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The Rend of All Things, or: The Tyranny of the Real

The Rend of All Things, or: The Tyranny of the Real

Originally published in CLOG: Rendering.

Today’s architect complains endlessly about the demand for renderings. With hyper-real three-dimensional renderings executed from the very beginning of the design process, how can reality possibly compete? Who wants to make decisions about materials and finishes before deciding what the building should be? The time and effort spent on photorealistic renderings takes away from the true space-making essence of architecture. How to interrogate Louis Kahn’s brick while we’re busy turning it into a texture?

But chin up, architect! We stand at the dawn of a new era, when architecture shall be unconstrained by the tyranny of visual reality. Instead of arresting architects at the beginning of the design process, rendering will give them unlimited freedom–forever. We can leave the brick, uninterviewed!

For soon technology will insert itself between the eye and the built environment, creating a window through which all architectural space is viewed. Whether Google’s glasses or a hi-tech contact lens–iEye?–soon consumers will cease to have–or desire!–unmediated visual experiences.

The architect simply specifies a green matte finish on the walls, the facade, the floors–everything! Then, location-aware lenses, hooked into a worldwide database of visual information, will replace them with the digital image, delivered ‘ directly to the user’s eyeballs. Rendering proper moves to a post design–even post-construction–phase. Architects, or whomever the client chooses–a precocious nephew, perhaps?–can change the look of the building until the very end of construction, and beyond. Refreshing a facade is as simple as changing the rendering. Old buildings can be retrofitted with a can of paint, and of course they will only need to stock one color at the hardware store.
True, those Luddites who resist the technology will wander a bright-green, featureless hell-scape. But meanwhile, we moderns will stroll a visual fantasia.

For a time, hobbyist-architects will continue to use actual materials on their buildings. We will find them charming, and we will find them in Brooklyn, but as film camera enthusiasts can attest, the entire manufacturing ecosphere around building finishes will quickly collapse.

There will be issues to resolve. Someone must maintain the database and ensure it is ubiquitous. How awkward if the building facade were only compatible with Apple products, while the interior designer used Google. Quite likely, building owners will pay a little extra to have a facade free of advertising. And graffiti becomes a sophisticated affair, with hackers selling the sides of famous buildings to the highest bidder .

But the upside: nothing less than the complete demanifestation of reality! Endlessly rendered and re-rendered, any space can take on infinite appearances. And why limit ourselves to architecture? The same technology can–and should–turn objects, clothing, and even our bodies into continuously malleable canvases. When the renderings become reality, reality no longer has to compete. It’s already been defeated.

A Legend-dairy Heist

A Legend-dairy Heist

Iggy Rausch’s Sworn Enemy

Iggy Rausch’s Sworn Enemy

from Ignatius J. Rausch…The Fattest Kid In The World!

Though some children were kind and some children were not, only one child was Iggy Rausch’s sworn enemy.

His name was Claude-Michel Murderbirth, though he tried to go by “Mike”. Claude’s favorite pass-time was passing time thinking about sporting events. Claude had memorized every statistic of every player on every important baseball team from 1927 through the present, and using a complex algorithm involving two pairs of dice, some string and a cat placed inside a shoe box, he had also invented, and then memorized, every statistic of every player on every important baseball team running 19 years into the future. And counting. He was only slowed by the diffuculty of keeping the cat in the box for long periods.

Claude spoke very, very fast. So fast, that he could, in less than a minute, recite every statistic from every player on every important baseball team from 1927 through 19 years into the future. An open heart might view this as a special talent, but in everyday conversation, it made Claude very, very hard to understand.

Claude was die hard fan of the Baltimore Colts, a group of men who played “Football”, a game played at least 50% with the hands, and the Baltimore Orioles, a group of men who played “Baseball,” which revolved 100% around “bases.” It is entirely possibly that there were other sports teams of which Claude was also a die hard fan, but Iggy didn’t really know of any other sports besides “Soccer,” his experience with which being covered in a separate chapter.

