Saturday, October 15, 2011

Modernism and a chunky rump pie

We're just back from a family holiday on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, which, as ever, involved plenty of sea and sand, and only as much culture as could be gleaned from the shelves of the Crocodile Hunter's Australia Zoo shop.

Some characteristic cultural merch.

Unfortunately I had quite a lot of work that I needed to take with me. There were several occasions during which I lay by the pool in my regulation black artworld swimsuit reading eye-wateringly dull books with 'Aesthetics' and 'Modernism' in their titles, feeling like an utter tosspot as people in flowery boardshorts and bikinis with tattoos in surprising places dived in and sunned themselves around me.

Sampling the local produce.

While I was writing, the kids and the big guy spent a lot of time on the beach, building massive multi-storey sandcastles with moats and general fortifications. Earthquakes, and the social and architectural devastation at home in Christchurch, seemed a long way away. But when the sand was a bit dry and the castles collapsed, the kids referred to the fallen turrets as 'Christchurch ones'. "Earthquaaaaake! Geronimo!" You'd go in for a swim, and see kids itching to jump on the ruins, stamp them flat. Others would want to join in the re-building.

On the beach at Mooloolaba it struck me that the world can largely be divided into two kinds of people: those who enjoy building sandcastles, the larger, the better-engineered, and the more whimsical the better; and those who prefer to destroy them. It's a great pity that the future of our city appears to be in the hands of the latter.