Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mostest Tone-Deaf Article du Jour CLXX

If Tyler Brûlé is "Mr. Zeitgeist", the Occupy movement might as well fold up its tents and go home (because they've accomplished nothing).

[Times article here.]

I will admit to having a love/hate relationship (very much from afar) with the jet-setting style arbiter, famous originally for launching Wallpaper* in the go-go 90s, then re-branding the Swiss national airline (provocatively named Swiss) and launching his current distillation of everything you should covet (if you had the money...but, for the sake of argument, it is assumed you do): Monocle.

A friend and fellow architecture student introduced me to Wallpaper* back in 1997 when it was still relatively new (and still edited by Mr. Brûlé).  I fell in love immediately.  The glossy magazine celebrated design with a capital D, one that combined function with a modern sense of style (even, if by modern, that style came from 1967 as opposed to 1997).  Timelessness was key. As was an international worldview.  The editorial board obviously shared my love of two European countries beginning (in English) with "Sw" well as a certain homoerotic bent in its effective use of lithe, handsome men.

What wasn't to love?

I still appreciate beautiful design, of course.  I still love Sweden and Switzerland (despite not having been in either place since the turn of this last century).  And, God knows, I still enjoy handsome men (especially my husband...Hi, Honey!)

But, after the last few years of the 1% raping the world economy -- and the people who power it -- the unapologetic worship of a lifestyle that is so beyond any normal person's means (including most architects) rings hollow at best and soulless at worst.

This is no indictment of beautiful things.  We need beautiful things. And (albeit to a drastically-lesser degree)  far-off destinations (with chic airport lounges).  But to celebrate them at a time like this seems fundamentally out-of-touch.  Tyler Brûlé is obviously free to do as he pleases, but I expect better from The New York Times.

[Un-credited image from Times article.]