Sdtrk: ‘Judy is a punk’ by the Ramones
A number of months ago while on my daily route to work, I’d noticed a storefront on westbound 12 mile that specialises in gardening, historical landscaping, and the like. They listed in bold lettering on one of their windows what their specialties are, and I’d noticed that one of their services is the design of follies. Now, a folly, if you’re not familiar with it, is a structure that serves no true purpose except for ostentatious decoration. They’re usually either towers or monuments; some can be castles or gardens. Interestingly enough, the Wiki entry lists North Korea’s legendary non-existent building, the Ryugyong Hotel, as a folly, which stands to reason.
Personally, I can’t say I’m very knowledgable about follies, and my architectural/cultural interest in them isn’t as intense as all that 20th century Modern stuff that I love, but follies are kinda ace. The premise is fantastic and retarded all at the same time. ‘I’m an addle-brained gout-riddled baron with too much money, and I’m going to build a fanciful tower on my estate so that my name lives forever. FOREVER!!’ *flings turkey leg at nearest wolfhound, bursts into long, discomforting laughter* The closest thing we have to that nowadays are mausoleums, and decorative as those can be, their purpose is pretty clear-cut. With a folly, it’s more like, ‘I built it because I could’.
So as I’d said, I pass this place on a regular basis, and one morning recently I’d noticed there was a bloke in a t-shirt at the drafting table, clearly visible from the road, at work on a design. The astonishing thing was this was at a quarter to eight in the morning.
Seven-forty five in the AM, and you’re in there, sketchin’ up follies?? Has there been a sudden upswing in folly demand, the likes of which haven’t been seen since 18th century England, that I somehow managed to miss? I mean, apart from the Millenium Dome, that is?
If you’re becoming more and more rabidly curious about follies, you can check out The Folly Fancier, which is where I first learned of the phenomenon. Ahh, Internet.
Unrelated: To my own shame, I’d like to point out that I’m 35 years old, and I still haven’t heard Kraftwerk’s ‘Autobahn’ in its entirety. Or ‘The Man-machine’. Or ‘Trans-Europe express’, for that matter. In fact, I really haven’t heard most of their backcatalogue, with the exception of Computer world (had it on vinyl), Electric cafe (had it on tape) and Radioactivity (had it on Cd). But not having heard all of ‘Autobahn’? That’s actually something to be ashamed of