Hauntological Updates

Back in 2021 I wrote about windowless buildings. In that post I mentioned the 10 freeway adjacent Abram Friedman Occupational Center, a monolithic, windowless building ornamented only with a crass Harbor Freight  sponsorship ad. Thanks to Steven Sharp, editor of Urbanize LA I now know that underneath all that stucco there’s a handsome 1920s era building:

I’m guessing the race to the bottom that is Crapitalism™ and a related disinvestment in public trade schools explains this bizarre architectural decision. The before and after pictures of this building reveal a transformation into what looks like a prison, hostile to any poor soul who walks the barren sidewalk next to those blank walls or who wanders its liminal, florescent lit corridors.

Or, to repeat the most bizarre architectural conspiracy theory on the interwebs, could this be another attempt to erase the lost Tartarian civilization?

Ghosts of Christmas Present
In a post this summer I mentioned a combined aesthetic/moral/anxiety crisis I described as a horror of  rootless landscapes. It turns out that Mark Fisher coined a word for this feeling: nomadology. Merlin Coverley author of Hauntology: Ghosts of Futures Past describes Fisher’s term as,

a sense of unease, akin to travel sickness, engendered by such anonymous environments as airports and shopping malls whose sameness seems to deflect even the possibility of nostalgia for a past that is wholly absent. Instead these spaces, whose endless repetition the world over leaves one feeling as if one could be anywhere, provoke ‘the sickness of travel [. . .] a complement to, not the opposite of, the sickness for home, nostalgia.’

I recommend Coverley’s book and, in my own take on Christmas ghost story reading, I just picked up a copy of Mark Fisher’s hauntological classic Ghosts of My Life.

Root Simple email subscription
A few readers alerted me to the fact that they were no longer getting Root Simple’s blog posts emailed to them. It turns out our subscription feature got nuked by Feedburner. I’m looking for an alternative but it’s going to take me awhile. I’ll let you all know when I find a solution.

Happy holidays to all of you who have stuck with this blog over the years and best wishes for a great 2023.

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  1. I actually had a dream the other night where I told you and Kelly that I’ve been following your blog since around 2010. It was a happy moment.

    So, thank you for keeping this little fire going, called Root Simple, all these years and for sharing your thoughts and projects with us.

    May you both be well and healthy and happy holidays.

    All the best for 2023!

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