Passage #486: 9 January 2019
Eclipse of the Temple of the Sun
When considering megastructures like malls and highways, we can see them as they are: colossal temples for our rituals of excess. These agglomerations of mass reflect massive accumulations of wealth, of inequity, of environmental ravage. Efficiencies of scale, they all too often deflect or defer their myriad impacts, from facilitating pollution to leveraging exploitative supply chains.
But it can be helpful to try to look at them instead as future ruins, as monumental reconfigurations of land and landscape, out of proportion with human bodies, less temples than mausoleums, like pyramids resting in the sands of time. This is not just to abstract and aestheticize them — though it is no doubt this too -- but also an act of looking past. Because contemporary society surrounds us with innumerable reasons to despair. And to continue onward, in good spirits and good faith, we must practice rising up, looking beyond what is, and seeing what could be.
And indeed, in a world where capital's deflections and deferments have become increasingly immaterial, lost in the sea of digital and economic codes, we might almost be thankful that these physical reminders still exist. And as they decline and decay before our eyes, as they shall, they help us to better remember to forget those old gods in whose names they were erected.