Not Only “Not Only,” but Also “But Also”

Those in Glass Towers

Dear Editors,

It is undoubtedly true, as Thomas de Monchaux writes in “The New Era Is a Fact” (Issue 46), that “the postmodern office tower is an unintentional representation of the capital structure of the corporation whose office workers it contains.” It therefore seems useful to note that “the thing now called Brookfield Place” hosts the New York offices of Jones Day, the Trumpiest of big law firms, whose litigation strategy aims to defend fossil capital, destroy the administrative state, and return us to a pre-modern government.

Jonathon Booth

Atlanta Police Expansion Pack

Dear Editors,

When I first watched the Atlanta Police Foundation “Mock City for Real World Training” video, mentioned in Grace Glass and Sasha Tycko’s “Not One Tree” (Issue 46), I was flabbergasted by how much it looks like The Sims 4. It did not help that the same month I saw the police video, The Sims 4: Horse Ranch came out, matching APF’s planned “40 Horse Stalls for Mounted Patrol” (what is this, Central Park?) perfectly. I’ll be honest, I did once really like playing The Sims. The simulacrum was desperately needed for a high schooler in 2020, though I have been a bit less eager to open the program since they released a landlord-themed expansion pack. Anyway, this APF video is bonkers, and the readers of n+1 deserve to know about it.

Toward the beginning of the video, a yellow school bus is pictured outside the “Atlanta Police Leadership Institute,” and about fifteen kids (both an ideal and totally unrealistic public school class size) seem to be receiving a tour from a cop in uniform. Something tells me the purpose of their visit isn’t to use the quarter-mile track or the “amphitheater.” Are they there to be recruited or scared straight? Or are they there to look at the individual deciduous trees sequestered between slabs of concrete outside the hulking glass complex?

I cannot imagine how it felt to be the person who animated the white-collared men striding in place, or who manually placed GIFs of fire over a fake building with the same dimensional ratios as a cereal box. Did they feel they were representing something that would one day exist? Or were they just clicking things? Maybe the most Sims-esque part of the APF video is the creation of a set of buildings and people that were imagined without much regard for what they would actually mean, were they to exist. Which I have to continue to hope they will not.

The best part of the video is the background music. It sounds like a Lifetime original movie heist scene’s third choice of soundtrack. I can picture whoever APF hired for comms sitting in front of YouTube, clicking royalty-free song after royalty-free song, looking for the synthetic strings section that most screams, “we know this is a sinister prospect and don’t really care.” The song they chose is called “Epic Motivation” by AShamaluevMusic. But when you click on the music tab in the video’s description box, it brings you to a song called “ZIMBABWEAN QUEEN” by Freeman HKD from, ironically, the album David and Goliath. It is absolutely not the same song. “ZIMBABWEAN QUEEN” is infinitely better.

Eve Jones

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