Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Dark And Appropriate Reward

MELBOURNE'S daily curiosity, The Phage, features on this morning's front page the news that two prominent local architects are at odds and that one of their amorous partners, the columnist Jill Singer, has been sending vitriolic emails to mutual friends and associates. Why the paper believes this is a matter of immense interest to Melbourne, where the paper leaves so many other interesting things unreported, is another of the mysteries that will be laid like grave goods at the feet of the newspaper's corpse when it expires.

Still, the article does serve a minor public good, as it establishes a principle good parents attempt to incalcate in their young: Do bad and, one way or another, you will pay for it:

Singer went into detail about LAB's financial situation and Bates' own difficulties with depression post-Federation Square...

One never wishes ill on others -- not too many others, anyway -- but the tidbit that at least one of the designers paid some sort of price for the eye-wateringly ugly Wank Palace that dominates Federation Square will be welcomed by all passersby who feel compelled to avert their gaze from the gimmicky, look-at-me sensationalism of the now-feuding architects' abomination. Only in a world where governments have replaced the wealthy as chief patrons of the arts could this testament to ego-driven aesthetics have been funded. If one of its creators was bitten by the black dog, then a little misery is no less than he deserved for inflicting this on an otherwise lovely city:


  1. Agree that it's non-news, Prof.

    An interesting aside - the only direct quote from any of the protagonists:

    Bates replied by email, saying he did not want ''this very personal dispute - which is not a dispute between Peter and me whatsoever - to be continued in any public way.''

    So what does The Age do?

  2. I didn't realise that Ms Singer had such large breasts.

  3. SFW - first thing I noticed too. Nice Bristols.

  4. Jill’s best work was when she face-planted into the blotter at Channel 7.

    Unfortunately, there is strong evidence of permanent frontal lobe damage.

    Forget the fact that we have to look at this monstrosity (I mean Fed Square, not Ms Singer) every day …. remember when we were treated to weeks of excruciating debate about the philistines who removed the “shard” from right on the corner of Swanston and Flinders.

    The Architecture wank brigade whipped themselves into a hand-wringing lather over that one.

    Sounds like the “do” at DiStasio’s to select our reps to the Venice wank-fest was a missed opportunity for Al Quaida

  5. I've never suffered from migraines, and hope I never do, but I know some sufferers have visual distortions. Whenever I look at Fed Square, I imagine that's what it must be like to suffer such migraines.

  6. "Nice Bristols"

    Indeed. I can imagine them plopping forth, like prominent... local architecture.

    BTW, Prof - it's "inculcate"...

  7. Sad that our PM can't claim such assets, she does have rather a hottentot figure. Perhaps Sir Mix A Lot would fancy her.

  8. AR,
    I thought “incalcate” was a calculated spelling; after all, the word derives from incalcare, “to instill”, from in + calx, “heel” or “kick”, but suggesting (to Latinists, at least) another calx, “lime” or “chalk”, thus making “incalcate” wittily suggest something like “carbonate” as well as “instill”.

  9. Professor,

    I am in agreement regarding your opinion of Federation Square, perhaps the Occupy mob could be brought back to partly mask its ugliness with their squalor.

    My fair city of Perth has recently installed a monstrosity of our own in Forrest Place which is known as "the green thing" or "the snot" (see it at

    The City of Perth paid $1 million for this monumental ugliness, I'll sell it to Melbourne for half that amount.

  10. I am sure Federation Square will look lovely once they finish building it.

    When is that due by the way?