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Ever Near a Fairy-Land

By June 28, 20099 Comments

The Architecture Centre pays hommage to the passing of the King (of Pop) pity he wasn’t also a king of architecture. As the Architect’s Journal yesterday said: the ranch was a disneyfied mashup of Queen Anne Style and New England vernacular. Not that I’ve got anything against mash-ups, Charles Jencks & Terry Farrell made them de rigueur for a bit.

Bringing to mind other celeb extravaganzas, such as Graceland (Mark Campbell wrote a rather brilliant essay featuring toe nail clippings in ‘The Pander’ which seems to have disappeared, if anyone has a copy, could you pass it on?), as often discussed is the great work of Brad Pitt (at least he knows how to hire the right help), and not to forget our very own Peter Jackson’s neu-Gothic pile.

Can this be summed up by those concise words: ‘too much money not enough style’?

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  • Guy says:

    poor Michael. Too much money, not enough taste.

    But then again, who needs taste when you have money?

  • batgirl says:

    just disappointing that when given the option to dream, celebs dream of the most banal things… but then that’s like second life, where all your dreams are possible so everyone seems to build a brick’n’tile then go find a dull desk job

  • Guy says:

    I thought that everyone on Second Life turned themselves into 6 foot tall Amazonian warriors in bikinis with super powers.

    And really, in a way, isn’t that what Jacko was trying to do? He had so long ago left reality behind – in a world of his own, where no one had the guts to say No to him.

  • thomas says:

    I’d say that both Graceland, Neverland, and perhaps Jacksonland, have all tapped into the zeitgeist in a more profound way than any architect that we might celebrate – which stands to reason given their respective ‘day jobs’. Now that we have given over to the great unwashed middle classes, what else can we expect? High architecture has long been defunct. How else do you explain the contemporary built environment…

    Guy, I think I say your character in 2nd life the other day – you/she sure cut a fearsomely erotic figure…

  • Guy says:

    A link for you here about his impeccable taste – to an article about what Jackson was planning to do at the London concerts – article was posted just a couple of days before he died:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/jun/24/michael-jackson-blings-up
    “As anticipation builds for Michael Jackson’s O2 Arena concerts, organisers have guaranteed that it will at least have some sparkle. Hundreds of thousands of Swarovski crystals – or, er, “crystallised elements” – will be integrated into the sets and costumes of Jackson’s This Is It residency, producers have announced. Jackson may even wear a fancy crystal hat.

    “As the King of Pop, it is only natural for [Jackson] to be crowned in crystal,” Swarovski said in a press release. As partners of the production, the jewellers will contribute 53 different shapes, 40 different sizes and 27 different colours of “CRYSTALLIZED (TM) Swarovski Elements” – 300,000 crystals in total. According to the Swarovski website, the company has “inspired the human race” with the “mathe-magical effect” of their creations. This means, we surmise, that they are really sparkly!”

  • batgirl says:

    I think that it is a load of bollocks that these are the “zeitgeist … [of] the great unwashed middle classes”. Just because rich people control the media doesn’t mean they represent the masses – mostly they’re just living out their own fantasies, and foisting them on us as if they’re our fantasies too.
    ‘Enjoy Coca Cola’ – why should I? what’s there to enjoy? Sugar and fake flavouring – may as well go chew old tires with treacle.

  • thomas says:

    The fact that you don’t enjoy sugar and fake flavouring puts YOU well outside the ‘zeitgeist’ in the popular sense, and no doubt the same is true of your architectural leanings – which you may or may not attempt to foist upon others…

  • starkive says:

    Actually, I found Graceland surprisingly touching – free of overt commercialism, discrete in its refusal to allow access to the fatal chamber, genuinely domestic and remarkably small. In a word, homely.

    Elvis bought his mom what amounted to the best house on the block and stayed on there after she died. Sure he had his boofhead mates around and they ate very, very badly, but it hardly amounts to a temple of excess. And if you still feel like sneering at the shagpile and bamboo-pattern wallpaper, go out the back to the meditation garden and sit beside the graves for a while.

  • Guy says:

    Aaah, you’re lucky. I never got to go there.

    Nor, mind you, have I ever been to NeverLand. I wonder, now that MJ is dead, if they will ever throw the doors open to that one. Sure sounds like there are a lot of fans would love to see inside. And yet, I suspect, that might prove to have the opposite effect: his fans might not be so excited to see his excess in situ.