Requiem for Tuscanization (1970-2008)


Tuscanization aimed to save modernism by returning it to its renaissance roots:
To return capitalism to its birthplace,
To reset debt to the origins of credit
To Europe’s cradle of global trade
To its human-sized cities and ecological balance

Against the excesses of McDonaldization, it aimed to replace:
Efficiency with Deliberation
Control with Freedom
Predictability with Originality
Calculability with Serendipity

It sought a Place:
Where family tables stretch across generations
Where living reaches the highest art
Where artisanship can flourish
In gated fountain commons
Where Real Estate is to the manor born-again

In reaction to the organization of labor
To the alienation of mass consumption
To the falling rate of profit
To the global speed up of work

The Factory became a rustic Studio
Industry was reconceived as Craft
Rationalism was overcome by Nature
And Race was restored to Ethnicity

Mediterranean sensibilities aimed to moderate:
Urbanity and Rural Boorishness
Sophistication and Innocence
The Cosmopolitan and the Provincial
Tempering Ingenuity with Heritage

Lowe, the Hearth and Home Depot
It came to stage the Peasant Sovereign
To work with one’s hands
To resurface flatness with texture
And the abject economies of scale

Yet the overlay of Tuscan simplicity gave way
Under a glut of gardening and patina
To a conception of Value diminished
and crashed beneath a finance baroque

Now on the outskirts of mass incarceration
In the ruins of Tuscan Villas
Occupied against the banks
A deeper disenchantment feasts
This fetish too, has turned an instrument of social control

Leaving only the memories of a taste renewed
Burdened and rejected in the mouth
To bind a fragile self
Like fragments of granite
which once held together the idea of home



-David Michalski


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