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May 22, 2008


Hang in there...

The hottest show in Prague this week has been the attempted demolition
of this steel-reinforced concrete smokestack. Crowds gathered to watch as the
chainsmoking operator knocked, hammered, and tore at the seemingly indestructible
chimney. It seemed totally crazy. With inhabited apartment buildings all around, the
column swayed nauseatingly each time it was touched. As debris fell, it ricocheted off
the rubble below and sometimes shot into the unprotected street where mothers with
baby carriages rushed by and we saw an elderly man with a cane almost get taken
out by a skittering chunk. Progress was very slow and we never got to see
how it turned out. We wondered if the operator got a sore neck from
all that looking up. We wondered how he'd gotten the job. He didn't
look happy or at ease, but kind of resigned to it. We imagined
no one else wanting to do it and this old guy just shrugging
his shoulders and saying, "All right, what the fuck..."