September 27, 2007

Oh, no! From the air the Navy building looks like a swastika!

So... do you want to spend $600,000 to soften the edges with trees and stuff?

The building has been around since the 60s, but no one noticed until the advent of Google Earth.

(Via Metafilter.)

37 comments:

Tim said...

It's Bush's fault.

Bob said...

Don't architects build models of buildings, and make drawings of them seen from various angles? Seems strange it was never caught before now.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Compared to $190B for another year's disaster in Iraq, I suppose this is insignificant.

I think sidewalks with canopies could be done cheaper.

Better yet, give the Seabees 24 hours and they could probably fix the problem (but ironically government regulations would never allow for something so direct).

AllenS said...

Add 4 more additions so that the building is a square with a cross in the middle. Dang! Can't do that either.

Ron said...

The Navy: Home of The Reich Stuff.

Bissage said...

The building looks like a swastika and that’s a bad thing. But on the upside, if you zoom in a little closer you can see the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

jane said...

Instead of spending all that landscaping money during our wars, the Navy should just paint in big red letters on the rooftops: “Objects can appear more fascist than they really are.”

Jennifer said...

I've seen that picture before. A friend in high school had it up in his locker - he thought it was hilarious.

Does the media ever research/back up its postulations?

Justin said...

The swastika has been around for thousands of years. It is usually meant to convey good luck. It's a shame the Nazis were able to so thoroughly ruin the meaning.

I say leave it. Send the message that we're no longer going to let the Nazis have this control over us. They don't own the swastika. We should refuse to let them co-opt it for their own distorted purposes.

Justin said...

Is it too late to defend the meaning of the symbol? It's over 10,000 years old. The Nazis used it for less than 100. That's barely 1%.

Pogo said...

I think they should add structural elements that turn it into a pretty yellow flower, with a green stem. Oh, and a unicorn.

Superdad said...

The story actually says that the Navy realized it would look like a swastika from the air but they figured who the hell is going to be looking at it from the air and built anyway. The building design meets that functional requirements - four seperate yet connected living quarters. Leave it be.

rhhardin said...

From below, it looks like a Navajo good luck symbol.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Reached in Versailles, Mo., vonKleist, the talk-show host, said he was ecstatic. "I'm concerned about symbolism," he said. "This is not the type of message America needs to be sending to the world."

... which message hardly anyone was aware of until I starting spreading it loudly and repeatedly via mass media.

Sheesh.

former law student said...

Justin is right -- take back the swastika! The Nazis didn't even call it a swastika -- that's the old Sanskrit word. In German it's the hakenkreuz (hooked cross).

Ann Althouse said...

Everyone writing about the Sanskrit swastika here needs to watch what is my favorite movie: "My Dinner with Andre." The subject is handled brilliantly.

Paul Brinkley said...

In other news, there's a bill going through Congress to launch thermal nukes at Greenland, melt the landlocked ice, and raise world sea levels about 50 meters, because right now, Florida looks like a giant you-know-what.

Pogo said...

Fom Google Earth, I appear to be a slight smudge on the lens.

Ron said...

But on non-Google Earth I rule!

'Nuff said!

ricpic said...

Okay, so it looks like a swastika. From where? From the air. Who's gonna notice it other than guys flying by in their Piper Cubs? Why must everyone give in to this infantilism every time it's tried?

MadisonMan said...

There's a joke here with a punchline of Form Follows Function, but I just can't figure it out.

former law student said...

Speaking of military building symbolism -- isn't the Pentagon a symbol of witchcraft and/or paganism?

Pogo said...

If indeed Form Follows Function, I will never again visit the Washington monument, but will swim like a flagellar axoneme toward China's 2008 Olympic stadium.

Charlie Eklund said...

I didn't know that Albert Speer had done any work in the States.

Synova said...

On the up-side. This sort of proves that people don't have *real* things to be all offended over, doesn't it.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Its a little shocking at first glance. It doesn't just "kinda" look like a swastika. Its really a swastika.

I agree with the "take it back" crowd. We took back the Nazi use of the Star of David and pink triangle. Let's do so with the swastika too. The thing is, I think the swastika is actually a very attractive design (I feel funny writing that, but its true). And it seems like an efficient shape for the building too.

Eugene said...

In Japan, the left-hand swastika (manji) is indigenous to Buddhism. In this Google map of Kamakura, every manji is a temple.

Synova said...

I don't know if it's "right handed" or "left handed" but here in New Mexico the Native American symbol is used on public and Historic buildings as decoration, quite on purpose, and if someone was to get in a snit they wouldn't get very far.

It is shocking, in a way, to someone (like me) who only ever knew the swastika symbol associated with Nazis, to walk into the Kimo theatre and see what appear to be swastikas between the other South West and NA decorations. But what is shocking to me isn't terribly important, is it. Because resemblance aside they are *not* Nazi swastikas.

Nor is a building with four wings that meet in the middle and bend over to make a square shape a swastika.

The Nazis took a lot of things, a lot of lives, and at some point it makes sense to ask if we want to continue to let them take things or control our lives.

Methadras said...

It doesn't matter what the Swastika means anymore outside of it's Nazi usage. No one cares that its origin can be traced to 10000 years ago. People only care what it means now and that usage has been hijacked by haters and fascists for over 65 years. It's to late to rehab its image and iconography.

jane said...

Now, see. This is a problem with our fine US military that thinks more linearly than laterally. If they took a cue from "Mad Men," the US Navy would place a Yahoo.com ad for a handsome fee on the building rooftop, making the Google Earth image more silly than sinister revealing.

Bissage said...

What jane said, . . ., and I think the money they make should be spent paying top dollar for a full course of feng shui consultations.

Everybody wins!

Pogo said...

Yes, good call jane.

Best to avoid Mercedes and Volkswagen, though.

Eli Blake said...

Paul Brinkley:

You mean that Castro isn't the first one to aim for Cuba?

Cedarford said...

Maybe we just need to provide each American a list of forbidden words symbols, architecture, attire, foods, and rope knots not allowed.

Add onto the list what the consequences are in terms of lawsuits, firings, justified racial beatings, school expulsions - and which of the applicable Forces of PC you will anger and have come after you by your unwise exercise of freedom of expression.

Peter Palladas said...

You think that's bad! Have none of you guys noticed that The Pentagon is - err - shaped like a pentagram?!

Now that is spooky.

Completely proves that the American military is led by witches.

So glad I worked that one out.

And don't go trying to hide your game under a couple a cherry trees guys - I'm on your case.

Akiva said...

Not to get into a snit or anything, but for those of us with family members who went through the Holocaust (and of course family members who we don't know who weren't among the few who came out), this is really troubling.

Yes, it's an ancient symbol, and there's no reason to be upset with Native American use of it or Indian use of it.

HOWEVER, there was plenty of anti-semitism in the US, there were those who didn't mind the nazi goal of genocide against the Jewish people, both during and after World War 2, and there were both German populace and nazi 'technicians' imported to the US after WWII (to take advantage of nazi technical prowess for the cold war).

The Navy did not intentionally seek out to create this symbol, but the architect very well may have. The Navy realized but blew it off at the time. The Navy was probably being practical, but the architect, ahh, he got his hidden message out.

jane said...

Dead thread here, so am piss(ant)ing in the wind, but this (now) ironic geometric design is not unlike the controversial crescent- shaped landscape with a minaret-like tower Flight 93 proposed memorial in PA

whose designers are either pro- Islamist or on drugs.