Sunday, August 30, 2009

No time for dancing, or lovey dovey

I ain't got time for that now

I'm a little late into the Talking Heads love, but man, how much fun would it have been to catch the Stop Making Sense tour? How obvious are the Ting Tings, Franz Ferdinand, Maroon 5, and generally any 21st century pop music cribbings from Talking Heads? Hats off to David Byrne...and some pretty solid lyrics, too, it must be said.

So unfortunately, a family tragedy took me away from classes and this blog this past week, making it difficult for me to think of anything clever to put here. So I'm just going to mention something briefly, instead.

The Aga Khan is really the Most Interesting Man in the World, much more than any of the Anglo pansies that Dos Equis is pimping. His mother-in-law is Rita Hayworth. He did ski for Turkey at the 1960 Winter Olympics, and Iran in '64. He is the leader of all Ismaili Muslims. He is incredibly relevant to anything this blog has to do with, most particularly the Award for Architecture and the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme. He does what you wish you would do if you had infinite wealth, not what you would do. What you would do is far more similar to Everyone's Favorite Central Asian.

Aga Khan does not do anything remotely political, because that is incredibly unbecoming for, you know, the leader of a faith. Any Friedman-esque "Amurrica needs to engage Mr. Khan in order to promote peace in Afghanistan" is, well laughably wrong-headed. HRH does what he wants, and we all fall behind that. Fortunately, he's kind of awesome.

So for further reading, check out the wikipage for his entire development network. And Archnet is an incredible resource that has helped me out in the past (when I was studying Ottoman Cities over in Ottomania). It's a lovely place to spend a few hours.

I point out Archnet in particular because the focus on Islamic Architecture is unique and, I think, worthwhile. Architecture and urban development must take on the local context in any situation. Look at the Soviet Bloc countries before you argue against me. And I believe that a solid sense of place and locality can help as much as Predator Drones can. I'm just too tired and busy to expound upon it right here.

A eco-conscious, historically-contextualized, forward-looking urban plan can do great things. The Aga Khan is doing great things. If he ever wanted to hire me, I would be doing backflips, let me tell ya.


  1. Rita Hayworth is His Highness step mother

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