The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
June 27, 2014

Post-industrial dildo

There has been an assertion lately, that this blog is, as the title indicates, “a post-industrial dildo, violently thrusting its way into Internet obscurity”.
D Sauerteig (whoever that may be – Sauerteig is the German word for Sourdough, so surely a pseudonym for Kim Dot Com….) then went on to say:
“You need to learn how to write less stilted and overly constructed articles. The crap you write is quite a shlep to read.”

Sitting here, high above the city at Eye of the Fish towers, we were very excited. Was this:
A) at long last, our first true critical literary review?

B) was it a post-modern reference to the era of steam-punk neo-gothic sexuality, incorporating feminist argot-jargon to authenticate its acknowledgement that the Fish was, in fact, a modern literary masterpiece in the making?

C) is it even possible to thrust towards obscurity, implying motion going backwards as an alternative to traditional views of relativity going only forwards (under Einstein’s general theory of…), and what other ways are there to thrust apart from violently? Can one thrust non-violently? Is a long, slow thrust even actually a thrust?

D) can the calm, measured, oleaginous tones of our chief scribe, Maximus, ever be taken as a violent act, when all they ever do is engender a feeling of warm, moist, sensual satisfaction in your gusset?

Sadly, it seems that the answer was:
E) none of the above.
It was, of course, just spam.

But it did get me thinking – and, it seems, not just me thinking either. John H has been thinking as well, and you know that only trouble can come about when that particular discussion, umm, errrr, comes about. It got me, and him, thinking more than just what a post-industrial dildo is (presumably plastic, although the industrial age implies metal, and machinery), and, well, that’s probably far enough for that particular vision). And associated with that, what a pre-industrial dildo might be made from (I’m picking a short-list drawn from animal, mineral or vegetable, but my favourite would be, I guess, animal bone. Stop sniggering). I’m rescued here from this etymological dead-end, this uncomfortable route back-passage down the annals of time, from being harboured in a cul-de-sac, so to speak, by the unlikely but highly timely arrival from 1680 of the frontispiece of a book “The School of Venus, or the Ladies Delight, reduced into Rules of Practice” courtesy of a well-sourced link from John H and Google Books (out of print and well past its use-by date, methinks).

Sadly, no author listed there either, but given by the size of the members in the illustrations within, I think perhaps that the author may also have been known as maximus, within certain circles at least. Certain, slightly uncomfortable sewing circles, perhaps.

Thank you John, I feel most enlightened – and just a little bit frightened… The text is worth reading as well, if you want. But I won’t post it up here…

Sigh. There is only so much one can do with a never-ending procession of innuendo without feeling slightly uncomfortably like a smut-merchant of the highest order, not so much a Garrison Keillor, but more a Nicholson Baker – a Vox for 2014 perhaps, and so I will instead valiantly try to steer this particular sinking ship around to the subject of architecture. So here is a modern building pictured in an advert.

The nickname it has adapted, Gherkin, is the most modest moniker it could have taken. I’m sure there were others, but perhaps less easy to roll off the tongue (oh dear) and spit out at your taxi driver (oh deary deary dear). I really don’t want to take that one any further either.

So instead I will end with a particularly fine rendition of a tower, rather proudly erect, sent to me by one valiant young Seamonkey Madness, who espied this particular box at the home of an aged grandparent, and thoughtfully took a photo for us all to cherish. Thanks C ! I know where this is, and C knows where this is, and you may think you know where this is, but do you really? First one to reply gets a chocolate fish!


m-d
27 - 06 - 14

At a rough guess, is it, by any chance, the box lid to a souvenir jigsaw puzzle, picturing a rendition of the Centennial Tower from the New Zealand Centennial Exhibition (1938-40) at Lyall Bay, with the hills of Melrose just visible in the background?

m-d
27 - 06 - 14

PS – I’m a little lost for words on the rest of the post – especially the lively looking lass on the right in the School of Venus plate…

60 MPa
27 - 06 - 14

Ok ok I’ll say it
It looks like the Carillion

Maximus
28 - 06 - 14

60 ! Welcome back Sir, I thought you had emigrated and not said goodbye. But glad you’re still here, and still reading. Everything I do, I do it for you, as me old mate Bryan used to say. So, are you right? Do you win a fish?
You’re thinking the same as Seamonkey was at first – it does indeed bare an uncanny resemblance to the Carillon at the National Memorial.
But. Alas, you’re wrong, and m-d is right – it is / was indeed the centerpiece of the 1940 exhibition over in Rongotai. Looking quite splendid too, and very erect, and really quite similar to the Carillon. Now of course, the interesting thing is that the Carillon was designed by Gummer and Ford, I think, in ummmm, 1928? And the Centennial exhibition centerpiece was designed by Anscombe in 1938, and built in 39 in time for the big 100 celeb in 1940. So is this Anscombe just “paying homage” to a work completed a decade before, or is it just a straight rip off? Presumably the newspapers at the time would tell us?
M-d wins the fish. Email us your address and I’ll post one out. Fish mail.

m-d
28 - 06 - 14

But was it the lid of a jigsaw Carton?

