Friday, 20 November 2009

Desert Dystopia

Recent photographs of Dubai, which keeps growing out of the desert at an alarming rate, come from a new blog called A Caged Bird Sings. Do they remind you of 'Metropolis' (1927) Fritz Lang's famous sci-fi dystopia ? This is Dubai's Airport.

Fritz Lang's Metropolis

That tinfoil airport again

Dubai skyscrapers crouching in the shadow of the tallest building in the world


That same Dubai aesthetic. Eerie, no?

One big construction site

Dubai Photos © Olivia Grabowski West at A Caged Birds Sings. Olivia happens to be my daughter and she set out with such gusto on her blog to feature her life in pictures that she shamed me into abandoning my computer games and trying to revive my own drippy blog.
You might also like her website here.


  1. Glad you're backing away from the computer games and back in my world of bloggers. Checked out the sprog's site, liked it and am going to link it to mine.

  2. I'm all for it.

    The shining columns, the future-shock domes reaching up towards the stars. I feel somehow cheated that California didn't go the Fritz route when we had the chance... what with all those microchips and all that aerospace loot. I'd happily trade the vast suburban sprawl, and all these busted freeways, for a chance at a futurama revival any day.

    Thanks for sharing the cool shots and for pointing the compass Rose to that other West. I’ll be checking it out presently. :)

  3. Blue, thank you. I'm glad too but they're never very far away. Should I be sharing this with you, like Oprah Winfrey?! Thanks for linking A C S.

    Jasonwclark, I never mind being disagreed with! I think it's more because it's shopping hell .. but that sounds very provincial of me, I guess. Interested in what you said about the California sprawl.

  4. Hilary Mantel's description of life in Saudi Arabia was enough to cool any enthusiasm I had for a visit to the middle east. But I'm a stick in the mud, anyway. I need 16 hours sleep after a 45 minute drive.

  5. I do want to go to Saudi or somewhere and hang out with the women. I think it would be interesting and delightful. But not for too long. Sounds like you've had the rains. Just discovered that my roof leaked because the squirrels were trying to get in around the chimney. Never knew they tackled lead flashing.

  6. The idea of Dubai's architecture always made me uneasy, but now that "Metropolis" is a reference point, I can relax a bit. It's a strange and wondrous film, but not, as I learned to my chagrin, the sort to provide the right mood for a romantic evening. Or as Pauline Kael would put it, not exactly a great "dating" movie.

  7. We have a tenant farmer house that the squirrels and termites were reducing to kindling for decades before we got here. I've been tunneling under the thing so I can replace the joists the termites devoured. In the process, I've located several squirrel, possum, dog and cat skulls. Mostly squirrel. They lived in a small crawlspace beneath the roof of the house. Just a cuter version of rat.

  8. Being the sort of girl who likes to look at the countryside through double glazing, I can live vicariously through your extraordinary rustic exploits.
    I know squirrels are just rats with tails but then I find myself talking to the little bleeders.

  9. Toby Worthington - that's funny! Or maybe it wasn't.


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