I’m too bothered to care” tone that goes on here and elsewhere.

    But seriously, there is a straight line from Coates to the BLM riots from 2014-2016. And the biggest irony of Coates of course is how he’s too chicken to touch the Israel-Palestine issue. Because his primary cause was villifying the white mainstream, but he never could be truly daring in challenging Jewish power.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    They have certainly weaponized our inability to take them seriously. It remains to be seen whether said weapon is more than a pop-gun.
    , @Anonymous
    'Because his primary cause was villifying the white mainstream, but he never could be truly daring in challenging Jewish power.'

    He is literally someone at best with an IQ of 90 who does not like to read. He has a slow mental processing speed (just watch any live event with him on youtube) and was literally controlled and sponsered by geoffrey goldberg at the atlantic magazine.

    Most photographs of him I have ever seen have been him looking remarkably smug (self-awareness is not his strong point) or slack jawed with a vacant expression.
    , @J.Ross
    but he never could be truly daring in challenging Jewish power.

    I have a colleague who's a fan of Deadpool, a comic book superhero who looks like Spiderman with different colors, and whose appeal is satire (especially regarding comic book tropes). A while back he had a shirt where Deadpool displays mocking concern and asks, "Awww, are you offended?" But Deadpool is a mainstream media commercial property (very successful through two recent movies) and would never in a million years say anything offensive. It's like Brezhnev-era political satire about American politics being a cross between Nazism and laissez-faire calitalism, targeting arch bankster Jimmy Carter.
  58. The Romanesque style was simply the continuous extension of the Roman arch into a horizontal roof.

    Churches were laid out as a cross. Where two of those romanesque vaults meet at right angles, the resulting line of intersection is a gothic looking arch. Medieval architects then took this line as the basic form of their arch and extended it continuously into what we recognize as the magnificent gothic roof.

  59. I dislike defending people who don’t like me, however, this:

    “The rising ethnicities who look to comic-book author Ta-Nehisi Coates as their leading intellectual assume that one’s worth is not dependent upon Jeffersonian abstractions about individual dignity, but upon the renown of one’s ancestors.”

    smacks of more offense than is tolerable. The entire US youth were raised on fictional heroes. Everyone to Davy Crocket to Superman, etc. But more importantly, For millions of people, our ancestors were viewed as little more than cattle. So according to that liberal abstraction of individual liberty, its worth rejecting and more — rebelling against. And that any intellectual with any grasp of history would make that observation without acknowledging as much, explains why he sights, Ta-Nehisi Coates the leading intellectual, he is not.

    And more importantly, he is not known for the writer of Black Panther as intellectual flavor. He is known as “the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me.”

    Not the same thing as a comic book icon such Mr. Lee (God rest his soul). You remember him: Thor, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Spiderman, Incredible Hulk, Ironman, Daredevil . . .

    Certainly not the same as B and B, Family Guy, or that cartoon of finesse, and elegance known as South Park . . .

    And while I didn’t enjoy Black Panther as many did around the planet, as comic book heroes go — he appears no less of value than the others previously named.

    Though nothing tops Superman.

    • Replies: @Alden
    Read an historically accurate biography of Davy Crockett. He wasn’t a comic book hero. He was incredible, awesome, a truly great man.

    So was Kit Carson I’d say Carson was even greater than Crockett. He was one of the 3 people most responsible for the USA expanding from the Missouri Mississippi to the Pacific. The others were President Polk and Colonel Kearney.
  60. @James Kalb
    A pedantic comment on the longer Takimag version: Hugo's heroine wasn't a gypsy, she was a French girl who had been kidnapped by gypsies. Her mom basically went bonkers as a result and became an anchoress.

    Thanks.

  61. @RH
    I submit that the most famous Gothic cathedral is Chartres (Notre Dame de Chartres), not Notre Dame de Paris. Kenneth Clark, who recently made an appearance on this blog, certainly thought so.

    Chartres’ fame is well-deserved. But it’s well out in the exurbs of Paris, not absolute dead center. And there’s no “Hunchback of Chartres.”

    • Replies: @Alden
    The best thing about Chartes is that it’s in a small town and not in a big city.
  62. @David
    Scott's second note to Ivenhoe is about including in that novel, set in medieval England, what we'd call blacks:

    The severe accuracy of some critics has objected to the complexion of the slaves of Brian de Bois-Guilbert, as being totally out of costume and propriety. I remember the same objection being made to a set of sable functionaries, whom my friend, Mat Lewis, introduced as the guards and mischief-doing satellites of the wicked Baron, in his Castle Spectre. Mat treated the objection with great contempt, and averred in reply, that he made the slaves black in order to obtain a striking effect of contrast, and that, could he have derived a similar advantage from making his heroine blue, blue she should have been.

