Wednesday, December 14, 2005

new york neuroticism

KOL/MAC architects have formulated the INVERSAbrane invertible building membrane, a "SAFE" centerpiece at the Museum of Modern Art.

I grew up in your typical outer borough, new york, jewish family. the kind larry david, jerry seinfeld and lesser entertainers have mined for comic gold. so needless to say, in new york I'm surrounded by neurotic, angsty, some might say, paranoid friends and family members. but it all seemed natural and normal - maybe ratcheted up a notch post 9/11, but most of the neuroticism focused on the quotidian: family politics, job performance, relationships, does-this-make-me-look-fat?, the usual. the stuff primetime network comedies are made of.

yet here I've managed to surround myself with far more neurotic ex-new yorkers (I'm looking at you, aram) and even a few angelenos who would put new yorkers to shame. there's something sort of incongruous about their neuroticism in sunny LA, an incongruity woody allen exploited 30 years ago. but their neuroticism goes beyond the simple, everyday neuroticism I grew up with. it goes beyond a generalized anxiety about earthquakes, mudslides, and other natural disasters. its a neuroticism that worries about the above, as well as housing bubbles, war, journalistic integrity, avian flu, bill o'reilly's popularity, terrorism, biological warfare, cholesterol levels, moles that change shape and color, affordable housing, recessions, and republicans, among other threats.

where am I going with this? its just a long prelude to say I'm surrounded by chicken littles in LA, and in spite of that, this exhibition at the MOMA is top on my to-do list when I'm in new york next week. will it ease anxiety or only create more? who knows, but the web site itself makes me feel more secure in this dangerous, dangerous world. (and the new target pill bottles are featured in the exhibition, the development of the bottles is a fascinating story of how design can save lives, chronicled here.)

p.s. total nonsequitur but I have to say it: kong rules.


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