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THE BRUTALIST PLAYGROUND: A FOOTBALL METAPHOR

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I MANAGED TO MAKE IT THROUGH WRITING THE WHOLE THING WITHOUT MENTIONING PAUL JOHNSON BUT THEN I NEEDED TO ENTER A SUBTITLE SO, WELL, THERE YOU GO

The Royal Institute of British Architecture in London has just opened a new summer exhibition entitled "The Brutalist Playground", examining the modernist play spaces architects once shoehorned into midcentury public housing.

Hoo boy, wouldja look at that? That looks fun.

StupidassBrutalistShit

You could get nice and hurt on that, lemme tell you what. No molded plastic or safety regulations here, just some rough-finished concrete and a rail. Whaddya want, kid? We put a rail in. Quit crying.

Now, I'm not gonna take the angle you might think I'm going to take here. This isn't a nostalgic paean to a time when play was freer and What That Means For The Lack Of Character Of This Generation. Tougher people than me can make that case. I played a lot of cards at recess.

And, honestly? We knew that stuff was unsafe back then (or in the 1980s, when I was a child). Empirical evidence was in ample supply. Oh, you skinned your knee flying off the carousel? Well, yeah, that's what it does. We weren't any tougher, either! "Oh, we just shrugged it off and kept playing!" Bullshit. You cried. We all cried. Shit hurts. You show me a child that doesn't cry when they skin their knee, and I'm going to show that child the end of Stone Fox. Every man has a price, Mr. Wick.

No, what I'm here to tell you is, I'm looking at this slide.

BrutalistPlayground

I'm looking at this slide and I see in it my optimism for this season, or any season. 128 teams start the season this fall, and only one will go home truly happy. (And it'll probably be someone like Ohio State, who'll be too angry at you to appreciate it.) For me - a Cincinnati fan, perpetually hoping to show some leg to the Big XII and keep another wayward coach coming home for dinner - and for most college football fans, whether they be Bulldogs, Rebels, Wolverines or Tigers, we know what we're getting into.

This shit is gonna hurt, it's gonna scrape all the skin off our ass, and it's going to end poorly.

It's still fun on the way down, though.

"But I root for Oregon, and-"

Same analogy, different picture.

Duckslide