    I do not pretend to plead the immunities of my order so highly as this; but neither will I allow that the author of a modern antique romance is obliged to confine himself to the introduction of those manners only which can be proved to have absolutely existed in the times he is depicting, so that he restrain himself to such as are plausible and natural, and contain no obvious anachronism. In this point of view, what can be more natural, than that the Templars, who, we know, copied closely the luxuries of the Asiatic warriors with whom they fought, should use the service of the enslaved Africans, whom the fate of war transferred to new masters? I am sure, if there are no precise proofs of their having done so, there is nothing, on the other hand, that can entitle us positively to conclude that they never did. Besides, there is an instance in romance.

    John of Rampayne, an excellent juggler and minstrel, undertook to effect the escape of one Audulf de Bracy, by presenting himself in disguise at the court of the king, where he was confined. For this purpose, “he stained his hair and his whole body entirely as black as jet, so that nothing was white but his teeth,” and succeeded in imposing himself on the king, as an Ethiopian minstrel. He effected, by stratagem, the escape of the prisoner. Negroes, therefore, must have been known in England in the dark ages.
     

    I didn’t remember any black slaves in that book (granted, it’s been 30 years since I read it). However, this is just my point: Scott’s recognition of the literary shock value of blacks in his book and the probable anachronism of including them points to the fact that everyone at the time recognized that medieval England was not multicultural.

    As for John of Rampayne, I think there are other explanations than that the court was aware of what black Africans looked like. In fact, the idea of a white person in makeup passing for a black for any length of time with people who are familiar with blacks is ludicrous.

  63. @Anonymous
    On a side note, as every schoolboy knows, the enormous cost of building the basilica of St Peter in the Vatican led to the 'sale of indulgences' by Papal authorities - in order to pony up ready cash - and this in turn led to Martin Luther's disgust, protestantism, the reformation and subsequent religious wars.

    Perhaps if there was no taste of desire for magnificent cathedrals, all west Europeans and North Americans would still be catholics.

    The official – not to say officious – docent in St. Peter’s, a cleric, briskly walked us from one brass marker in the floor to the next, standing at each to declare the floor length of specific lesser cathedrals. I don’t remember the list, but I did wonder whether the comparison/contrast was necessary. In a way, it was. It is a natural question for visitors to such structures. But, can it be a sinful question?

  64. @slumber_j

    Various pundits and architects such as Norman Foster are now calling for Notre-Dame to be rebuilt in some steel-and-glass modernist style, like a vast Apple store, that they assert would be more fitting for our age of diversity. [...]

    Ironically, they don’t realize that contemporary starchitects with their egomaniacal hatred of tradition represent white maleness at its most Promethean and annoying. As my old friend John McCarthy, a founder of artificial intelligence, observed, “When architects get prizes, the people suffer.”
     

    The notion that anything should be done to Notre Dame in order to be more politically or demographically or contemporary-religiously fitting or whatever is of course completely stupid. If that were the right approach, France should have spent the last century or so just demolishing the Cathedral stone by stone: it would be perfectly in line with the soi-disant evolution of everything, and we wouldn't have this problem at all.

    And certainly it's true that big-time architects are egomaniacal jerks. That's what they get paid for.

    Nevertheless, I'm always surprised by the common knee-jerk hatred around here of--as far as I can tell--absolutely all modern architecture. I find the good stuff beautiful, just as I find all good architecture beautiful.

    No matter what anyone wrote in the early 20th c., one absolutely can allow oneself to enjoy modern architecture without rejecting what came before--just as one can appreciate both a beautiful Gothic spire and the dome Brunelleschi designed in rejection of that aesthetic.

    The big problem with modern architecture is the bad proportions. Humans have an instinctive feeling for good proportions.

    All architects since 1900 pride themselves on bad proportions. Even if observers don’t consciously realize anything about the proportions, the bad proportions and aggressive asymmetry makes observers uneasy. They can’t explain why, just say the building is ugly. And they don’t like it

    Build a bland brutalist box with good proportions and people might like it.

