Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Real men at work

Mt. Angel Abbey
"I inherited a few of my father's talents.  I could plant a drill of spuds, paint a gate, and set the contacts in my car, but I was not what he would have called 'a tasty man.'  I often look at rows of buildings on a streetscape or motorway and think that all this, one way or another, is the outcome of interventions by other men  Each piece—building, bridge, or flyover—is perhaps the conception of one or two men, but has been executed by dozens or hundreds of other men working together toward a common goal.  Sometimes, walking down a street, I am overcome by shame that there is no place on the face of the earth, aside from the occasional library shelf, which contains any analogous contributions of mine", no place that leaves "a mark on the world that others can stare at, or walk upon, or drive across, or shelter under long after I have departed."

     John Waters, "Back to work," First things no. 275 (August/September 2017):  34-35 (33-37).

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