To those looking for the names of the architects accountable for our cultural decline, a few tips: Do not assemble the usual suspects. Do not search for a cabal where none exists, due to the fact that there are no minutes from a secret meeting that never occurred. There is no security video camera video of a rendezvous that never happened. There are no witnesses to an order that was never given.The designers
who have annihilated our nationwide landscape do not wear Masonic rings, nor do they rig elections and eliminate legally chosen officials. Rather, the architects are, well, architects– though they are the designers of a few of the most soul-destroying structures to have actually ever darkened our senses and disrupted our sense of history.Their victims are the church, the cinema, and the general public library. From the liturgy of God to the literature of man, the shrines of neighborhoods disappear. Razed without regard to history, and rebuilt without regard to the sacraments or the sacramental order of things, these boxes vary just in their hardship of ornamentation; a bare cross here, a ticket machine there, an absence of humankind all over. Gone is the grandeur that makes it possible for the transcendence of the soul, the heart, and the mind.Gone is the
building and construction of cathedrals that house lots of estates; that aim to accomplish godliness by inspiring parishioners to be one with God; that cause a sense of awe and communion with the stunning; that manifest a degree of information that humbles all before the Lord Almighty. A cathedral of this kind– with its Gothic spires and stained glass windows, with its bronze doors and bass reliefs, with its marble pulpit and mahogany pews, with its papal charter and its Stations of the Cross, with its makings unto Christ, and its flexibility from having to render anything else unto Caesar– in this place even the most militant atheist would concede the appeal of this art.Perhaps that is the problem.What we have now is the minimalism of the East, elegant for what it is and in agreement with exactly what its congregants think, however incongruent with Christendom and the West. Exactly what we have is the desertion of the crucifix for a statue of a Buddha. Where we are is closer to the approach of Steve Jobs than the principles of the Book of Job,
where customers have an apple for a Eucharist and Apple’s fruitless orchards of glass.We have ourselves to blame, when we hire the faithless to create sanctuaries for the faithful. We are the architects of our own destruction as we labor to translate many blatant and royal display screens of nakedness. For that is what these buildings-by-Onan are, workouts of self-gratification that strip Christianity of its character by treating it as something no better (as something far even worse) than some half-empty strip bar. Hence does the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine yield to the wedding event chapels of the Las Vegas Strip, where Elvis impersonators perform marital relationship ceremonies.If these attacks upon faith make it hard to think, the attacks versus the film palaces of yesteryear make it tough to suspend shock. Rather of murals and concepts, rather of a as bright as the stars who pass beneath this indication, instead of crystal chandeliers and Corinthian columns, instead of organs and orchestra pits, we have darkened closets that feel as cramped as any aircraft cabin. We pay$15 per ticket to sit for two-plus hours, so we may suffer the indignities of mass transportation. From the compact seats and crowded rows to the odor of oil and grease, we are guests aboard a flight that never leaves the ground; grounding
us with hold-ups and grinding us down with depression.What a contrast from the days of the< a href=https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/how-the-great-depression-inspired-hollywoods-golden-age-26481978.html target= _ blank rel ="noopener external noreferrer"data-saferedirecturl =https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/how-the-great-depression-inspired-hollywoods-golden-age-26481978.html&source=gmail&ust=1511987192735000&usg=AFQjCNH_FivLlh5YPu1evF6SH3Qg8z503w data-wpel-link=external > Great Depression, when people left the squalor of the streets for the Technicolor impacts of the cities’greatest film palaces. Exactly what a contrast, undoubtedly, when at least one-third of Americans found salvation from church services and got nourishment through the silver screen. It was a time when hope was a genuine instead of rhetorical, when a wafer fed the appetite of the spirit while movie soothed a distressed public. It was a time when America triumphed against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Exactly what a time to have been an American.What a time, too, to have gone to the library. To have seen that hill and scaled those actions, to have entered that structure of brick and stone, where the granite rotunda– with its green dome and gold capitals, with its Roman pillars and Greek– brightened the area with sunshine and invited customers with the presents of the Knowledge. To have gradually rose this constant spiral of arts and letters, from the lower flooring to the highest level under the assistance of Providence, to have enhanced the mind so freely– to have done this from early morning till night, all for complimentary– is a thing nobody who existed can ever forget.The quiet was contagious. The few noises were like the beats of a metronome; the slide of movable ladders, with their brass wheels and custom casings, the flipping of pages, the opening and closing of drawers, the shelving of books, and the tintinnabulation of the metal rings of pencils and pink erasers.The ambient sound of the past fades before the sound pollution of the present.
It is the noise of the know-nothing who has no taste for culture and no cravings for art, while he has no regard for language, literature, history, or religion. It is completion of architecture that honors our finest impulses by suppressing our worst impulses. It is the end of architecture that generates– and encourages– an efficiency. It is completion of theatricality, from the recitation of Latin words and phrases to the celebration of the life and resurrection of Christ the King. It is the end of the pageantry of an institution that raises man by exposing the light of all humanity. It is the end of secret, due to completion of the belief in miracles.
It is the end of wonder.It is, however, more than the start of the end of manners. The gentleman still exists, but he is a minority among the ignorant, the indifferent, and the ignoble. He is a preservationist and a conservationist, excited to save the old and reluctant to vandalize the eternal.He does not oppose change, but he opposes needless modification. He prefers continuity of style, offered the style is neither short lived nor lightweight; supplied we build our structures to last; supplied our structures represent long lasting truths.When our structures stop to excite us, when their business appeal surpasses their power to appeal to the much better angels of our nature, when we desecrate our buildings by decommissioning their architectural status, when we let our buildings fall under disrepair, when our buildings become a threat unto themselves, we endanger the lifeline of our country.