    Don’t architecture schools teach that good proportions should never be used and asymmetry and bad proportions always be used?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The old World Trade Center looked pretty symmetrical, more than Chartres.
  65. @EliteCommInc.
    I dislike defending people who don't like me, however, this:

    "The rising ethnicities who look to comic-book author Ta-Nehisi Coates as their leading intellectual assume that one’s worth is not dependent upon Jeffersonian abstractions about individual dignity, but upon the renown of one’s ancestors."


    smacks of more offense than is tolerable. The entire US youth were raised on fictional heroes. Everyone to Davy Crocket to Superman, etc. But more importantly, For millions of people, our ancestors were viewed as little more than cattle. So according to that liberal abstraction of individual liberty, its worth rejecting and more -- rebelling against. And that any intellectual with any grasp of history would make that observation without acknowledging as much, explains why he sights, Ta-Nehisi Coates the leading intellectual, he is not.


    And more importantly, he is not known for the writer of Black Panther as intellectual flavor. He is known as "the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me."

    Not the same thing as a comic book icon such Mr. Lee (God rest his soul). You remember him: Thor, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Spiderman, Incredible Hulk, Ironman, Daredevil . . .

    Certainly not the same as B and B, Family Guy, or that cartoon of finesse, and elegance known as South Park . . .

    And while I didn't enjoy Black Panther as many did around the planet, as comic book heroes go --- he appears no less of value than the others previously named.

    Though nothing tops Superman.

    Read an historically accurate biography of Davy Crockett. He wasn’t a comic book hero. He was incredible, awesome, a truly great man.

    So was Kit Carson I’d say Carson was even greater than Crockett. He was one of the 3 people most responsible for the USA expanding from the Missouri Mississippi to the Pacific. The others were President Polk and Colonel Kearney.

  66. @Steve Sailer
    Chartres' fame is well-deserved. But it's well out in the exurbs of Paris, not absolute dead center. And there's no "Hunchback of Chartres."

    The best thing about Chartes is that it’s in a small town and not in a big city.

  67. @El Dato
    Isn't the Greatest Achievement in Art ... Video Games?

    Think of it - Thousands of of years of incrementally better mathematics and incrementally better engineering, mass production and commodization of exquisitely minuscule cathedrals of complexity and the immense towers of software on top, continent-wide support infrastructure - from energy production to silica mining, blue-hair triggering fearless cultural appropriation and integration of story telling memes ... landing on everyone's desk ... so that one can gawk at made-up 3D constructions in misty countrysides!

    From Greg Egan's "Our Lady of Chernobyl"


    We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for surely there is no such splendor or beauty anywhere upon earth.

    —The envoy of Prince Vladimir of Kiev, describing the Church of the Divine Wisdom in Constantinople, 987.

    It is the rustiest old barn in heathendom.
    —S.L. Clemens, ditto, 1867.

     


    There was nothing in the room but a bed, a chair, and a VR rig—plugged into the phone socket. Vienna had kept up with the times; even this dilapidated apartment had the latest high-bandwidth ISDN [eurotelecom? does this story date a bit?].

    I glanced down at the street; there was no one in sight. I put my ear to the door; if anyone was ascending the stairs, they were far quieter than I'd been.

    I slipped the helmet over my head.

    The simulation was a building, larger than anything I'd ever seen, stretching out around me like a stadium, like a colosseum. In the distance—perhaps two hundred meters away—were giant marble columns topped with arches, holding up a balcony with an ornate metal railing, and another set of columns, supporting another balcony ... and so on, to six tiers. The floor was tile, or parquetry, with delicate angular braids outlining a complex hexagonal pattern in red and gold. I looked up—and, dazzled, threw my arms in front of my face (to no effect). The hall of this impossible cathedral was topped with a massive dome, the scale defying calculation. Sunlight poured in through dozens of arched windows around the base. Above, covering the dome, was a figurative mosaic, the colors exquisite beyond belief. My eyes watered from the brightness; as I blinked away the tears, I could begin to make out the scene.

    A haloed woman stretched out her hand —

    Someone pressed a gun barrel to my throat.

    I froze, waiting for my captor to speak. After a few seconds, I said in German, “I wish someone would teach me to move that quietly.”

    A young male voice replied, in heavily accented English: “'He who possesses the truth of the word of Jesus can hear even its silence.’ Saint Ignatius of Antioch.”