Maximus
28 - 06 - 14

m-d : apparently not. No, SeaMonkey Madness’s mother thinks that her parents got a doily or some other such item of Manchester in it. Cloth of some sort, not jigsaw, presumably explaining the lack of logo or branding. But well done anyway, and don’t be too scared by the lively lass on the right. She’s all looking forward to her Tupperware party that night.

Pauline
28 - 06 - 14

Rongotai – Centennial Exhibition 1939/40 http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/heritage/photos/disc16/IMG0041.jpg

Maximus
29 - 06 - 14

Pauline, you’re absolutely right, and thank you for the link to that picture – very heroic statue as well. I wonder what happened to it all? Did any of it get saved or salvaged?

davidp
29 - 06 - 14

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32741315@N06/4399079487

The area has hardly changed between 1939 and 2014.

Alan
29 - 06 - 14

Didnt know there was a horse track at Rongotai?!

greenwelly
30 - 06 - 14

@Maximus

From NZ History
http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/centennial/centennial-exhibition

“After the exhibition closed the buildings were used as extra accommodation by the Air Force. Following the war they were used to store wool. The buildings burned down in September 1946.”

John H
30 - 06 - 14

It wasn’t for horses; it was a speedway track! It was called the Kilbirnie Stadium and reflected a time when speedway was hugely popular in NZ.

There are only two major artifacts remaining from the Centennial Exhibition; one is the fountain which was lit with a rainbow of colours at night. This was shifted to Kelburn Park where it still operates on occasion with its psychedelic display still intact. The other is the sculpture of Kupe and his various hangers-on by William Trethewey. The original was cast in plaster and was shifted to the railway station after the exhibition closed. It then ended up in the Winter Show Buildings then in storage in Te Papa until Rex Nichols (of all people) lobbied (and largely funded) to have it cast in bronze and it now sits on Taranaki Wharf next to the rowing clubs.

Edmund Anscombe had a near-monopoly on the design of the exhibition’s buildings but for whatever reason, the Aussie’s refused to play-ball and insisted on doing their own thing for their pavilion (unusual in that even the Brits were happy to go along with Anscombe’s scheme). As much as I like Anscombe’s work, the resulting pavilion by Stephenson and Turner was an absolute gem of early-modern architecture and IMHO was streets ahead of Anscombe’s stuff. If the Australian pavilion had survived to the present day, every heritage buff and architectural historian would be as excited over it as that lively lass in the frontispiece of The School of Venus.

Here it is under construction
http://tapuhi.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/spydus/NAV/GLOBAL/OPHDR/1/1005715

John H
30 - 06 - 14

…and the interior (awesome staircase!)
http://tapuhi.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/spydus/NAV/GLOBAL/OPHDR/1/1006463

Mike
30 - 06 - 14

John H: there’s a third survivor of the Centennial Exhibition. The fire station was moved to become Miramar Bowling Club’s clubhouse; it’s still there and just-about recognisable, though quite heavily modified.

Maximus
30 - 06 - 14

You guys are good. I had no idea about all that.
Let’s see how good you are at the next challenge – try the next post (coming soon…)

davidp
30 - 06 - 14

>It wasn’t for horses; it was a speedway track! It was called the Kilbirnie Stadium and reflected a time when speedway was hugely popular in NZ.

I tried to match up the 1939 aerial photo with Google Earth. The speedway track is now a sports (???) field behind Rongotai school. I think you can still see part of the curve in the grass. This may just be the way it is mowed, but I’ve seen cases where a previous land use has created a slight depression in ground which collects water and therefore has increased grass growth.

The Exhibition site itself seems to be where the light industry now is to the west of the retail park that contains the Warehouse, Kathmandu, and Dick Smith. There seems to be some aviation activity to the east of the Exhibition site in 1939, about where the rescue helicopter and the RNZAF air movements facilities are now.

Mike
30 - 06 - 14

davidp – the aviation activity to the east would be at Rongotai aerodrome, with its grass runway running east-west.

There’s a lot about the Exhibition in Creating a National Spirit: Celebrating New Zealand’s Centennial, edited by William Renwick (VU Press 2004). This says that both the British and Australian pavilions were designed very late in the project, by George Pratt of the British government and Arthur Stephenson respectively (the first Stephenson & Turner foothold in NZ).

In terms of location, it says “The main entrance was at the present-day airfield tarmac in front of Westside hangars…The central avenue may be imagined crossing just north of George Bolt St”, ie in line with Resolution St.

m-d
30 - 06 - 14

Check this out though: http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/536761

Seamonkey Madness
1 - 07 - 14

m-d: what a super-sleuth! A mystery solved at last. Thank you!

I had my doubts about doilies and tablecloths to be honest. Chocolates, possibly. But a puzzle makes much more sense. =)

m-d
1 - 07 - 14

Aah – but can you provide Te Papa with the missing piece for their collection!