We picked up Michael Moore's book, Downsize This in Point Reyes, probably because it was on the discount table. Somehow I thought it was about weight, but it is about downsizing companies and the subsequent elimination of jobs and what that does to the psyche and pocketbooks of the American people. I want to understand this man who makes the movies that question the establishment and force us to think. Here is a paragraph about Michael Moore.
"As I sit offstage listening to the introduction, I think about how I, too, was raised to believe in an America where everyone had the opportunity to achieve a decent life. I was the all-American boy, an Eagle Scout. I won my Marksman certificate from the NRA. I was religious, attending the seminary in high school to become a Catholic priest. I obeyed all the rules (to this day, I have yet to smoke a joint) and worked within our political system (at the age of eighteen, I was elected to public office in Michigan). Until the 1990's, I never earned more than $15,000 a year. I have stood in the unemployment line at least three different times in my life and was collecting $98 a week in "benefits" when I decided to make Roger & Me."
His movies may be, at times, a bit over the top, but he is the one who pointed out in Roger & Me how the world's richest corporation, General Motors, detroyed Flint, Michigan by firing 30,000 workers during a time when the company was making record profits. Of course, now, we see the results of corporate greed and lack of innovation, but Michael Moore continues to be the canary in the mine asking us to pay attention, speak up, and vote.
I am also reading Design on the Edge: The Making of a High-Performance Building. It is by David W. Orr and is about the building of "one of the first, if not the first, substantially green or high-performance buildings on a college campus." The Adam Joseph Lewis Center is on the campus of Oberlin College. Orr points out that in 1980, the Carter administration introduced The Global 2000 Report which was more than ignored and we see the results today.
Umberto Eco wrote that:
Architecture is the art that most tries, in its rhythm, to reproduce the order of the universe, which the ancients called Kosmos.
Perhaps, after all, architecture is the place to begin.
The book introduces with this:
Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit
We are made of earth and to earth we all return
We are deep-air mammals living at the bottom of an ocean of air
We live by the slow fire of oxidation
In landscapes shaped by fire, air and water
We are creatures more water than solid; eddies in one watershed or another
All part of one great watershed
We are spirits made matter, but we are spirit and that matters
We are sojourners in a mystery called time