    Then he must have reached over to the rig control box and turned down the volume—I'd planned to do that myself, but it had seemed redundant—because I suddenly realized that I'd been listening to a blanket of white noise.

     

    Too soon.

  68. @bucky
    Someone seriously needs to go after the Coates cult. That guy single-handedly changed the conversation in America -- by influencing the editors who in turn shape the narratives around the news. Like, a really deep dive, not this off-hand "I'm too bothered to care" tone that goes on here and elsewhere.

    But seriously, there is a straight line from Coates to the BLM riots from 2014-2016. And the biggest irony of Coates of course is how he's too chicken to touch the Israel-Palestine issue. Because his primary cause was villifying the white mainstream, but he never could be truly daring in challenging Jewish power.

    They have certainly weaponized our inability to take them seriously. It remains to be seen whether said weapon is more than a pop-gun.

  69. @slumber_j

    Various pundits and architects such as Norman Foster are now calling for Notre-Dame to be rebuilt in some steel-and-glass modernist style, like a vast Apple store, that they assert would be more fitting for our age of diversity. [...]

    Ironically, they don’t realize that contemporary starchitects with their egomaniacal hatred of tradition represent white maleness at its most Promethean and annoying. As my old friend John McCarthy, a founder of artificial intelligence, observed, “When architects get prizes, the people suffer.”
     

    The notion that anything should be done to Notre Dame in order to be more politically or demographically or contemporary-religiously fitting or whatever is of course completely stupid. If that were the right approach, France should have spent the last century or so just demolishing the Cathedral stone by stone: it would be perfectly in line with the soi-disant evolution of everything, and we wouldn't have this problem at all.

    And certainly it's true that big-time architects are egomaniacal jerks. That's what they get paid for.

    Nevertheless, I'm always surprised by the common knee-jerk hatred around here of--as far as I can tell--absolutely all modern architecture. I find the good stuff beautiful, just as I find all good architecture beautiful.

    No matter what anyone wrote in the early 20th c., one absolutely can allow oneself to enjoy modern architecture without rejecting what came before--just as one can appreciate both a beautiful Gothic spire and the dome Brunelleschi designed in rejection of that aesthetic.

    Mayor Deblasio of NYC has decreed that no more glass and steel high rises can be built in NYC as they are not Green and emit destructive emissions.

    Do buildings give off emissions? Maybe it’s the high air conditioning and heat bills caused by glass walls? High utility bills harm Mother Earth seems to be the point.

    There’s a modern State of Illinois office building in Chicago. It’s sort of a blob shape that’s OK. The walls and even parts of the of the roof are mostly glass.

    First problem was the sunlight made it impossible to see the computer screens. So workers brought in umbrellas and covered their work stations with 3 umbrellas covering the computers.

    Then the state got the summer air conditioning and winter heat bills.

    I gather modern architects aren’t taught about different building materials. So they are absolutely unaware that heat and cold come right through glass, unlike all solid materials that block heat and cold in various degrees.

    Can Deblasio just outlaw glass walls by imperial decree? I don’t think it’s possible to build a 40 story building without a supporting steel structure.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    It's all very well and good for this guy to attack his own police department but here is an American politician, the shadow cast by business, telling what, being in NYC, are some of the biggest businesses in the world, what they can and cannot do. Or is he doing this to give cover to the fact that we don't really do skyscrapers any more?
    , @slumber_j
    I suspect this move by the loathsome Bill "de Blasio" of being a way to hit the Trump Organization in the pocketbook. I'm not kidding.
    , @The Wild Geese Howard

    I gather modern architects aren’t taught about different building materials. So they are absolutely unaware that heat and cold come right through glass, unlike all solid materials that block heat and cold in various degrees.
     
    This is due to the fact that modern university "Architecture" programs are almost always joined at the hip to or even subsumed into the campus College of Art. Of course 99% of their graduates will have any grasp of the technical concerns involved in designing and constructing a building.
  70. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Notre-Dame will be rebuilt.

    Time for an iSteve commenter poll. For the exterior look, should there be:

    1) The same roof and spire as just before the fire

    2) The same roof, but with the original medieval spire

    3) The same roof, but no spire

    4) An entirely new design, with or without a spire

    Any of the first three would be fine with me.

  71. @dearieme
    Johnson is wrong, mind. The greatest accomplishment of humanity in the whole theatre of art is Venice.

    ‘Johnson is wrong, mind. The greatest accomplishment of humanity in the whole theatre of art is Venice.’

