Does My iPod Look Fat?

Intel’s laptop is just 0.7 inches thick

I’ve developed a bit of a complex over my iPod recently. When I ponied up the money for it several years ago, I felt ahead of the curve. Riding the subway the other day, a guy whipped out his razor-thin version and—I swear I’m not making this up—pointed at mine and said, “I remember those.”

It’s funny to think that Zoolander has become prophetic.

zoolander

Look at my wee phone!

Obsolescence has long been a part of American culture. What on earth would make someone buy a brand-new car when a perfectly fine vehicle already sits in the driveway? We’re suckers for next year’s model, whether it’s an automobile, a dress (hemlines are up! hemlines are down!), or a new home. These days, the pace at which things change is staggering.

Last night on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert took aim at American architecture. In the global race to remain relevant and au currant, he complained that the U.S. is becoming structurally obsolete as innovative (and tall) structures rise in the Middle East. “We are losing the global battle to build something so high that everyone will wonder what we’re compensating for,” he quipped. He ran images of skyscrapers in Dubai, noting that the U.S. can no longer claim the tallest buildings in the world. “I demand an explanation. Or, at very least, somebody to blame.”

That somebody was New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger (who received an enthusiastic round of applause). Goldberger’s response? “You can’t really make any money from them. It’s just a vanity thing and we’ve got the best skyscrapers anyway.”

So there.

Goldberger went on to explain why smaller, and smarter, are better ways to build.

Hidden beneath Colbert’s tongue-in-cheek reportage was an interesting comment on the aesthetics of Dubai—from moving towers and skyscrapers built like sails to buildings that gyrate in the wind, Dubai feels a lot like a structural theme park. Colbert deftly critiqued the trend with his own rendering of a new studio for his show. Check it out in the video below:

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