Wednesday, December 31, 2008

All Aboard, America!

Some time in high school, it might have been Jerry Taylor's AP History class, the notion that train nuts were intricately bound up with Fascists took seed in my brain.

Deep down, this explains why I'm not socially comfortable with animators. So many are train nuts.

On the other hand, I dig ladies in Claude Montana. Crypto-fascist aesthetics can't be the issue with train nuts.

Never having a driver's license, there's no romance to trains. They are a practical means of transportation. They are limited in their destinations, and frequently let you down.

And model trains? I don't know. Nostalgia, I guess. Nostalgia for an imagined past. That's one connection to fascism.

This nostalgia is so real, imaginary Hudson River towns are constructed by 3o men over the course of three days to make the dream palpable.

Even if you intellectually reject the lure of this false past, this empty nostalgia -the visceral attraction is too hard to resist.

The carnival; a netherworld of childhood possibilities. Hot dogs, strange girls from the other Catholic school, eerie daylight ballooning through night in the darkest part of town.

Somewhere in the brain's farthest corner is the sound of a crackling speaker and the whiff of summer air and the happiest sleep in the back seat of the car imprinted from a single trip to a drive-in over two decades ago.

Our common experiences become extraordinary in miniature. We don't make a wide circle past the swollen drunk outside of White Castle, we step in closer. Maybe this is why god loves humans.

Maybe it's just the oversized pumpkins.

The giant train model train world will be up a Citigroup Center at 53rd and Lexington until January 2nd. It's been there for over a decade. This may be it's last show, the exhibit's sponsor has dropped out for next year.

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