    Well, there is Saint Mark’s in Venice. What’s the math for that?

  72. @Anonymous
    On a side note, as every schoolboy knows, the enormous cost of building the basilica of St Peter in the Vatican led to the 'sale of indulgences' by Papal authorities - in order to pony up ready cash - and this in turn led to Martin Luther's disgust, protestantism, the reformation and subsequent religious wars.

    Perhaps if there was no taste of desire for magnificent cathedrals, all west Europeans and North Americans would still be catholics.

    ‘Perhaps if there was no taste of desire for magnificent cathedrals, all west Europeans and North Americans would still be catholics.’

    …but then we wouldn’t have the cathedrals.

  73. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    Excellent , “post” essay, article , book, volume.

    Thats rite…

  74. @Alden
    Mayor Deblasio of NYC has decreed that no more glass and steel high rises can be built in NYC as they are not Green and emit destructive emissions.

    Do buildings give off emissions? Maybe it’s the high air conditioning and heat bills caused by glass walls? High utility bills harm Mother Earth seems to be the point.

    There’s a modern State of Illinois office building in Chicago. It’s sort of a blob shape that’s OK. The walls and even parts of the of the roof are mostly glass.

    First problem was the sunlight made it impossible to see the computer screens. So workers brought in umbrellas and covered their work stations with 3 umbrellas covering the computers.

    Then the state got the summer air conditioning and winter heat bills.

    I gather modern architects aren’t taught about different building materials. So they are absolutely unaware that heat and cold come right through glass, unlike all solid materials that block heat and cold in various degrees.

    Can Deblasio just outlaw glass walls by imperial decree? I don’t think it’s possible to build a 40 story building without a supporting steel structure.

    It’s all very well and good for this guy to attack his own police department but here is an American politician, the shadow cast by business, telling what, being in NYC, are some of the biggest businesses in the world, what they can and cannot do. Or is he doing this to give cover to the fact that we don’t really do skyscrapers any more?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    A whole bunch of very tall skyscrapers have gone up near Central Park in the last 10 years.
  75. @Alden
    The big problem with modern architecture is the bad proportions. Humans have an instinctive feeling for good proportions.

    All architects since 1900 pride themselves on bad proportions. Even if observers don’t consciously realize anything about the proportions, the bad proportions and aggressive asymmetry makes observers uneasy. They can’t explain why, just say the building is ugly. And they don’t like it

    Build a bland brutalist box with good proportions and people might like it.

    Don’t architecture schools teach that good proportions should never be used and asymmetry and bad proportions always be used?

    The old World Trade Center looked pretty symmetrical, more than Chartres.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    The most beautiful faces are all slightly asymmetrical. The uncanny valley runs right between beauty and perfect symmetry.

    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43687/the-tyger
    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    We should have rapidly rebuilt the WTC with modern materials and structural techniques, then minimized the idea that anything untoward happened on 9/11.

    1 WTC looks like some kind of trash imported from Dubai, and the NYC skyline suffers for it.

  76. @J.Ross
    It's all very well and good for this guy to attack his own police department but here is an American politician, the shadow cast by business, telling what, being in NYC, are some of the biggest businesses in the world, what they can and cannot do. Or is he doing this to give cover to the fact that we don't really do skyscrapers any more?

    A whole bunch of very tall skyscrapers have gone up near Central Park in the last 10 years.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    Yeah: no shortage of new skyscrapers in Manhattan--see also Hudson Yards e.g. Nor in Brooklyn, nor in Long Island City[!] for that matter.

    Tellingly though, most of them and certainly the tallest of them are at least putatively residential. The hugest that are working on cutting the sunlight off from the skating rink and playgrounds of lower Central Park are all deluxe apartments in the sky, in theory.

    In fact, they're unoccupied globalist money laundries. It's comic-book-level evil.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    The new one on 57th Street is like the billionaires' long, thin, middle finger to the park.
  77. Erika Harlitz-Kern wrote in the Daily Beast:

    “Give Notre Dame a Modern Roof the Alt-Right Will Hate. Medieval Europe was a crossroads of global influence, not a mythical all-white past. The new Notre Dame should reflect that.”

    If Erika is correct, than Notre Dame has always reflected that. How did such a fool get a job writing at the Daily Beast?

  78. @anon
    One of those hundred or so cathedrals was St. Michael's in Coventry, sadly destroyed in the war.