In fact, Iggy didn’t really understand sports at all. Football was something his father liked to shout at sometimes on TV. “Hot Dog!” he would shout, when a blurry little man was running away from another little man, or “Get him!” he would shout, when a blurry little man on the other team was doing the running. The upshot for Iggy was that his dad would often have popcorn while watching the game, and while he was shouting, Iggy would eat the popcorn.

Baseball was just a complete mystery until many, many years later when he saw a film about a man who throws a baseball with his father’s ghost.

There were many causes of the trouble that ensued between Iggy Rausch and Claude-Michel Murderbirth. Maybe Iggy Rausch made fun of Claude-Michel Murderbirth’s unusually violent surname, or the rapidity of his speech. Maybe Claude made fun of Iggy Rausch being the fattest kid in the world, or getting 14 cartons of chocolate milk from the milk table every day. But mostly, they became enemies because of their mutual friend, Ronald Whye.


Tales from the Long, Flat Plateau

Tales from the Long, Flat Plateau

It grieves me, Reader, to see Biggs struggle so. The air is thin, the terrain flat, the metaphors mixed, as Biggs ambles his away across a long, flat plateau on his way to Weightlossia. He reached this plateau almost three weeks ago, bolstered by early, easy success. 12 l’pounb’s dropped off in no time, and it seemed like the road to 30 lbs was paved with the asphalt of simplicity and lined with the white-and-yellow paint of success.

Since then, Biggs has held steady at fluctuating wildly, weighing in between 235 and 240 lbs. The dreaded PLATEAU.


This is the sort of thing that comes up when you search for images of “plateau” at the Library of Congress website. We really treated the native Americans quite badly, but we excelled at taking great pictures of them.

Leaving the metaphor by the side of the road for a moment, let’s analyze what REALLY happened. Like most tragic tales, its roots are buried in the mists of time.* Centuries ago, a priest, or possibly a shoemaker, named Nicholas or something decided to give some kids, or some people, some presents, or possibly coal, which was either bad, because who wants coal? or good, because, hey! coal! now we can not freeze to death! in order to celebrate Christmas, or Candlemas, or possibly Michaelmas or some such.

Time passed, and we eventually reached December 2012. Biggs had been ESPECIALLY good that year, so Santa Claus brought Biggs a very special gift: ten soft, fluffy pounds of chubby tummy! Biggs was so excited, he popped the buttons off of ALL HIS SHIRTS!


I’ve brought soft, buttery fat for Biggs. For the rest of you, Diabetes!

So, yeah, the first ten pounds were easy to lose. This is the part where it gets hard.

Weight loss plateaus seem common in the internet-message-board-and-random-blog health community. At this time, we should not, cannot and will not address the scientific literature, as it is far less easy to google.

We at Operation: Biggs! are of the opinion that if Biggs keeps on trekking, he will probably find the terrain starts to slope again, up, down, or whatever direction represented weight loss in this metaphor. But in order to speed this process, we have started making him do push ups.

We’re making decent progress on this, despite the fact that in middle school, Biggs was the kid that could do like a third of a push up and the gym teacher would round it up to 1 in order to goose her Presidential Physical Fitness totals. (Remember that? Arnold Schwarzenegger was the Commissioner or something. That was somewhere between “massive steroid abuser” and “Governor of Cal-e-forn-ya.”)


Climb the rope, fatty! I’ve held multiple positions in guvahnment, despite my inability to pronounce it.

One faint, faint hope, just the tiniest glimmer, is that the lack-of-weight-loss is just muscle development: that the push ups are creating this huge mass of dense heavy muscle on Biggs’ arms and shoulders. That this enbeastening of Biggs has more than offset the fat loss that is no doubt occurring at the same time.

But this is unlikely the case. What is in all probability, a much more relevant part of the “case” is this: MASSIVE EASTER WEEKEND THREE-DAY CHEAT DAY!

Look for that tale of woe in an upcoming update. Up up. And away.

