Reagan & Snavely (unrelated)

Power is social, oh yes. (and funny.)

Today was John's final review at MIT and it was interesting to have a bit of a sneak peak of what lays in store for me 6 months from now. The jury included Kwinter, Betsky, Jarzombek and some others I didn't recognize (MIT faculty?) in an awkward mix.

What I appreciated most about the review and John's work was the way in which it divided the jury. One of the critics was left to meekly insult the work and ask "what's your value system?" As contrast he offered Rockwell's practice as one that has a clear value system (cash money) but then claimed that since John is trying to be both high and low culture at the same time that he has no value system. What happened to nuance, dick? What happened to both/and? The more I thought about the review and the project the more I realized how spectacular it was because the critics were basically unable to respond, left withering in the face of something that is self-consciously not forged in the hellfires of criticism and also clearly not a thoughtless, lazy construction.

Later, over cocktails, "thesisness" comes up as a topic of conversation. REX is offered the model of the perfect thesis: everything provable, decisions explicit, logic clear. While I'm a huge fan of rational thinking (hello, modern world!) it is encouraging to see some glimpses of hyper rational fatigue. Not that I want to slip into an atmosphere of total fantasy (can we get over Walking City, already?) but being a little loose, a little associative, even a little nuanced never hurt anyone (except the conservatives, to whom nuance is like kryptonite).

Anyways, this is a long way of saying congratulations, John.