    They built a new one right next door. (They left up the ruins of the original as a monument to the folly of war or something.) To my eye it looks perfectly nice, but I am an uncultured swine.

    Rod Dreher on that cathedral: “The Nazi barbarians destroyed a medieval cathedral. Christians replaced it with Our Lady of The Department Of Motor Vehicles.”

  79. @Alden
    Mayor Deblasio of NYC has decreed that no more glass and steel high rises can be built in NYC as they are not Green and emit destructive emissions.

    Do buildings give off emissions? Maybe it’s the high air conditioning and heat bills caused by glass walls? High utility bills harm Mother Earth seems to be the point.

    There’s a modern State of Illinois office building in Chicago. It’s sort of a blob shape that’s OK. The walls and even parts of the of the roof are mostly glass.

    First problem was the sunlight made it impossible to see the computer screens. So workers brought in umbrellas and covered their work stations with 3 umbrellas covering the computers.

    Then the state got the summer air conditioning and winter heat bills.

    I gather modern architects aren’t taught about different building materials. So they are absolutely unaware that heat and cold come right through glass, unlike all solid materials that block heat and cold in various degrees.

    Can Deblasio just outlaw glass walls by imperial decree? I don’t think it’s possible to build a 40 story building without a supporting steel structure.

    I suspect this move by the loathsome Bill “de Blasio” of being a way to hit the Trump Organization in the pocketbook. I’m not kidding.

  80. @Steve Sailer
    A whole bunch of very tall skyscrapers have gone up near Central Park in the last 10 years.

    Yeah: no shortage of new skyscrapers in Manhattan–see also Hudson Yards e.g. Nor in Brooklyn, nor in Long Island City[!] for that matter.

    Tellingly though, most of them and certainly the tallest of them are at least putatively residential. The hugest that are working on cutting the sunlight off from the skating rink and playgrounds of lower Central Park are all deluxe apartments in the sky, in theory.

    In fact, they’re unoccupied globalist money laundries. It’s comic-book-level evil.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    'In fact, they’re unoccupied globalist money laundries. It’s comic-book-level evil.'

    London is way worse. The ultimate example of this is the shard which is qatari and mostly empty. It is incredibly ugly on the London skyline
  81. @Steve Sailer
    The old World Trade Center looked pretty symmetrical, more than Chartres.

    The most beautiful faces are all slightly asymmetrical. The uncanny valley runs right between beauty and perfect symmetry.

    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43687/the-tyger

  82. @anon
    Someone - Brian Micklethwaite at Samizdata? - has a theory that when an organisation starts planning to build its fancy new headquarters, that's a sign that the organisation has already slipped into dysfunction and will soon collapse, even as the new building rises. Something to do with management taking their eye off the ball.

    There are a surprisingly large number of examples.

    That is from the brilliant Dr. Laurence J. Peter in his classic book “The Peter Principle.” Do not let anyone else claim it.

  83. @anon
    Someone - Brian Micklethwaite at Samizdata? - has a theory that when an organisation starts planning to build its fancy new headquarters, that's a sign that the organisation has already slipped into dysfunction and will soon collapse, even as the new building rises. Something to do with management taking their eye off the ball.

    There are a surprisingly large number of examples.

    A prominent example: $1.23 billion new headquarters for obsolete NATO.

    https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2018_05/20180507_1805-factsheet-nnhq-en.pdf.pdf

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    How's the NYT building over by the Port Authority working out? Then there's the American Center in Paris, whose fancy new Frank Gehry building bankrupted and shuttered the 75-year-old organization after less than two years of operation.
  84. @Harry Baldwin
    A prominent example: $1.23 billion new headquarters for obsolete NATO.

    https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2018_05/20180507_1805-factsheet-nnhq-en.pdf.pdf

    How’s the NYT building over by the Port Authority working out? Then there’s the American Center in Paris, whose fancy new Frank Gehry building bankrupted and shuttered the 75-year-old organization after less than two years of operation.

  85. @dearieme
    I have admired Notre Dame several times but I have no memory of having noticed its spire. I suspect that this means that it is de trop.

    It's a pity that that ruddy eye-sore the Sacré-Cœur hasn't burnt down. They could replace it with an artificial ski slope.

    Personally, I think it looks better without the spire, but the original design had one, so I defer my judgement.

  86. Anonymous[398] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    ...and then you have Frederick Gibberd's futurist Liverpool RC cathedral.

