Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thomassons: Those Peculiar Maintained Architectural Relics That Serve No Purpose

I had not heard this word before, but we know and see similar relics all the time:




But I love how they got their name:  



[Japanese artist Akasegawa Genpei] also created a name for these vestigial structures. He called them “Thomassons,” after baseball player Gary Thomasson who played for teams like the Dodgers and the Yankees. While Thomasson was a fine player in the States, things changed dramatically when he signed on with the Yomiuri Giants, a team based in Tokyo. Once Thomasson arrived in the Land of the Rising Sun, he couldn’t hit a ball to save his life. People called him “the giant human fan” because all he was doing with that bat was stirring up air. 
After Thomasson set the all-time Japanese strikeout record in 1981, the coaches benched the poor guy. And that’s how Thomasson served out the rest of his contract, sitting in the dugout and making money for doing nothing. According to Akasegawa, who’s a huge baseball fan, Thomasson “had a fully formed body, and yet served no purpose to the world,” but just like those fences and banisters he’d found around Tokyo, the man was still being “maintained.” 
So in order to be a Thomasson, an object must be cared for even though it’s completely pointless. The concept caught on, and soon people were submitting their own Thomassons to Akasegawa for approval. In 1985, the artist published his findings in a book called HyperArt Thomasson which was translated into English in 2009. The book inspired a new group of Thomasson hunters, particularly in San Francisco, and Akasegawa’s publishers even started a website where people could submit their artistic discoveries.
There are lots and lots of Thomassons in Washington D.C. And I am not talking about the architectural kind.

EBL: Make Decimation Great Again and Inauguration Day

Wombat: Louder With Crowder: Katie Couric Presses Betty White To Bash Trump, Betty Shows Pure Class, Power Line: Obama Exits Stage Left, With A Lie And A Threat, and Mark Steyn: Flash Bang

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