*I hope, for your sake, Dear Reader, that there is some sort of Metaphor Police, or Cliche Patrol that will intervene soon.

Week Two: #tweetitdonteatit

Week Two: #tweetitdonteatit

Less stellar than last week, but still not too shabby: Biggs loses 3.4 l’pounb’s this week, bringing the total l’poundage lost to 8. See for yourself. Weightbot don’t lie:

As part of the ongoing refinement in the Debiggsification, this week we are adding a new component of Operation: Biggs. We are going to begin to implement #tweetitdonteatit.


A useful hashtag for when Biggs is just so damn hungry for something! But instead of EATING it, he will be TWEETING it. This is a simple substitution that through SCIENCE(maybe) will make not eating the delicious thing that’s being tweeted less painful.

Don’t eat this Biggs! Tweet it instead. In other news, I’m pretty sure I saw this guy in Hoboken on Saturday for the special pre-St. Patrick’s Day St. Patrick’s Day. And I’m pretty sure he was drunk. Way to stand up to the stereotypes there, Lucky.

It can also serve as cheat sheet for the cheat day. “Here are all the things you wanted to eat this week, Biggs,” we will say to Biggs. “Do you want to eat some of them now?” Assuming Biggs can respond with anything other than a drool-choked grunt, we will report the results back to you. Watch this space!

The View from Saturday

We let Biggs have this “slice” of pizza which seemed to consist mostly of cream sauce and “fried” for his cheat day this week.

I mean, would you want to get between a hungry Biggs and pizza? Because it’s not pretty.

Week One: Not the worst beginning ever!

Week One: Not the worst beginning ever!

Week one went pretty well for old Biggs.

As some of you know, we started this endeavor with an estimated gross Biggage of 250lbs. (Hence the $250 amount to the odious John Boehner in the unlikely event of failure.) 

When we actually hauled Biggs up onto the scale last Wednesday, we got an ACTUAL result of 249.4. 

We have chosen to attribute the initial 0.6 pounds to the opening days of operation Biggs, though there WERE setbacks, both minor (the first cupcake, on Monday) and more serious (the second cupcake, on Tuesday). 

In Biggs’ defense, they were belated Biggsmas cupcakes, and they were carrot cake, and they were a gift, and they were…DELICIOUS.

Nevertheless, since last Wednesday, we’ve kept Biggs pretty strictly on Tim Ferriss’ “Slow-Carb” diet, which basically involves eating no white stuff (bread, rice, etc), and no sweet stuff (sugar, obvs) with mostly vegetables, legumes (pronounced: legoooooooms) and a little meat to make up the difference. Plus eggs. Get the book here if you’re interested, but it’s really pretty simple.

The best/most controversial/no-really-best thing about it is the cheat day, where once a week you just eat all regular. Or, for Biggs, just eat all.

Here are some things that Biggs ate on Saturday:

  • More than one bagel
  • Cake!
  • Worlds biggest turkey club sandwich
  • More cake
  • Beer
  • A cannoli

So, the results:

Straight outta’ Weightbot

So that’s 4.6 lbs (short for l’pounb’s (luh-poun-buhs)) lost since last Wednesday. It’ll do for a start.

Who is John Boehner? Why is he that color? And what does it have to do with Biggs?

Who is John Boehner? Why is he that color? And what does it have to do with Biggs?

Who is John Boehner?

He’s a Republican congressman from Ohio, who just so happens to be the biggest jerk in the Republican party. So they elected him their king, and now he spends his days cracking unfunny sex jokes and taking positions based on stopping the President from ever achieving anything that might help the country.


Whatever, nerd.

A smoker with a strangely orange skin tone, John Boehner is the most odious national politician of whom Biggs is aware. And understand  dear reader, that the thought of giving money to someone like this makes Biggs queasy at a minimun.

Why is he that color?

Some blame spray tanning. Others assume it is the warm sandy beaches of tropical sub-saharan Ohio, from whence he hails. 