    Variously dubbed 'Paddy's WigWam and the 'Mersey Funnel'.

    Apparently the roof started leaking from the moment it was consecrated.

    The strange story is that Gibberd's design replaced a commenced plan to build the largest cathedral in the world based on a design by Lutyens - which would have been a truly magnificent behemoth.

    ‘The strange story is that Gibberd’s design replaced a commenced plan to build the largest cathedral in the world based on a design by Lutyens – which would have been a truly magnificent behemoth.’

    Knowing what I do about leftists and the malgnancy of modern architects id say this was not a coincidence.

  87. Anonymous[398] • Disclaimer says:
    @res

    TNC has commented on this before – I cannot remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that he *has* to believe in this narrative, as the alternative is that his ancestors are just basically history’s losers.
     
    From https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/04/the-ghost-of-bobby-lee/38813/

    I know how this goes. For us, it's coping with the fact that people who looked like you sold you into slavery. It's understanding that you come from a place that was on the wrong side of the Gatling gun. It's feeling not simply like one of history's losers, but that you had no right to win. The work of the mature intellect is to reconcile oneself to the past without a retreat into fantasy--in either direction. Claiming to be the descendant of kings and queens is just as bad as claiming to be thankful for the slave trade.
     
    That seems more sensible than your version (surprisingly sensible for TNC IMO). Though perhaps this is a matter of "do as I say, not as I do"?

    Some of his columns were flagrantly edited/ghostwritten. You can really tell in some articles but unfortunately he deleted his twitter (couldnt deal with criticism from other black academics) so you cannot see a long list of his real time thoughts/ writings. If you ever watch his performances in a live debate on youtube you will see how out of character that self awareness in the passage just quoted is. He really is as bad as Sailer makes out.

  88. Anonymous[398] • Disclaimer says:
    @bucky
    Someone seriously needs to go after the Coates cult. That guy single-handedly changed the conversation in America -- by influencing the editors who in turn shape the narratives around the news. Like, a really deep dive, not this off-hand "I'm too bothered to care" tone that goes on here and elsewhere.

    But seriously, there is a straight line from Coates to the BLM riots from 2014-2016. And the biggest irony of Coates of course is how he's too chicken to touch the Israel-Palestine issue. Because his primary cause was villifying the white mainstream, but he never could be truly daring in challenging Jewish power.

    ‘Because his primary cause was villifying the white mainstream, but he never could be truly daring in challenging Jewish power.’

    He is literally someone at best with an IQ of 90 who does not like to read. He has a slow mental processing speed (just watch any live event with him on youtube) and was literally controlled and sponsered by geoffrey goldberg at the atlantic magazine.

    Most photographs of him I have ever seen have been him looking remarkably smug (self-awareness is not his strong point) or slack jawed with a vacant expression.

  89. Anonymous[398] • Disclaimer says:
    @slumber_j
    Yeah: no shortage of new skyscrapers in Manhattan--see also Hudson Yards e.g. Nor in Brooklyn, nor in Long Island City[!] for that matter.

    Tellingly though, most of them and certainly the tallest of them are at least putatively residential. The hugest that are working on cutting the sunlight off from the skating rink and playgrounds of lower Central Park are all deluxe apartments in the sky, in theory.

    In fact, they're unoccupied globalist money laundries. It's comic-book-level evil.

    ‘In fact, they’re unoccupied globalist money laundries. It’s comic-book-level evil.’

    London is way worse. The ultimate example of this is the shard which is qatari and mostly empty. It is incredibly ugly on the London skyline

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Indeed, I was specifically thinking of, you know, that big Israeli art project, which went up at a time when the downtown tower was the much-trumpeted answer for both business and residential space, but which stuggled to fill floors for its whole existence, and was largely empty when it was pulled.
  90. @bucky
    Someone seriously needs to go after the Coates cult. That guy single-handedly changed the conversation in America -- by influencing the editors who in turn shape the narratives around the news. Like, a really deep dive, not this off-hand "I'm too bothered to care" tone that goes on here and elsewhere.

    But seriously, there is a straight line from Coates to the BLM riots from 2014-2016. And the biggest irony of Coates of course is how he's too chicken to touch the Israel-Palestine issue. Because his primary cause was villifying the white mainstream, but he never could be truly daring in challenging Jewish power.

    but he never could be truly daring in challenging Jewish power.

