Corbusier on Courvoisier

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This hilarious Barney & Clyde cartoon was sent to me by a correspondent in Washington, Arnold Berke, a contributing editor of Preservation magazine.

My reaction to the cartoon?

If only!

If only Le Corbusier had suffered from overindulgence in the pleasures of alcohol rather than the displeasures of autism. If only Corbu’s architecture, as translated by Weingarten, Weingarten & Clark) were as cartoonish as the loopy house in the strip, the International Style drunk on postmodernism. One might then have hoped that a tippling Corbu might have toppled from atop of one of his machines for living before inspiring so many towers of hopelessness for the poor, providing options for suicide and murder from their dangerous rooftops and other precincts of modern architecture.

Anybody see The Architect (from 2006, not the latest movie of the same name), with Isabella Rosellini and Viola Davis, about a designer of public housing who tries to dodge being guilt-tripped by angry tenants into demol- ishing one of his towers? Before he succumbs, a resident leaps off its roof.

If only there were no Corbu, maybe a lot of this might not have happened, and the world would be a happier place.

If only.

[GoComics offers Barney & Clyde, by Gene Weingarten, Dan Weingarten and David Clark, and other comics.]

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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