But there is another theory. One that the sodastream media won’t even talk about. One that is being kept underwraps by a secret cabal of the world’s largest candy manufacturers. Ask yourself: have we SEEN the birth certificate? Do we KNOW he’s even human?

Or is John Boehner (R-OH), the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, husband, father, PURPORTED human, ACTUALLY:

An Oompa Loompa?



So hey, what does any this have to do with the ongoing ensmallification of Biggs?

Simply put, Biggs promises to give $250 (189.70 in socialist Euros) to John Boehner’s reelection campaign if he can’t lose 30 pounds (13.6 in communist kilograms) in six months.

The deadline is 8/20/2013 (or 20 August 2013 in godless European date structuring). 

He is, in fact, “holding the country hostage” according to this noted leftist: 


modest contribution to a congressional reelection campaign is all that stands between the United States and a nationwide takeover by jackbooted fascists, aided by militias!

So he’d better lose the weight.

Is there a “best part”?

Yes! The best part is that several of Biggs’ friends have already signed a totally legally binding post-it note to give $15 (half of the 30 lbs) to, which provides microloans to entrepeneurs throughout the developing world, on the condition that Biggs loses the weight. 

Prepared by top legal minds.

If our crack team of internet mice can figure out how, we’ll set up a pledge page so YOU can get in on the action!


Launch of Operation: Biggs!

Launch of Operation: Biggs!

As this is the internet, we are here with some FAQs, before you even had the chance to A them:

What is Operation: Biggs?

That’s not really the right question. The correct question that you want to start with is:

How “big” is this alleged “Biggs” really?

Here is the thing, Dear Reader: Biggs is big. This is, first and foremost, evident from the nomenclature. Biggs is big, was big, and has been being big since at least the 70s.


The Only Thing Bigger in the 70s


But, Reader: There are many kinds of “big.”

Here are some categories of BIG


NBC-Reality-Show-Big. This is the kind of big where walking around Wal*Mart makes you winded and you take the scooter. Biggs is not this big. He can still fit in one airline seat.


Anyone who uses a geological feature or a car part as a nickname and/or is on the offensive line of an NFL team. This is the kind of big where The Walt Disney Corporation eventually puts you in a movie with a child because the dichotomy will seem “cute.”


Biggs is not this big either.


Asked to play Santa occasionally despite the anxiety that comes from lying to children. A bit of a tight squeeze on a roller coaster. Widely considered jovial.  But big enough to seem “unhealthy.” This is the category that is most akin to the bigness of our dear Biggs.


Dear Old Biggs, that chunky bastard.


This is a largeness born of genetics and some muscle, without the chub. This, Dear Reader, Dear Dear PATIENT Reader, is the goal…of Operation: Biggs!

So seriously, what the **** is Operation:Biggs!? Because continually typing “!?” sets my teeth on edge.

Operation:Biggs! is an ongoing project to downgrade Biggs from QUITE LARGE to GENERALLY LARGE. Its goal is to eliminate the “unhealthy” part.

Look for actual strategies in a future update, but know that they include, #tweetitdonteatit, and John Boehner (R-Ohio).


Yes, this jerk.

Ronald Whye

Ronald Whye

from Ignatius J. Rausch…The Fattest Kid In The World!

Ronald was a very quiet person, because he has a bit of a stutter. Ignatius liked to talk most of the time, so they soon became fast friends.

Over time, Ronald came to talk much, much more. Ignatius never talked any less, except when he was eating.

Ronald used this as a competitive advantage in their frequent debates.

Ronald was a very quiet person, because he has a bit of a stutter. Ignatius liked to talk most of the time, so they soon became fast friends.

Iggy’s First Friend

Iggy’s First Friend

from Ignatius J. Rausch…The Fattest Kid In The World!

On the first day of the first grade in the first hour of the first recess, Ignatius J. Rausch made his first friend.

Ronald Whye was a quiet person. He was also the skinniest kid in the world. He would occasionally become trapped in the space between the blackboard and the wall, which usually required a call to the fire department.