    I have a colleague who’s a fan of Deadpool, a comic book superhero who looks like Spiderman with different colors, and whose appeal is satire (especially regarding comic book tropes). A while back he had a shirt where Deadpool displays mocking concern and asks, “Awww, are you offended?” But Deadpool is a mainstream media commercial property (very successful through two recent movies) and would never in a million years say anything offensive. It’s like Brezhnev-era political satire about American politics being a cross between Nazism and laissez-faire calitalism, targeting arch bankster Jimmy Carter.

  91. @Anonymous
    'In fact, they’re unoccupied globalist money laundries. It’s comic-book-level evil.'

    London is way worse. The ultimate example of this is the shard which is qatari and mostly empty. It is incredibly ugly on the London skyline

    Indeed, I was specifically thinking of, you know, that big Israeli art project, which went up at a time when the downtown tower was the much-trumpeted answer for both business and residential space, but which stuggled to fill floors for its whole existence, and was largely empty when it was pulled.

  92. @Alden
    Mayor Deblasio of NYC has decreed that no more glass and steel high rises can be built in NYC as they are not Green and emit destructive emissions.

    Do buildings give off emissions? Maybe it’s the high air conditioning and heat bills caused by glass walls? High utility bills harm Mother Earth seems to be the point.

    There’s a modern State of Illinois office building in Chicago. It’s sort of a blob shape that’s OK. The walls and even parts of the of the roof are mostly glass.

    First problem was the sunlight made it impossible to see the computer screens. So workers brought in umbrellas and covered their work stations with 3 umbrellas covering the computers.

    Then the state got the summer air conditioning and winter heat bills.

    I gather modern architects aren’t taught about different building materials. So they are absolutely unaware that heat and cold come right through glass, unlike all solid materials that block heat and cold in various degrees.

    Can Deblasio just outlaw glass walls by imperial decree? I don’t think it’s possible to build a 40 story building without a supporting steel structure.

    I gather modern architects aren’t taught about different building materials. So they are absolutely unaware that heat and cold come right through glass, unlike all solid materials that block heat and cold in various degrees.

    This is due to the fact that modern university “Architecture” programs are almost always joined at the hip to or even subsumed into the campus College of Art. Of course 99% of their graduates will have any grasp of the technical concerns involved in designing and constructing a building.

  93. @Steve Sailer
    The old World Trade Center looked pretty symmetrical, more than Chartres.

    We should have rapidly rebuilt the WTC with modern materials and structural techniques, then minimized the idea that anything untoward happened on 9/11.

    1 WTC looks like some kind of trash imported from Dubai, and the NYC skyline suffers for it.

  94. @Steve Sailer
    A whole bunch of very tall skyscrapers have gone up near Central Park in the last 10 years.

    The new one on 57th Street is like the billionaires’ long, thin, middle finger to the park.

  95. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hypnotoad666
    Uh-Oh . . . . Time to dump my Apple stock.

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/UoH0A4QlN6Y/maxresdefault.jpg

    Apple’s day of decline is coming, but maybe not very soon. Inertia has kept it going since Jobs died and could keep it going another several years, but eventually it will fall.

  96. In 2010 I visited Florence, where our first stop was the cathedral at San Miniato. The were very few other tourists there at the time.

    While I was sitting in the sanctuary, an organist played Bach’s Fugue. The experience was transcendent.

  97. @Jake
    "Alternatively, the reigning dogma might assert that since the cathedral wasn’t built by diverse peoples, Notre-Dame therefore can’t be beautiful.

    The problem with this approach, though, is: Just look at it."

    Problem easily solved: destroy it.

    If they had possessed Modern implements of destruction, the Anglo-Saxon Puritans may well have destroyed everything built before the Reformation that could not be turned into something pro-Protestant or at least anti-Catholic. Before the French Revolution, French Protestants attacked various Catholic masterpieces of architecture. As befits a revolution focused on theology, their Taliban-like assaults were concentrated on areas that taught pre-revolution theology. Altars were routinely desecrated. In Britain as well as France, a number of altars were removed to be made into some tough for feeding livestock or something similar.

    All revolutions are but spines in the umbrella of The Revolution against Christendom. The most devout Protestants are on the side of The Revolution along side Jews and Mohammedans and atheists. The most devout Novus Ordo Vatican II Catholic is on the same side of The Revolution against Christendom.

    The most devout Novus Ordo Vatican II Catholic is on the same side of The Revolution against Christendom.

    Expound, please. Your credibility here has you being heeded.

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