Conspiracy Theorists, Ugly Architecture and Jenga

Feb 14, 2009 at 2:49 PM
OK. You know those conspiracy theorists who believe that the world is secretly run by freemasons and that freemasons are behind everything ominous or spooky or evil that is perpetrated?

OK. Here's how i know that is NOT the case.

If the freemasons still had any tangible, significant levels of "pull", our buildings wouldn't have started looking like legos and department store display cases. And they definitely would not have squat ugly columns.

See, the columns and the arch were sacred to the freemasons. When was the last time you went into a NEWLY CONSTRUCTED builing and saw a beautiful archway with structurally sound yet stunningly beautiful columns supporting it?

That's right, never.

Nowadays you get stupid square columns made of steel or those godawful CARDBOARD tube columns they wrap around T Bar supports.

I hate modern columns. The world's architecture has lost its aesthetic and become more utilitarian and ugly than ever before.

So how is it even remotely possible that freemasons run the show? If they did, we'd have serious laws against ugly columns and every movie theatre, parking garage and modern office building would have been shut down for violation of the basic rules of architecture.


So I drive over to Powell's yesterday and drive into the parking garage. (Powell's is the world's best bookstore ever ever ever.) The parking structure is run by a parking nazi at the entrance, who orders you into a very specific space "Number 44" he'll say. Or sometimes just "eleven" will be barked at you. You cannot park anywhere but the space he tells you to park in. (I'm afraid to find out what happens to violators.) Once you've parked, you must turn in your key. And you have to get your ticket validated to get your key back. I guess they don't want anyone but Powell's customers parking in their special garage.

All traffic uses the exact same skinny lane to enter and exit. It's a honk around corners, one at a time, deal. I have NO IDEA what I would do if I encountered someone there halfway up or down. I am SOOOO not driving my car backwards there.

Here's why. It's the only time in my life that I've seen a 3-story garage made entirely of wood. I'm not driving backwards in a wooden garage in my tank of a car. Bull in a china shop, more like.

So anyway, that didn't happen. But it still felt like I was driving up a Jenga tower. Rickety and scary (in my imagination). The wooden poles didn't seem big enough to support the weight of so many tons of cars. And the cement floor felt thin - I'm pretty sure it's just laying on top of the wooden floor. (When you see the crack pattern, I think you'll agree.)

As I'm attempting to force my boat into a space big enough for a compact to manuever into (because I have no choice, the nazi told me where to park) I almost didn't see one of the wooden support beams. They are painted BRIGHT yellow, but whatever. I wasn't going very fast, and tapping the pole wouldn't probably have done anything. But what if it did? It's a wooden building - probably a hundred years old or some such - it can't be that strong.

I ended up having to do an 8,000-point turn.

I guess I've grown accustomed to the ugly cement and steel structures. Despite their claustrophobic, damp, insufficiently lit creepiness (think Highlander), I trust them not to fall apart while I'm in them. Mostly.

I am so glad I didn't hit the pole. You know they get hit a lot, you can see the little dents in the wood. But, I so would not have wanted to be the person to knock over THAT particular jenga pile.

I love that bookstore, but I think I'll just drive around til I find a space on the street next time. I'm willing to pay 3 bucks not to get crushed to death in a pile of wooden splinters and cars.


  1. C.S. Perry Says:

    We could solve the whole problem by getting rid of books.
    But then...that gets us back to the whole Nazi problem doesn't it?

  2. Kat Says:

    I agree about columns. I think today's modern, ominous freemasons have other things to worry about, though.

    Hmm. Can't say I'd park in there.

    I love the way you write.

    So good to talk to you the other day. Soul food. Who needs chitlins?

  3. Ummm.... I would pass on the scary wooden garage and park on the street. And I have to agree, I can't remember seeing a new building and remarking on the archetecture at all, but go into a historical building and you see all the cool details.