Steve Blow On Museum Tower, Nasher, Israel, Palestine

Zac mentioned Steve Blow’s column in Leading Off this morning, but this thing deserves its own post. Here’s what we’re talking about. Blow says we shouldn’t choose sides in the deal between Museum Tower and the Nasher. He says, “Let’s enlist a panel of objective, outside engineers and architects to review all the studies and the history. Let them commission whatever new research is needed. Let them assess all the possible fixes. And then let’s marshal public support for all parties to abide by whatever solution they suggest.” We already tried that. His name was Tom Luce. So Blow’s suggestion is fine enough — except that it won’t work. Seems like Blow hasn’t been paying attention.

That’s a quibble, though. The bigger issue with Blow’s column is the analogy he makes between the Arts District and the Middle East. Please, read these words carefully and think about what they mean:

[O]nce you wade into this mess, you can’t help thinking about the Israel-Palestine stalemate. Without the rocket launchers, thank goodness. But with similar rancor, recrimination and failed peace efforts.

We should, indeed, thank goodness that Jeremy Strick, the Nasher director, has not ordered his staff to use rocket launchers against Richard Tettamant and his Police and Fire Pension System. We are fortunate that more than 100,000 people have not been killed in the Arts District conflict. No question. Steve Blow is right about that.

Following his analogy, I suppose the Nasher is Palestine and Museum Tower is Israel, which would mean that Tettamant is Benjamin Netanyahu. Makes sense. But I get confused on the Nasher side. Who is Fatah and who is Hamas? Is Strick actually Mahmoud Abbas, or would that be Jed Morse?

Listen, it is beyond foolish to compare the deal between Museum Tower and the Nasher with the turmoil and bloodshed and complicated, sad history of the Middle East. Doing so demonstrates either profound ignorance or egregiously poor judgment — or both. It is stunning that something so inane could find its way into print in a newspaper that employs adults.


  • Lauren Smart

    whoa. these are just shiny, pretty buildings. hyperbole, much?

  • TLS

    I would compare it more to the might clash of *NSync vs. Backstreet Boys. We all know who won that fight.

    • Tim Rogers

      You win the internet today. Solid contribution.

  • joeptone

    There’s a good chance that a newspaper employing children edits that reference out, presuming they’ve had snack and a nap by the time the copy comes in.

  • Jackson

    As Dorothy Parker said in only a slightly different context, Blow’s insight runs the gamut from A….to B.

  • DickSully

    Freaking architects and their windows, man.

  • Lynn

    I know it’s tempting for blogs to think they voice the interests of all mankind, and I know it’s supposed to be an ongoing central narrative in the Story of Dallas, but, realistically, how many people ever give either the Nasher or Museum Tower even a passing thought at all? This whole story sounds more like that coveted Katy Award material to me.

  • JtB

    Its a well known fact that the Hebrews had sun lasers at Masada. They used them to try and melt Roman art and pottery below.

  • Tim Rogers

    Eric Celeste emailed the following to me.


    “Zac mentioned Blow’s column in Leading Off, and I read it on my phone at Logan Airport before getting on a plane so I can’t reference it right now, because I’m typing this from 40K feet, but I have to get this out so here it is:

    “His main point, as I recall, was that the Nasher v. Museum Tower battle was ugly and messy and no one is right and no one is wrong and give peace a chance. I believe that, as proof that Museum Tower is has a solid argument, he noted that the tower had been planned for many years. This fact is irrelevant, of course, and he is objectively wrong. The Nasher representatives are the good guys in this narrative. Museum Tower’s suits are wrong and negligent and have handlebar mustaches that signify just how evil they are. We all know this.

    “I think Blow has written many good columns during the past year, but here he falls into a stereotypical Morning News-style “take”: the “can’t we all just get along” column. I respectfully ask for an end to such columns in the news or editorial sections of the paper. If an issue’s noise level has disturbed your slumber, it is time for you to weigh in with something besides a plea for quiet. We actually need you to use the influence and goodwill you’ve built over the years to tell me who is freaking right, and who is freaking wrong.

    “Sub-point: To piggyback on Zac’s criticism of Blow’s suggestion that we probably think of this issue in the same way we think of the confusion in the Middle East: A wonderful Syrian gentleman last night at a Boston steakhouse bar spent 25 minutes answering my questions about the atrocities in his homeland. He told me unbelievable stories of heroism and tragedy, of media misunderstanding and U.S. policy missteps. He told me, with no bitterness but with the authoritative certainty of a good columnist, that the fact U.S. citizens see the Middle East as a puzzle not worth connecting (let alone examining) has contributed to the horrors he recounted.”

  • MST

    Why is Museum Tower Israel? You think all Jews are bullies? I knew that night at Danang’s represented your true colors.

    • fij

      The entire point of the post is to mock the analogy.

  • AtoZ

    I’m no particular fan of Blow (???), but the analogy is apt. The museum conflict pivots on whether “I was here first” matters, and indeed what “I was here first” really means, if anything. In that way, surely the Middle East presents the ideal analogy. If the purpose of the comparison was to get the average reader to understand that pivot point on the fly, can you name a better, more commonly known situation? To fault an analogy purely because the referent is an admittedly much more objectively “serious” matter misses the point of analogy.

    What you seem to be expressing, rather, is some sort of moral outrage that A is so much more serious than B, that the analogy is (or should be) inherently shameful to make. Like comparing, say, [anything] to the Holocaust. But that’s a subjective call, not an objective one, and you’re conflating the two inquiries.

    Example: How many times are conflicts among family members analogized with, say, our own Civil War? Brother against brother, and so on. Certainly that was another sad, complicated episode of “turmoil and bloodshed.” I get your personal outrage, but since when did anyone hand a “DO NOT ANALOGIZE” tag on such things?

  • Jeff

    what a boorish politically correct POS.
    has anybody ever addressed the fact that the windows are just too reflective? wouldn’t a simple fix be to tint them all – just like car windows? yea, the building will be harder to cool but if you can drop $1000+ a square foot who cares about the AC bill? it’s museum tower that is in the wrong, and unfortunately our police and firefighters pension fund had a moron at the helm.