February 10th, 2011

Vision Statement

Again I must say "Don't cry for me Marge and Tina, or Roberto, my other reader, I never left you, even through my commercial days, fast coming upon us..." Pardon me. I'm skirting the issue. What I must say, is that a commercial dimension to this originally purely altruistic and critical enterprise, will soon come into being. The website, Behoovingmoving.com, is in development, with PayPal facilities for me to flog stuff. All this calls for a vision statement, a first draft of which I will now have a crack at writing, for all to see.


Behooving Moving exists to help cyclists combat public perceptions that we are not all natural lords over creation. We are, and proclaim so through the finest attire, art, literature, architecture, and cycling equipment. Behooving Moving shall profit financially through the imposition of standard margins on merchandise manufactured and sold, and the charging of commensurate hourly rates for services rendered. We service the ruling class only—cyclists—who cannot be deceived, and therefore we maintain an open book policy, documenting product development, foibles and triumphs on our livejournal site. Any disingenuousness by us shall be open to scrutiny by our clients and critics via this forum, lest becoming phonies takes a greater toll on our souls. Behooving Moving will establish a reputation for elevating market niches where formerly there were only products that did not behoove one. Professional expertise in architectural consultancy, scholarly research and the communication of wisdom, may, subject to lordish whim, be available for hire to fellow lords in need of our skills. With the queen as our witness, and our hand on god's book, we expect at this stage to make no dough at all.
                                                                                                                              —Dr. Behooving, 10.2.2011

Capital lugs!


Coolhunting and Rapha
agree, bicycle lugs are all the rage. Yet an even higher authority than these two great bastions of our culture, has been telling us to articulate joints for thousands of years now. I am referring of course to our dear lady architecture, wise old teacher she is.
 
Consider the lotus flower and lotus bud capitals of ancient Egyptian temples. The Greeks saw these and were impressed, so articulated the meeting between post and lintel in their temples, with volutes or acanthus leaf patterns. Thanks to Alexander the Great, the Greeks' fondness for column capitals would spread all the way to Northern India, where they have remained key to the Eastern architectural tradition. Building in timber, the Chinese could not let the moment pass, to celebrate the meeting of column and beam; their unique contribution to this tradition being the dougong, that I guess as kids we figured out for ourselves using Cuisenaire rods.

However, given what I have just outlined is more or less a Classical tradition, it does puzzle one to find tastes in lug carving have become so frightfully Gothic, as these pictures attest. I took them this afternoon, so the team currently developing my website might have some pictures to work with. If these lugs are not Gothic, then I'm afraid Robert Smith isn't either, nor is a Rock Eisteddfod load of emos with fresh bloody piercings. I mean, these are well Gothic lugs, in'it yo, don't you agree? To my mind, this suggests diverging paths in lug work design. Either frame makers could look back to the canonical churches of England and France, churches like San Denis (pictured right), and have a close look at the tops of the columns—trefoils and quatrefoils might both enjoy comebacks. Alternatively, we might see volutes or acanthus leaf patterns and a whole new style of self consciously Classical lug work. I'm surprised no Italian has thought to do that!

These last images I leave as a plea, of sorts, to makers of decorative lugs. Come on guys: some acanthus leaves, please!