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The ludic or entirely imaginary city became a kind of art form, a sort of poetry, even a protest at the regrettable untidiness, lack of harmony, irregularity of the real city. In the 1939 New York Exhibition, as well as the celebration of New York described in the last few pages there was Democracity-a Metropolis viewed as if from 7000 feet (a useful ploy that, no irregularity or untidiness at that height; as we know from flying height is a great city planner!); but this city enshrines a totalitarian ideal:

"the lights in the Perisphere slowly dim, stars appear in the dome above and the city's lights go on....Night has fallen...far in the distance a chorus of a thousand voices is heard singing. From ten equidistant points in the sky come groups of marching persons, farmers, miners, factory workers, educators..." This is pure totalitarian iconography, of course. Middle classes theoreticians just love the masses to march (rather than slob out in cosy living rooms with a six pack and the TV). No, they have to march. Diego Rivera required them to do so too:

"Joyous singing masses of men and women of the city marching all day long" (all day long? Won't they get tired?) "and far into the night (as well?) through the great square".

This was written in Moscow in 1927. The twentieth century has probably had enough joyous marching to last it, well, throughout the twentyfirst.


need these streets
city sublime
seismic city
chopper shot
perfect city
dark city
global flaneur
shanghai and seoul
city tourist
loathsome centres
krung thep
sex city
hong kong
nightmares dreams
new sublime
dickens in la

  verybigcity: e-Book by Rodney Blakeston
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